Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nonfiction Wednesday

I'm excited that Alyson Beecher, at Kid Lit Frenzy, is continuing her Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge for the third year in a row.

This isn't a picture book, but I had to tell you about it anyway!

Read this New York Times article about the book and watch a video about the Port Chicago 50:
I've featured Steve Sheinkin on my blog before along with this video, but in case you missed it, this is my favorite Sheinkin video in which he talks about why and how he writes narrative nonfiction.  I'm so glad he does!

Sheinkin never disappoints. This book is an excellent true account of an amazing time in history involving courageous men. This little known story (at least it was to me) of The Port Chicago 50, a group of African American navy men who faced gross discrimination during WWII that resulted in a disaster and then a mutiny conviction, will enrage and shock you. It's unbelievable what African Americans endured, especially fighting for a country who wouldn't give them basic civil rights,  and how brave these men were during that time. Sheinkin grips you with his story-telling abilities and makes you feel great empathy for these men.  Group this book with Tanya Lee Stone's (another favorite nonfiction writer of mine) award-winning books Courage Has No Color - The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers and Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, both true stories of people faced with prejudice and who overcame obstacles.  Now we have to wait for Sheinkin's next book.  I can't wait!


  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing this, Holly. I will be pairing this with our studies of the Massachestts 54th. in our Civil War unit.

  2. I've seen this around, Holly, & really want to read it too. Sheinkin writes so well-love all his books. Thank you!

  3. I also really appreciated learning about this part of our history and what these men faced. Sheinkin is a great nonfiction storyteller and I am glad he shared this particular story since I would likely never have heard of these men otherwise.

  4. Sheinkin is truly talented. I am sadly ignorant of these events. Thanks for sharing this book!

  5. Sheinkin really does an amazing job with his books! I haven't gotten to this one yet, but looks like I need to! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. We are scheduled to read Sheinkin's BOMB for my GatheringReaders book club of young readers at the library in June. Really looking forward to knowing his writing, looks like I have a lot of catching up to do. :)