Taylor's Novel The Bomb

Taylor's Novel The Bomb

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The terror of nuclear war, the fright of your home being destroyed before your eyes. This was what was facing 16 year old Sorry Rinamu in the novel The Bomb by Theodore Taylor. This historical fiction deals with the problems of Sorry and his small island facing the control of Japan and needs of the United States.
The Bomb takes place on the small island of Bikini Atoll after World War II in the year 1946. Being located in the west Pacific led to problems with Japan. This island was under Japanese control during World War II, until the Americans freed them. Glad to be out of Japanese control, the Islanders are happy, until the United States needs to do something even more devastating then Japan ever did.
The Bomb starts off when the Japanese are occupying Bikini Atoll during World War II. The islanders see the American jets and celebrate, maybe it will mean their freedom soon. The Japanese were scared that the Americans would find and free the tiny island, so they had the island in complete darkness at night. The islanders remained calm until they could be freed, though.
Finally, it happened. Sorry, his mother, grandmother, sister, and teacher Tara, heard ships. The voices on the ships were not that of the conquering Japanese, though. The voices were of Americans. They ran to the shore to greet the Americans. They thought of this to be the end of the pain the island had under the Japanese.
Soon after being freed, Sorry and his uncle Abram heard the news on the radio. The Japanese have been crippled. "The Americans have invented a terrible new bomb. They dropped it on Hiroshima, a city in Japan, this morning. The Japanese are saying that thousands are dead. The whole city has been destroyed. One bomb. Just one bomb…" The uneasy feeling on the bomb was about to get worse.
The Americans came back to the island. They wanted to test the atomic bomb on the island. They forced the natives to move to an island south of Bikini. This did not make the natives happy, they didn't want to lose there island.
While they were getting ready to move, Abram got paint to mark the posts of the buildings.

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However, he had a plan. He used the paint to paint a boat red, he thought if they saw a boat in the water, they wouldn't bomb the island. However, he suddenly died before he could run the plan. This left Sorry to continue the plan.
They went out, Sorry, Tara, and Jonjen in the boat to save the island. They wondered if it would stop. They tried to save the island. Their effort didn't stop them though, the bomb was dropped. "Its killing has only begun."
The main conflict in The Bomb was between Sorry and the Americans who wanted to drop the Atomic Bomb. It was a pretty basic conflict, the Americans wanted to test the bomb, and sorry didn't want them to drop it. The conflict, however, wasn't completely solved. Sorry did stand up to the bomb, but it didn't stop it. As the book said its killing has only begun."
One of the main characters was Sorry Rinamu. Through out the book, he became a stronger person. He had just turned 14 in the beginning, the time of being a man in their culture. He changed into a curious person, wanted to learn about the Americans, the atomic bomb and also became more of a leader. After his uncle died, he took over his plan. He stood up to the bomb, showing the courage and leadership he had gained over the story.
Tara was also a character that changed in the book. She was a smart person and good with other people, teaching them things from the outside world. She became one of the islanders with the more time she spent on the island, though. She went from being a teacher to one of the ones standing up to the bomb in the boat.
"The light from a million suns flashed over the lagoon, then there was a clap of thunder so loud that it burst eardrums. A second later, Sorry, Tara, and Jonjen seemed to be encased in shining glass, wearing skins of glass…. The Able bomb had spent its energy, had spewed its poison. Its killing had only begun."(Taylor 57)
That is the most important quote in the book. It shows the power of the bomb as well as the courage of the people who stood up against it, basically summarizing the conflict in the book. The quote is trying to get across a couple things. It shows the power that technology can bring, but it also shows the grit and determination of people who want to save their home.
If there were two essay questions for The Bomb, I would have them be:
1. Do you think the United States was justified in making the
people leave and testing the atom bomb on the island? Explain.
2. If it was your hometown that was going to be bombed, would you stand up like sorry did? Why?

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic books as opposed to fantasy books. It was well written but kind of dry at parts. It does tell some factual information about the atom bomb and the testing as well as the story of people fighting for there home. If you are more history based books, I would highly recommend this, otherwise, it might be a little dry for your tastes. I give it 2 stars.
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