In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned three continents. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon.
This is the story of the atomic bomb.
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.
An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin.
I found out last week that my newest book, The Port Chicago 50, was chosen as a finalist for the National Book Award! It’s a huge honor, especially when you look at the other finalists, a serious all-star line-up. In addition to the cool sticker, and getting to go to the black-tie event in NYC in November where they announce the winners, another great thing about this honor is that I get to keep telling the Port Chicago story. Recently I had the opportunity to do an interview about the book on WAMC, a fantastic public radio station in Albany, NY. Here’s a link to the podcast: http://wamc.org/post/port-chicago-50-steve-sheinkin Now, to get that black-tie look… Read the rest…
Yes, it’s true, I used to write history textbooks. But I don’t do that kind of thing anymore, so let’s skip over that particular piece of unpleasantness...
October 23-24 – Forum on Engaged Reading, Deer Valley, UT
October 30 – Saratoga History Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY
I'm really excited to share this little-known World War II civil rights drama. It follows a group of young African American sailors - many of them teenagers - who are assigned to load ammunition at Port Chicago, a segregated naval base in California. But they are never trained to handle ammunition safely, and are constantly being rushed by their officers.
The action begins in October of 1875, as Secret Service agents raid the Fulton, Illinois, workshop of master counterfeiter Ben Boyd. Soon after Boyd is hauled off to prison, members of his counterfeiting ring gather in the back room of a smoky Chicago saloon to discuss how to spring their ringleader. Their plan: Grab Lincoln's body from its Springfield tomb, stash it in the sand dunes near Lake Michigan, and demand, as a ransom, the release of Ben Boyd and $200,000 in cash.
Entire books have been written about the causes of the American Revolution. This isn’t one of them.” What it is, instead, is utterly interesting, antedotes (John Hancock fixates on salmon), from the inside out (at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, hundreds of soldiers plunged into battle “naked as they were born”) close-up narrative filled with little-known details...
Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America’s first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. This accessible biography introduces young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale.