The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages (Viking) is the winner of the 2007 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. The award is presented to a children's or young adult book published in English by a U.S. publisher and set in the Americas. A standing committee (Ann Carlson; Hazel Rochman, chair; and Roger Sutton) selects the winner. Established by the late historical fiction writer, Scott O'Dell, the award is administered by his wife, Elizabeth Hall. The author is presented with a $5000 prize.
In November 1943 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan travels west to live with her father in Los Alamos. But what is the mystery about her dad’s war work? What is the top-secret “gadget” he’s working on? She is a budding inventor, and she enjoys all the talk about science and mechanics in the community that includes “Oppie” and other eminent scientists. Her classmates taunt her and call her “Screwy Dewey,” but she makes friends with another outsider. The girls’ daily battles are set against the radio news of war, and as tension builds, readers of this gripping story will discover with Dewey the truth of the secret weapon that will change the world. There’s no sermonizing, and Dewey is no convenient mouthpiece for a history lesson. Instead, Klages gets completely inside her complicated hero to make readers see the world as she sees it: dangerous and unpredictable, and made only partially manageable by science.