Two of the finalists for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award.
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin. Roaring Brook Press. 2014. Review copy from publisher.
The story of these fifty men is not just about allegations of mutiny and these fifty individuals; it is also bout the segregation of the Navy and other armed forces before and during World War II and the efforts to end it. It's about just what it meant, to have segregated troops, and institutionalized racism both within and without the armed forces. Segregation and racism, and the actions at Port Chicago and by the sailors, cannot be viewed in isolation of each other.
Laughing at My Nightmare
by Shane Burcaw. Roaring Brook Press. 2014. Review copy from publisher.
While Burcaw's memoir is uniquely about his own experiences, it's also universal. Starting middle school, worrying about making friends, anxious about a first kiss -- Burcaw isn't the first person to worry about these things. Burcaw is funny and blunt: he knows teen readers will wonder "but how does he go to the bathroom?" and so he addresses those questions. And the humor is such that will appeal to a lot of teen readers.
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy