Non-Fiction Book Review + GIVEAWAY: BOMBS OVER BIKINI, by Connie Goldsmith

Bombs Over Bikini CoverFavorite quote, which happens to be the opening line: “As soon as the war ended, we located the one place on Earth that hadn’t been touched by war and blew it hell.” – Bob Hope, US Comedian, and Author, 1947.

I haven’t been this moved by a non-fiction book in a long time.

I first heard of the bombings in the Marshall Islands when I was a teenager living in France, through Greenpeace activism. Indeed, the association’s members regularly made the news, both in print and on television, by their protests at various nuclear sites and arrests. Those actions consequently got the word out about the cause they were fighting for.

BOMBS OVER BIKINI, written by Connie Goldsmith and released in January 2014 by Twenty-First Century Books (a division of Lerner Publishing Group), boldly revisits a series of events that took place in the Marshall Islands shortly after World War II, and explains the reality behind the experiments performed to extensively understand the use of the then newly created nuclear bombs. The events took place during the Cold War, and the book focuses on the U.S. Nuclear Testing Program that ran from 1946 until 1958.

Underwater H BombDo you know the difference between a fission and a fusion bomb?

How were animals treated during those experiments? And humans?

Was an entire population, the Rongelapese, purposely sacrificed and used as “human lab rats” by the American government and military to study the effect of the H-bomb? What is their living situation today?

A great read for both upper-graders and adults, BOMBS OVER BIKINI answers all these questions, and more. The tests performed in the Marshall Islands were over the course of only 12 years, and equated to unleashing several thousands Hiroshima bombs in that paradisiac part of the world. The exact number of bombs detonated (see page 67) is likely to surprise you.

My opinion
The book is both gripping and horrifying. I command Connie Goldsmith for her writing skills. Indeed, with BOMBS OVER BIKINI she created page turner, a non-fiction book that reads a bit like a fiction thriller. I couldn’t put it down, and I therefore highly recommenend it. We cannot afford to not know, or forget or overlook the mistakes and sacrifices of so many of our peers.

About the Author
Connie Goldsmith_MediumConnie Goldsmith is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a master of public administration degree in healthcare. She has, at the date of publication of this review, 15 non-fiction books and over 200 articles published, mostly on health and history topics. A member of the Authors Guild and an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Connie writes for children and adults. She is currently working on several non-fiction and fiction projects.

Additional information and notable mentions:
o BOMBS OVER BIKINI Website
o Junior Library Guild Selection for 2014
o Recommended by the National Science Teachers Association and featured on its website in February 2014.
o Find the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore.
o Connie Goldsmith Website
o Follow Connie on Twitter

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
To win an autographed copy of BOMBS OVER BIKINI:
1- Leave a comment. Add your twitter handle if you have one, and nominate a school library. If you win, the school library you picked will also receive a copy.
2- Share the review on Twitter and/or Facebook, or any other social media, a blog if you have one. Use the hashtags #BombsOverBikini and #MulticulturalismRocks.

The winner will be selected via random.org, and announced on Friday, May 9, 2014. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. Good luck!

For up-to-date information on cultural diversity in children’s book and other media, join the network on Multiculturalism Rocks! Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter.

Non-Fiction Review: BATTLING MALARIA, by Connie Goldsmith

You tell me. Shall I feel guilty regarding what I’m about to write? 😀 Because, *cough*, a short piece of my history is featured in today’s book spotlight. My disease history, that is. My dealing with Malaria as a kid.

‘Nuf about me. Let’s get to the heart of BATTLING MALARIA, written by medical expert Connie Goldsmith, and published in 2010 by Twenty-First Century Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc. I’ve read quite a few books about malaria, also known as paludisme in French speaking countries, and in all seriousness Connie Goldsmith’s book is useful on so many levels:

Reason #1
The book explains clearly, in simple words what that disease is. Did you know that King Tut died of malaria? And why is malaria such a big deal? Let’s read together an excerpt from the book cover: “In North America, mosquitoes bites are only a nuisance. But in areas such as Africa and South East Asia, the bites can be deadly. There, many mosquitoes transmit a disease called malaria–and malaria can be a killer. In Africa, one child dies of malaria every thirty seconds. Worldwide, more than one million people die of malaria each year. What can be done to stop this global killer?

Reason #2
The book’s structure, served by an enticing writing, completed with pictures and graph cycles. If you’ve never seen a kid read a non-fiction book from front cover to the last page, try putting this one into his hands. Battling Malaria opens with the disease’s history: we learn about it through ancient Egypt, ancient Romans until the present days. It’s oddly fascinating. We get to understand why the disease is at the forefront of joined medical efforts, why it’s once again spreading so quickly. We read about its direct impact on poverty, about mosquitoes’ lives–what they eat, how they transmit the disease, etc… Then there is the diagnosis process. One of my favorite parts was learning what can be done, seeing how kids can get involved in helping the fight against that deadly disease. The book obviously does wonders in the classroom.

Reason #3
You’re dreaming of taking this vacation trip to a tropical island; or you’re about to volunteer abroad, or you are sending a dear one–or an archenemy to Cameroon (now that would be wonderful. Let me know if you do! *grin*), I recommend not taking action without reading Battling Malaria

About the author
Connie Goldsmith is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and master of public health administration degree in health care. In addition to writing several nonfiction books for middle-school and upper-grade readers, Goldsmith has also published more than two hundred magazine articles, mostly on health topics for adults and children. She writes a children’s book review column for a regional parenting magazine in Sacramento, California, where she lives.

Connie Goldsmith Links
o Connie’s Website
o Connie’s blog (so excellent! All about health and kids)
o Facebook

Thank you all for reading! Now, I’m curious to know about the latest non-fiction book you’ve read…