Friday, April 21, 2017

Middle School All Stars Week: The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin

This week, we're highlighting some great picks for middle schoolers, today Maria highlights one of her favorite nonfiction choices:

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

They say truth is more amazing than fiction and the story of the Chicago 50 is one of those cases.  I had never heard of these men before reading Steve Sheinkin’s book.

African American sailors at Port Chicago, a California naval base were assigned the dangerous task of loading explosive weapons onto cargo ships without the proper training and under overloaded work schedules.  When an explosion occurred that killed nearly 300 soldiers in 1944, those left who were assigned to keep loading the ships demanded better training and reduced work hours.  When these demands were not accepted, the men refused to work.  Subsequently they were charged with mutiny, brought to trial and found guilty.  The case became a national news story and eventually the NACCP hired lawyer Thurgood Marshall to defend the sailors.

If you like history and reading about incredible everyday people who stood up and made a difference when faced with injustice, you will like these men’s story and the book will stay with you.

More Like This:

Courage Has No Color: the True Story of the Triple Nickles : America's first Black Paratroopers

by Tanys Lee Stone

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin

March (series) by John Lewis

Two Great Nonfiction Books

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