Cover Image: Fallout

Fallout

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Member Reviews

This middle grade book looks at a moment in history that not many of us know, the beginning of the Cold War and the espionage and intrigue that fueled it.
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This non-fiction title reads like a thriller! It is geared to middle school ages but very readable for older readers as well. It seems very well-researched and looks at multiple perspectives, which makes it quite interesting and shows the complexity of the time period. I haven't read anything by this author before but I would definitely pick up another of his books.
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Spending the majority of my life during the cold war years I have to say this book was very interesting.  But hey what book that has spies, and bombs wouldn't be pretty cool.  Those days of duck and cover (like it would really help) are gone and kids today have their own wars they grew up with.  This book picks up after World War II when the US and their ally USSR turn on each other and become each others enemy.  When the U2 spy plane is new and the US thought they had the upper hand.  

This book has plenty of action and suspense galore, but I think the title has much more meaning than just nuclear.  This is a great book that tells the history of that period.
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A great follow up to Bomb. Sheinkin knows how to make history and nonfiction come alive for young readers.
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Steve Sheinkin brings nail-biting history to life again in his new book Fallout. This book follows his Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, winner of a Newbery Honor award and a National Book Awards finalist. Fallout, a vivid portrayal of the Cold War, should be in the awards cycle for the coming year as well. 

Sheinkin fills his book with the people of the Cold War beginning with a paperboy whose pay includes a hollowed-out nickel used to pass along spy secrets. He includes the spies, one that is inept; the schoolchildren practicing hiding under their desks in case of a nuclear blast; Francis Gary Powers, the captured U-2 pilot; Harry Seidel, tunnel digger and rescuer working to bring East Berliners past the Berlin Wall; and the major competitors – Krushchev, Kennedy, and Castro, who nervously try to outbluff each other. 

The gripping story moves among these main participants and others with finely drawn characters taking part in a plot that would make a great fictional thriller, except that it is all true. The Soviets have seen the atomic bomb at the end of World War II and don’t want to come in second. The United States is equally fearful of coming in second. Both work on the next and bigger bomb and wind up with the capability between them of destroying the world. Castro and Cuba have the capability of being the catalyst that sets off this third World War. Few people knew how close the world came to being annihilated by hydrogen bombs. 

This book is listed for ages ten and up, but the “up” has no limit. Even those who remember the time will feel the tension in this meticulously researched account. History buffs and lovers of spy thrillers of all ages will love it.
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I would like to thank Net Galley and the author for providing with access to a review copy of this book.

This book offers a well research and highly entertaining trip through the post War World II nuclear, political, and conflict history.

What I found most interesting were the background stories behind the many well know historical crisis described in the book. They add very good nuance to the content.

The information of presented in an easy to digest manner and flows well. Easy to read and goes by rapidly as the story/information comes in a engaging suspenseful manner.
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Very interesting book for younger readers; accessible information on things "the kids today" never really thought about.
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Fallout by Steve Sheinkin tells the complex history of the Cold War. It captures the period between the end of WWII, closing its telling with the Cuban Missile Crisis. As a narrative nonfiction text, it is the perfect resource for studying and learning more about this historical period. Sheinkin expertly weaves a narrative that incorporates various perspectives. It presents historically significant moments and essential information. Yet, he still crafts a text that is digestible and understandable, especially for a younger audience. 

Educators now have the perfect book to teach the Cold War (up until the Cuban Missile Crisis). When examining that epoch, those early decades can be easily overlooked, skipped, or simply glossed over due to the complexities of this conflict. It is complicated, but in Sheinkin’s hands, this history comes alive in an accessible, realistic manner. Sheinkin deftly shows how political brinkmanship almost destroyed the human race. As a result, Fallout will leave readers with important questions about humanity, our ability to work together, and our capacity for destruction, including the stark possibility of our choices causing our species to be wiped off the face of the Earth. Those conversations remain relevant always, particularly as technology advances and conflict flares across the globe. The Cold War’s tensions have never fully left us, and they offer lessons for us today if we stop to consider them. Fallout provides teachers with just such a valuable opportunity. 

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher, Roaring Brook Press, for an eARC of this book.
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10 out of 5 stars!! Sheinkin does it again!! I did not know much about the Cold War except for bits ehre and there, but after reading this AMAZING book, I feel like I understand it! Sheinkin has a way of storytelling that absolutely grips me and doesn't let go! He gives enough detail to picture whats happening without too much to bore me! He is the master of nonfiction in my opinion, and I will never stop recommending this book just like I haven't stopped recommending his others! Absolutely phenomenal!!
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What I love about Steve Sheinkin books are that they are meticulously researched and shed light on stories that don't get told. He has a clear passion for making history come alive for teenagers and even adults who need a refresher (or introduction!)
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This is a terrific retelling of a turbulent era in international relations. All the crazy stuff that I lived through is told in a very entertaining way. The author creates a fast-paced reading experience that brings all the major players of the era to vivid life. From the brink of nuclear war, the space race, and the surreal attempts on Castro's life propel the continuing tale of American missteps on the world stage.
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A great book on the Cuban Missile crisis and how close the world came to a Third World War. The story is well developed and the first hand accounts and personal insights of those who were there really enhances the book and your understanding. It is a terrific read for the history enthusiast.

Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I love how the author takes complex historical incidents and makes them accessible. He covers the Bay of Pigs, Berlin Wall, and Cuban missal crisis with detail and builds suspense even though we know the outcomes.  He introduces us to important, yet unfamiliar characters—spies, children, submarine captains, etc who all play pivotal roles. He also provides insight into the relationship of Kennedy and Khrushchev and the negotiations that kept us from WWWIII.  He provides great closure, telling the reader what happens to all of the characters.  It’s a great way to learn history.
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The book "Fallout" by  Steve Sheinkin, brings back lots of personal memories of the time when we were involved with the Soviet Union in the Cold War.  The threats of nuclear annihilation were real, probably on both sides but the M.A.D. (mutually assured destruction) as well as some lucky breaks for human kind prevented us from being eliminated as a species. 

The book is obviously focused on a younger reader who did not live through these turbulent times.  For this purpose, it seems to have met its goal of being a warning to this current generation for whom the threats of Cuban Missile Crisis don't seem real and maybe are covered in a paragraph, if that, in current history texts.

The book reads sort of like a novel but carries the ominous message that there are still forces at work in teh world that all people need to on constant watch for their potential for evil. It is well written and covers a time period when there were, as stated in the subtitle "Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown."
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Sheinkin has written another well-researched, easy-to-read informational book. This book could be seen as a follow-up to Bomb. While there has been much written on WWII, there is little in the YA literature about the effects of WWII, particularly the Cold War. Sheinkin does a masterful job of interweaving the political climate, political events, the Space Race, and personalities of the time. While many YA and adult readers may know the term "Cold War," I suspect that few actually know of how the story came to be. Sheinkin's book would be an expert addition to a high-school course on the 20th century.
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From the author of the award-winning 2012 book Bomb, this newer book covers similar topics and has the same fast-paced, narrative writing style, almost sounding like fiction but with a wider cast of characters. While Bomb focused mainly on scientists and technology, Fallout features spies and politicians. Bomb took place during World War II, although the events it describes led directly to the Cold War, but Fallout is entirely about the Cold War, specifically focusing on the Cuban Missile Crisis and the events that led to it. Given the book’s teenage target audience, it does an excellent job of covering the complicated political situation in great detail. In fact, despite the fact that I went through a phase when I read everything I could find that mentioned President Kennedy, this book is probably the most thorough description of the Cuban Missile Crisis that I’ve ever read. I highly recommend this book for teenagers and adults alike, including those who don’t normally enjoy nonfiction or war stories. Sheinkin’s writing is so engaging that I’m sure somewhere out there, there will be some readers who will discover that they’re more interested in the topic than they would have guessed.
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Following the amazing book "Bomb", Sheinkin is again capturing the readers' complete attention and emotion. This must read for all 5th graders to those in their 95th year will surely be on many state award short lists and hopefully national awards as well. Where will Sheinkin take his readers next?
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Thank you to the author, publisher and Net Galley for providing a free ebook copy of this title in exchange for my review.

This is a middle grade level history of the Cold War.  I haven't read others by this author, but I will look for them in the future and recommend him to those with younger children.  The writing style was engaging and the history seemed well researched, making for a page turner.
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I thought I was going to read a fictional spy thriller.  Fallout turned out so much better.  The history to the Cold war is covered well.  I grew up in the shadow of the bomb and was familiar with most of the events.  I was thrilled with the details of things and the things I knew little or nothing about.  This is a great account of what happened.  I was very impressed with the bibliography that documented the sources for the account.  I heartily recommend this book as an engaging and accurate account of the events.  I hope young people will read it and gain perspective on real history.  There are so many lessons here we should know about.
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“Fallout” by Steve Sheinkin

You could call “Fallout” a sequel to Sheikin’s great book, “Bomb”, published in 2012. In “Fallout” Sheinkin writes about an amazing collection of the events leading up to and including the Cuban missile crisis.  Much has been written about the subject but this book succinctly tells the story of the tumultuous events of the 50’s and 60’s that brought the world to the brink of total devastation.  

“Fallout” is a quick read that seems more like a thriller novel but the reader never loses track of the grim reality that the world faced in 1962.  The reader will hear how the bomb, the H bomb, spies, the space race, U2 spy planes, nuclear armed russian subs, and missiles in Cuba that were literally minutes away from being armed with devastating nuclear warheads all came together to nearly bring human civilization to its knees. Adding to all of this are stories of how incredible mishandling and incredible luck also played huge roles in this incredible story.

So much ground is covered, yet Sheinkin does not linger too long on any event. The writing is to the point, yet covers these events sufficiently. The book never becomes bogged down which left me waiting to see what might be revealed on the next page.  It's a real page turner!

Five stars!  This is a great book.

Thanks to NetGalley, I received an Advanced Reader Copy ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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