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.
Well, I never really like watching myself on video. I recently read that Richard Nixon felt the same way, if that’s any consolation. I find listening to myself on the radio is a bit easier, though it always seems to me that I don’t really sound like me. Anyway, here are a couple of Port Chicago 50 related links. The first one is to a reading I did at the National Book Awards in New York City. The great thing about this link is that it takes you to a site where you can watch readings from all 20 finalists. The second link is to an interview about the book on WAMC, a great pubic radio station based in… 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...
January 12–13, School visits, Dallas, TX
January 23, School visits, Nashville, TN
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.