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    Required Reading | January 16, 2015

    Required Reading: Books That Changed Us



    We tend to think of reading as a cerebral endeavor, but every once in a while, it can spur action. The following books — ranging from... Continue »

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The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

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The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin.

On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.

This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.

Review:

"Sheinkin delivers another meticulously researched WWII story, one he discovered while working on his Newbery Honor book, Bomb. The accidental explosion at Port Chicago, a California Navy base where African-American servicemen loaded ammunition onto ships, killed more than 300 soldiers and injured nearly 400. The author carefully details how this long-forgotten event from 1944 was pivotal in helping end segregation in the military. Though not as fast-paced as Bomb, the dialogue-laden narrative draws heavily on past interviews with the servicemen, telling the story from their perspective. Ordered to load ammunition without proper training — and often in a competitive atmosphere fostered by their white officers — 50 African-American sailors refused to return to the same work after the disaster. Readers get a front-row seat at their mutiny trial through myriad trial transcript excerpts. Tried and convicted, their convictions still stand today despite efforts to expunge the now-deceased men's records. Archival photos appear throughout, and an extensive bibliography, source notes, and index conclude this gripping, even horrific account of a battle for civil rights predating Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. Ages 10 — 14. Agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. (Jan.) â–" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Steve Sheinkin  is the award-winning author of several fascinating books on American history, including The Notorious Benedict Arnold, which won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction, and received three starred reviews; and Bomb, a National Book Award finalist and recipient of five starred reviews. He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596437968
Author:
Sheinkin, Steve
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
History - Military & Wars
Subject:
Children s Nonfiction-US History
Subject:
Children s Nonfiction-World History
Edition Description:
Middle-Grade Nonfiction
Publication Date:
20140131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 5 up to 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
black and white photos throughout
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 10 up to 14

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Related Subjects

Children's » History » United States » General
Children's » History » World History
Children's » Nonfiction » African American Studies
Children's » Nonfiction » US History
Children's » Nonfiction » World Cultures
Children's » Nonfiction » World History » General
Children's » People and Cultures
Young Adult » Nonfiction » History and Sociology
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Teen Issues

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.99 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Roaring Brook Press - English 9781596437968 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Sheinkin delivers another meticulously researched WWII story, one he discovered while working on his Newbery Honor book, Bomb. The accidental explosion at Port Chicago, a California Navy base where African-American servicemen loaded ammunition onto ships, killed more than 300 soldiers and injured nearly 400. The author carefully details how this long-forgotten event from 1944 was pivotal in helping end segregation in the military. Though not as fast-paced as Bomb, the dialogue-laden narrative draws heavily on past interviews with the servicemen, telling the story from their perspective. Ordered to load ammunition without proper training — and often in a competitive atmosphere fostered by their white officers — 50 African-American sailors refused to return to the same work after the disaster. Readers get a front-row seat at their mutiny trial through myriad trial transcript excerpts. Tried and convicted, their convictions still stand today despite efforts to expunge the now-deceased men's records. Archival photos appear throughout, and an extensive bibliography, source notes, and index conclude this gripping, even horrific account of a battle for civil rights predating Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. Ages 10 — 14. Agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. (Jan.) â–" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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