This feels like a very traditional middle grade reader. Lovable characters, Suze and Dewey are outcasts who dislike each other from the start, but grow to be friends. Girls who think maybe they've gotten the short end of the stick by being girls. Absent parents who are (mostly) just trying their hardest. Death of a loved one. All cliches.
On the other hand this is a unique book in terms of setting. How many books do you know about the children of the people working on the Manhattan Project?
A few oddities:
- According to the Timex website the first wristwatch to bear the Timex name wasn't produced until 1950. But one of the characters was wearing one in 1944. . .
- No mention of anything puberty related, makes the characters feel like they're closer to eight than twelve
- The name dropping of brands felt forced to me, rather than evocative of the time