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The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages

The Green Glass Sea (original 2006; edition 2008)

by Ellen Klages

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1,0256914,353 (4.1)24
In 1943, eleven-year-old Dewey Kerrigan lives with her scientist father in Los Alamos, New Mexico, as he works on a top secret government program, and befriends an aspiring artist who is a misfit just like her.
Title:The Green Glass Sea
Authors:Ellen Klages
Info:Puffin (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages (Author) (2006)


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This is a slow and sad family drama played against the backdrop of Los Alamos - from the point of view of two of the children of scientists working on the "Gadget" in 1945. It's strange to be more aware of the layer of horror than the characters are, especially the children who are somewhat kept in the dark. Oppenheimer and Feinman make cameo appearances. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
It is 1943 and eleven-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is travelling to New Mexico to live with her father. She was living with her Nana, who had a stroke and can't take care of Dewey anymore. Her father is a mathematician working for the government, her mother hasn't been in Dewey's life since she was two.

Los Alamos is the place they will live. It does exist, but not on any map or to the outside world. It is a high security place, where all the adults are working on a secret project nicknamed the 'gadget.' Every resident has to have a pass to enter or leave; can't discuss where they live when they go into town or what they do.

Dewey isn't the usual type of girl, interested in fashion, boys and movie stars. Her father is a mathematician who started teaching her early on. Dewey is interested in inventing things mechanical or electrical. She is perfectly fine spending time alone as she hasn't had a traditional family life.

Suze Gordon is the only child of Terry and Phil Gordon, another scientist couple. Suze is a bit loud and big for her age. She wants to be accepted by the popular girls, but they don't seem to be interested.

The two girls are in the same class and know each other, but that is about it, until Dewey's father is to go to Washington for work for a few weeks. Terry Gordon offers to take Dewey in till her father returns. When Suze finds out she will be sharing her room with Dewey, she is not happy to say the least.

The story tells of the girls and the life they have in a place that doesn't exists. It is a dusty and hot place, with a large and beautiful sky, and interesting landscape. As time goes on the two girls learn that each has their own special talents, concerns and fears. They also learn that they can be friends, and that that friendship can become very important.

Reading it, I felt that I was there and could see the story unfold. The time frame was of an era of fear and the unknown. Hitler was in Europe and Japan was on the other side of the U.S. These characters were somewhere in the middle and involved in creating something that might bring and end to all the war madness.

This may have been written for kids, but there is a lot that an adult can enjoy reading. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jan 10, 2019 |
Even in Los Alamos, it's hard growing up a brainy girl. A growing up and making friends story set in an very unique place and time, told with lovely language and attention to detail. ( )
  akaGingerK | Sep 30, 2018 |
I found this book to be a very interesting read, in part because I live near one of the sister sites to Los Alamos. I enjoyed reading about what life was like in the secret government town and the sacrifices that family members made in support of the war effort. I liked how they included some of the moral objections with using the atomic bomb on civilians, which was used only due to the extreme set of circumstances in which the world found itself. I thought the story line flowed well and there was enough background information woven in to understand the story.
  BTPiglet | Jul 17, 2018 |
While her father works on the Manhattan Project, eleven-year-old gadget lover and outcast Dewey Kerrigan lives in Los Alamos Camp, and becomes friends with Suze, another young girl who is shunned by her peers.
  unsoluble | Jan 19, 2018 |
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To Jane Heller, for childhood talks on the shelf and pearls in the creek.

To Delia Sherman, my writing sister, who knows when it's time to send the Goon.

And to my dad, Jack Klages, who lived through the war I've only read about.
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Dewey Kerrigan sits on the concrete front steps of Mrs. Kovack's house in St. Louis, waiting for her father.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In 1943, eleven-year-old Dewey Kerrigan lives with her scientist father in Los Alamos, New Mexico, as he works on a top secret government program, and befriends an aspiring artist who is a misfit just like her.

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