Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Port Chicago 50

The Port Chicago 50

Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

Steve Sheinkin

Square Fish

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National Book Awards Finalist

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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.

The Port Chicago 50 is a fascinating story of the prejudice and injustice 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.

This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum, including history and social studies.

Steve Sheinkin is the acclaimed author of many nonfiction works, including The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, Newbery Honor Book and National Book Award Finalist Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, and National Book Award finalist Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War.

“Sheinkin delivers another meticulously researched WWII story, one he discovered while working on his Newbery Honor book, Bomb. . . . 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.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

ALA Notable Children's Books, Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, Boston Globe - Horn Book Award, Iowa Teen Award Master List, YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist, School Library Best Books of the Year, IRA Teachers' Choices, Boston Book Review - Winner, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, National Book Awards - Longlist, NYTBR Notable Children's BOTY, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, NCSS-CBC NotableTrade-Soc.Stdy, National Book Awards Finalist, Amazon.com Best Books of the Year, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year

EXCERPT

FIRST HERO


HE WAS GATHERING dirty laundry when the bombs started falling.
It was early on the morning of December 7, 1941, at the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Mess Attendant Dorie Miller had just gone on...

Reviews

Praise for The Port Chicago 50

“An impressive work and an inspiring one.” —The New York Times

“Sheinkin lets the participants tell the story, masterfully lacing the narrative with extensive quotations drawn from oral histories.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Sheinkin's narrative shines.” —Booklist, starred review

“Through effective research, Sheinkin re-creates a story that remains largely unknown to many Americans, and is one of the many from World War II about segregation and race that is important to explore with students.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Sheinkin delivers another meticulously researched WWII story, one he discovered while working on his Newbery Honor book, Bomb....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.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Sheinkin follows Bomb (rev. 11/12) with an account of another aspect of the Second World War, stemming from an incident that seems small in scope but whose ramifications would go on to profoundly change the armed forces and the freedom of African Americans to serve their country.” —The Horn Book

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Steve Sheinkin

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of fast-paced, cinematic histories for young readers. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, was included on the National Book Award Long List and received the 2014 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, won both the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and the YALSA award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon was a Newbery Honor Book, a National Book Award Finalist, and winner of the Sibert Award and YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War was a National Book Award Finalist and a finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and two children.

Steve Sheinkin

From the Publisher

Square Fish

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