The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
The Green Glass Sea is a powerful story about fathers and daughters, making friends, being different, growing up. The setting is powerful, too.
Dewey Kerrigan's mom left her and her father when Dewey was very young and she hasn't spent much time with her scientist father either. But now it's 1943, Dewey is 10, and she goes to live with her father in New Mexico, in a place so secret it is not even on any map. Her father is working on a top secret government project with a team of the country's top scientists. They are developing "the gadget," a weapon so terrible that it will put an end to the war.
Dewey is different, especially from the other girls. She likes to make mechanical things; radios, robots and other things made out of gears, springs, wire and nuts and bolts. She has a hard time making friends and the other girls call her Screwey Dewey.
When her father is called away to Washington, she temporarily moves in with Suze and her family. The girls don't get along at first (Suze is so mean, she actually draws a chalk line down the middle of bedroom so that Dewey will stay "on her side"). Gradually, though, they become friends.
As they become more friendly, the story gets more tense as the adults prepare to test "the gadget" and people realize the devestating harm it can cause.
Do you know what "the gadget" is?
I really liked this story and I was amazed to find out about the "green glass sea!" Read it; I think you'll be amazed, too.