Tuesday, April 7, 2009

White Sands, Red Menace

Klages, Ellen. 2008. WHITE SANDS, RED MENACE. New York: Viking. ISBN 9780670062355 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-7]

Ellen Klages writes about a time in history usually excluded from children’s literature. Based in the post World War II era, the story follows the lives of Dewey, Suze, and the Gordons. Klages includes elements of everyday life which makes the story seem like it could be happening in the present day instead of the past. After Dewey’s father died, she moved in with the Gordons. Dewey tries to find her place in the family, but all of this stability could end with the appearance of her estranged mother. The family moves to Alamogordo, New Mexico and the girls have to start at a new school. The Gordons argue over their jobs. Dr. Gordon spends too much time at work which leads to arguments over what he is doing and their differing beliefs. The author intertwines these ordinary everyday events with the fact that the Gordons are scientists and are shaping history. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy the fact that the author remains historically accurate throughout the book. This book is the sequel to THE GREEN GLASS SEA.

Have a movie night and watch “October Sky.” Build model rockets and have a rocket launch.

Other books about missiles and rockets:
Dartford, Mark. MISSILES AND ROCKETS. ISBN 0822547090
Lampton, Christopher. WERNHER VON BRAUN. ISBN 0531106063

By Jane Jergensen

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