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We All Live in an Atomic Submarine

Let’s Go Aboard an Atomic Submarine

Submitter: Let’s not and say we did!

Holly: Sally and Joey sure look excited for their vacation, though!  Nice cover art.  This children’s book explains what nuclear submarines are and how they work.  Atomic energy was all the rage in the 50’s and 60’s, so kids back then probably loved this kind of thing.  It was probably the equivalent of today’s kids reading about…wait, today’s kids are more interested in playing Atomic Submarine Kill Zone Spectacular for whatever game console they have.  (I made that up – it doesn’t exist!)  Really, though, what IS the use of this book in a public library children’s section now?


0 Responses to We All Live in an Atomic Submarine

  • Nowadays one has to wear a lead apron to get near atomic anything. What did that special film do, anyway?

  • Not a bad subject, especially for any child interested in the Navy, or submarines in general. Or it may be useful if a grade schooler had to do a report on a subject like submarines. I can’t imagine that the subject has changed much since the 1905s as the general principle of nuclear sub design hasn’t changed significantly. But it could be presented in a less dated manner.

  • Ha ha…this one is funny! They look like it isn’t a tour, but rather a vacation. If so, they sure pack light. If not, who needs to take anything on board with them during a tour? And where are their parents–they let any two kids just run through the fusilage?
    And although there is NO danger from the radiation (a-hem)…we’d like you two kids to put these badges on….you know, just in case?! Because although we do not KNOW the unknown event that might occur, we’re pretty darn sure these badges will save you.

  • I’m betting there are still kids who would love this kind of book, though an updated version would be nice. My husband would have devoured this and any similar books as a kid, and I suspect our son will be the same when he’s a bit older.

    LB – the film is to detect your level of radiation exposure. I think that today they have materials that will instantly show your level, rather than needing to be developed after the fact. Much more useful, so you can see immediately if you’ve reached a dangerous level!

  • I’m not sure what the film did, but James Bond had to put one on in The World Is Not Enough when he went into a place where they were disassembling atomic weapons, and that was only made about 10 years ago.

  • And we can read “On the Beach” while on that submarine.

  • I had no idea kids got to vacation on atomic submarines back in the day. Wow. I missed out on all the fun.

  • So did they not have irony back then?

  • Pangolin – They still develop the film after the fact. My husband does research in cellular biology at a cancer research center. He and his co-workers all have those badges that they have to wear when they’re working with radioactive materials. Once a month the strips of film in their badges get developed to check for radiation exposure. I have no idea what they’d do if they turned up higher than normal exposure levels after the fact. They do have a geiger counter in the lab for on-the-spot checks.

  • Believe me, as kids we totally got to visit atomic submarines at certain times. Trust me:


  • They should do a more up-to-date one, although I’m not sure how the tech has changed. As a kid in the late 1980s living near Groton, CT, we definitely went on tours of the decommissioned nuclear subs.

  • Ned R., that was AWESOME.

  • That is so cool. I would have loved to go on a sub like that.

  • Ned! How great is that!?

  • I love looking at Cold War era books. Was there anything in there about politics or about what that sub might have been protecting us from?

  • What’s truly awesome is the boy took his bowling ball, because you know there’s a bowling alley on that atomic sub!

  • When I was chilad, I would have loved a book like that. I was totally into all the uses of atomic energy, radiation, etc when I was about 12 or so…around the year 2000!

    In fact, I would still be mildly interested in a book like this. Children’s books can be very enlightening, even to adults sometimes! It would be great for a beginner’s lesson before moving on to more…age appropriate materials. The tech hasn’t changed too much, so I wouldn’t weed this unless you had something very similar that was more up to date.

  • Michelle was a chilad!

  • I bet there was a Soviet equivalent (currently being updated by Tsar Putin) and a Chinese one. Funny how in free countries we are free to object to having these things, but in authoritarian regimes the people are made out to positively worship their weaponry.

    Next up: “Muhammed and Parsia visit the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy’s latest SSN Imam Khomeini”.

  • I think the relevant question here is why hasn’t anyone made “Atomic Submarine Kill Zone Spectacular” yet. Because if that isn’t the best video game name ever I don’t know what is.

  • The film badge didn’t do anything EXCEPT show if you had been exposed to radiation! This book looks a lot older than 1965. Today’s kids would never get past the front cover.

  • The illos look like they came from the same guy who drew for the “Danny Dunn” series of kids’ books.

  • Sadly all remaining copies have been purchased by Wes Anderson’s props manager

  • I like that you have been adding an inside peek into the books as well. Makes the posts even better.

    Funny enough, I have a collection of similar style books from around the same time.

  • EAG517: They also had radiation badges in “Diamonds Are Forever,” the first James Bond movie where you could tell that Sean Connery was wearing a toupee.

  • @Cobaltnine, we took our son to Groton to see the USS Nautilus in May this year…

  • The badges (dosimeters) get read immediately after any sort of unusual event to determine the extent of exposure and monthly as routine. If you go into an area of known higher background radiation you also wear a second dosimeter that reads instantly as an estimate of your exposure. It gets backed up by the first one. A typical sailor gets a very small amount and much less than a pilot. I used to work on one of these subs and was on an aircraft carrier in the nuclear field as well. It is funny that they’d make something like this into a book for kids. I wonder if they mention the terrible food and weird smell…

  • I have a book that must be from this same series. I bought it because the idea and title kind of cracked me up — Let’s Visit the Sanitation Department! Seriously.

  • My aren’t we all so smug. I’d love to test your ignorance of science topics. Ok, eggheads, tell me about isotopes. Ah, duh. I thought so. The benefits of nuclear power are all around us. It may yet save your bottom–literally in the safe treatment of colon cancer using nuclear medicine. If today’s youngsters even stepped foot in a library they should leran something from the 1950s–kids today are Theodore Sturgeon’s marching morons thanks to a liberal public school system that is more interested in handing out condoms and talking about pseudoscience than in handing out stimulating science books. Today’s librarians need to display books other than “Obama’s New Play House” and “Heather has No Clue Who Her Daddy or Mommy Are”. So shut up and learn something from an era that produced smarter teachers and students than today.

  • Nuclear missile submarines are normal and fun. They keep the Soviets guessing and stop them fooling around with from fooling around with pre-emptive H-bomb strikes. They think H-bombs are fun too! So much so that they spend all their money on them and destroy their Communist state and become cheap capitalists like everyone else. Its a win-win! Where’s my dosimeter?