The Bastard Brigade by Sam Kean is everything I’ve come to love about Kean revved up a notch. It’s a scientific history through the lens of deep compassion and humanity. It’s blisteringly funny at times, educational, gut wrenching, and hard to put down. It doesn’t tell the story of the American race to get the atomic bomb–though it does give an excellent outline of the characters involved in that–so much as it tells the story of the allies’ struggle to keep the Germans from getting the atom bomb first. You’ll be thinking about the characters: Fermi, Heisenberg, the Curies, Goudschmit long after you finish the book.
This is a traditionally published book, and you may be able to find it at your public library.
P.S. This book does some justice to the Norwegian resistance’s struggles at Vemork, but for a deeper, just as thrilling look at those adventures, I cannot recommend The Winter Fortress enough.