This is the true story of a group of African-Americans serving in the deeply segregated U.S. Navy during World War II. At the naval base in Port Chicago, California, black soldiers were required to load volatile explosives onto ships with no training about proper handling or understanding of safety protocol. No white sailors or officers were expected to do such dangerous work. Unsurprisingly, there was eventually a devastating explosion that killed and wounded numerous men on the base, most of whom were black. After several weeks, when the remaining sailors were ordered to begin loading explosives again, they refused and were accused of mutiny.
Why It's Worth Reading:
How intriguing is a story about mutiny? Or about a group of underdogs standing up for their beliefs? This is a landmark event in U.S. history, one that stimulated change in the Navy's policies about the segregation of soldiers, but many are unaware of it. It is a quick and exciting read that totally grabbed my attention like a great piece of fiction, but taught me some incredible lessons as well. If those reasons aren't enough, it's got a 1 in 5 chance of winning the YALSA Nonfiction Award this year and it won the National Book Award for YA last year. Who doesn't love an award winner?
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Awards: YALSA Nonfiction Finalist 2015, Library Journal Best Book of 2014, National Book Award 2014
Do We Own a Copy?: 2!