The atomic bomb remains perhaps one of the most brilliant and most heinous inventions of the human race, and the issues surrounding its creation, in science, politics, and war are the focus of this cautionary tale. Jim Ottaviani, a science Academic librarian, has ably traced the beginnings of the race to capture the secret of the atom through to the triumph and tragedy of the atom bomb’s first test. Ottaviani excels at portraying the men involved, including Enrico Fermi, Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr, and Richard Feynman. However, this story focuses on the leader of them all, Los Alamos director Robert Oppenheimer, a fine scientist and a persuasive and diplomatic middle-man between the group of scientists and the military. The success of these scientists’ creation is certainly double-edged, and Oppenheimer himself was scrutinized and persecuted over questions of his loyalty to the U.S. The artwork is by a number of fine creators, all in elegant black and white, though Oppenheimer’s interrogation at the finish is formatted in an unfortunately confusing manner. This title remains powerful look at a defining moment of the 20th century, provoking the reader to question invention at all costs and voicing a very simply warning: just because we can do something doesn’t always mean that we should.

Fallout: Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and the Political Science of the Atomic Bomb
ISBN: 9780966010633
by Jim Ottaviani
Art by Janine Johnston, Chris Kemple, Steve Lieber, Vince Locke, Bernie Mireault, Eddy Newell, Jeff Parker, Tom Orzechowski, Nate Pride
GT Labs 2001

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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