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The Green Glass Sea Extension Activity

Use the activities that follow to get more out of the experience of reading The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages. Created by the Scholastic Book Clubs.

Book Summary
It's 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west to live with her scientist father. No one, neither her father nor the military guardians who accompany her, will tell her exactly where she is going. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: her father is working on a top-secret government program. In Los Alamos, Dewey gets to know eminent scientists, starts tinkering with her own mechanical projects, and becomes friends with a budding artist who is as much of a misfit as she is. All the while, she has no idea how the Manhattan Project her father is working on is about to change the world. This book's fresh prose and fascinating subject make it unlike anything you've read before.

Author Information
Ellen Klages lives in San Francisco, California. Her story "Basement Magic" won the Nebula Award for Best Novelette in 2005. Her short fiction has been published widely, and she is a graduate of the Clarion South writing workshop. Ellen also serves on the Motherboard of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award ( When she's not writing fiction, she collects old toys and sells them on eBay. She is currently working on a sequel to The Green Glass Sea. Visit her at

1. Reread the letter on page 190 that Jimmy Kerrigan writes to Dewey from Washington, D.C. Then reread the passage on page 199 in which Dewey explains to Suze what the letter really says. Exchange letters with a classmate, using a code like the one Jimmy Kerrigan used. See if you can break your classmate's code. What information did you try to pass along in secret?

2. Using descriptions from the text, draw a map of the Hill. Include as many places as you can remember from the book. Possible locations to plot on your map might be the Tech PX, the dump, Morganville, and the tree house. Make sure to include a legend for your map. Then, compare your map with a classmate's map. How are the maps similar? How are they different?

3. Dewey and Suze like to read comic books. Some of their favorite characters are Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and Captain America. Use a blank sheet of paper and colored pencils or crayons to create your own comic book hero or heroine. Give your character a name. What special powers does he or she have?
References to comic books and comic book characters can be found on pages 87, 151, 181, 195, 202, 242, and 257.

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