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Full body burden: growing up in the nuclear shadow of Rocky Flats

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Publisher:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Language:
English
Reading Level:
IL: UG - BL: 7 - AR Pts: 21
Lexile measure:
1030L
Description

Full Body Burden is a haunting work of narrative nonfiction about a young woman, Kristen Iversen, growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated "the most contaminated site in America." It's the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and--unknown to those who lived there--tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium. It's also a book about the destructive power of secrets--both family and government. Her father's hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what was made at Rocky Flats (cleaning supplies, her mother guessed)--best not to inquire too deeply into any of it. But as Iversen grew older, she began to ask questions. She learned about the infamous 1969 Mother's Day fire, in which a few scraps of plutonium spontaneously ignited and--despite the desperate efforts of firefighters--came perilously close to a "criticality," the deadly blue flash that signals a nuclear chain reaction. Intense heat and radiation almost melted the roof, which nearly resulted in an explosion that would have had devastating consequences for the entire Denver metro area. Yet the only mention of the fire was on page 28 of the Rocky Mountain News , underneath a photo of the Pet of the Week. In her early thirties, Iversen even worked at Rocky Flats for a time, typing up memos in which accidents were always called "incidents." And as this memoir unfolds, it reveals itself as a brilliant work of investigative journalism--a detailed and shocking account of the government's sustained attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic and radioactive waste released by Rocky Flats, and of local residents' vain attempts to seek justice in court. Here, too, are vivid portraits of former Rocky Flats workers--from the healthy, who regard their work at the plant with pride and patriotism, to the ill or dying, who battle for compensation for cancers they got on the job. Based on extensive interviews, FBI and EPA documents, and class-action testimony, this taut, beautifully written book promises to have a very long half-life.

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ISBN:
9780307955630
9780307955647
030795563
Reading Level:
UG
Level 7, 21 Points
Lexile measure:
1030L
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 43bc6c5c-40df-87a0-4b3d-ff031004a898
Grouping Title full body burden growing up in the nuclear shadow of rocky flats
Grouping Author iversen kristen
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2020-10-24 23:31:13PM
Last Indexed 2020-10-25 00:38:00AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level UG
accelerated_reader_point_value 21
accelerated_reader_reading_level 7
auth_author2 Iversen, Kristen.
author Kristen Iversen
author2-role Iversen, Kristen.
author_display Iversen, Kristen
available_at_school Cane Ridge High
Head Magnet Middle
MLK Jr. Magnet
McGavock High
collection_school Biography
Non-Fiction
detailed_location_school Cane Ridge High - Teen Non-Fiction
Head Middle Magnet - Teen Non-Fiction
MLK Jr. Magnet - Teen Biography
McGavock High - Teen Biography
display_description

"An intimate and deeply human memoir that shows why we should all be concerned about nuclear safety, and the dangers of ignoring science in the name of national security."—Rebecca Skloot, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

A shocking account of the government's attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic waste released by a secret nuclear weapons plant in Colorado and a community's vain search for justice—soon to be a feature documentary
Kristen Iversen grew up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated "the most contaminated site in America." Full Body Burden is the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and—unknown to those who lived there—tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium. It's also a book about the destructive power of secrets—both family and government. Her father's hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what was made at Rocky Flats—best not to inquire too deeply into any of it. But as Iversen grew older, she began to ask questions and discovered some disturbing realities.
Based on extensive interviews, FBI and EPA documents, and class-action testimony, this taut, beautifully written book is both captivating and unnerving.

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publishDate 2012
record_details
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ils:CARL0000391957 Book Books 1st ed. English Crown Publishers, c2012. 400 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
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subject_facet Iversen, Kristen
Jefferson County (Colo.) -- Biography
Nuclear weapons plants -- Health aspects -- Colorado
Plutonium -- Health aspects -- Colorado
Radioactive pollution -- Colorado -- Jefferson County
Radioactive waste sites -- Cleanup -- Colorado
Rocky Flats Plant (U.S.) -- Environmental aspects
Rocky Flats Plant (U.S.) -- Health aspects
Rocky Flats Plant (U.S.) -- History
title_display Full body burden : growing up in the nuclear shadow of Rocky Flats
title_full Full Body Burden Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats
Full body burden : growing up in the nuclear shadow of Rocky Flats / Kristen Iversen
title_short Full body burden :
title_sub growing up in the nuclear shadow of Rocky Flats
topic_facet Biography & Autobiography
Cleanup
Environmental aspects
Health aspects
History
Iversen, Kristen
Nonfiction
Nuclear weapons plants
Plutonium
Radioactive pollution
Radioactive waste sites
Sociology