The Bomb

Written by Theodore Taylor
Review by Patrika Salmon

This is not an easy book to read, although it is meant for teenagers. Taylor was present at Bikini Atoll for the first atomic bomb test, and he says he found it really difficult to write about it even after fifty years. You can see why as you follow the story of Sorry Rinamu and his family, forced, with their whole village, off their home island, Bikini Atoll. Their attempts to stop being moved and then to prevent the bomb being dropped are heart-wrenching.

The book is simply written, with no sermons or raging speeches by the author; the reader is allowed to see and understand as Sorry sees and understands. This makes their uprooting, and the lying promise about a return in two years, all the more poignant. As a history lesson the book is superb. As a demonstration of the racism, lying, and bullying by large nations of smaller ones in the 1950s, it is shamefully truthful. Whilst it would be a good history text, and is excellent young adult reading, this novel should be recommended reading for anyone who is not old enough to remember the first atomic bomb test and all the people who suffered as a result of it. Ages 12 and up.