And Then the Sky Exploded


When Christian learns his great-grandfather helped build the A-bombs dropped on Japan, he wants to make amends … somehow.

While attending the funeral of his great-grandfather, ninth-grader Christian Larkin learns that the man he loved and respected was a member of the Manhattan Project, the team that designed and created the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during the Second World War.

On a school trip to Japan, Chris meets eighty-one-year-old Yuko, who was eleven when the first bomb exploded over Hiroshima, horribly injuring her. Christian is determined to do something to make up for what his great-grandfather did. But after all this time, what can one teenager really do? His friends tell him it’s a stupid idea, that there’s nothing he can do. And maybe they’re right.

But maybe, just maybe … they’re wrong.


Dewey Divas and the Dudes Fall 2016 Picks


Poulsen’s latest is a great read.

Quill & Quire

★ This memorable addition to Hiroshima literature should resonate with readers.

Booklist (starred review)

Yuko’s story and her meeting with Christian are worth reading and can start the conversation with young readers about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Kirkus Reviews

A compelling story with strong characters whom the reader will find believable as well as likeable.

VOYA Magazine

A great novel to begin the dialogue about nuclear disarmament, the realities of warfare, and the role of the individual in the global village.

Resource Links

A powerful story about forgiveness, healing and coming to terms with the sins of the past.

Canadian Children’s Book News

About the Author

David A. Poulsen

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014

David A. Poulsen

David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, and actor, who spends eighty to one hundred days each year as a visiting author in schools across Canada. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Old Man, which was short-listed for the Forest of Reading White Pine award, and Numbers which won the Sakura Medal in Japan. He lives in the foothills west of Claresholm, Alberta.