Archive for the ‘Tanya Lee Stone’ Category

CourageThe Triple Nickles were the first Black paratroopers in America. While they did not see combat in World War II, they were instrumental in showing that Black soldiers were equal to White soldiers and, along with a farsighted General, began the process of integrating the U.S. Armed Forces.

Tanya Lee Stone’s latest book, Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers is an immensely readable and enjoyable history of the Triple Nickles, from their humble beginnings (training themselves by performing the same exercies as the White paratrooper soldiers) to becoming a formal unit in the military to being decorated as heroes decades after the war was over.

Unsure what to do with this highly trained group, the Triple Nickles were sent to the Western United States as firejumpers, those firefighters who parachute directly into fires to combat them. This was in response to the Japanese sending balloons laden with bombs across the Pacific with the intent of bombing the U. S. on its own turf. Some did actually land and start forest fires. Firejumping was a new profession in the mid-1940s and the Triple NIckles performed this function with honor. Although it was not fighting Hitler, it was still serving their country.

Courage Has No Color was an eye-opener to me because I never realized the segregation and bigotry that existed in the Armed Forces during W.W. II. Stone’s writing style brings the action and people to life. The extent of her research is obvious in the writing and footnotes. In my mind, Stone, along with Susan Campbell Bartoletti are the two major forces in readable Young Adult non-fiction.

For another eye-opener, read Stone’s previous book, Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream. I couldn’t put either book down. You won’t be disappointed.

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Talk about a book you can’t put down. Courage Has No Color, The True Story Courageof the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone is one such book. Was seriously considering taking some personal time today so I can finish it. It is a wonderful blend of prose and photos, facts and quotes. This is coming from someone who’s not a non-fiction guy.

Read it. That’s all I can say.

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Are you in the mood for just the right amount of magic and puppetry and suspense and thievery? SplendorsAndGloomsIf that’s the case, then you’re in the mood for Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, whose previous book, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village was a Newbery Award winner. Splendors and Gloooms is no slouch either, being a 2013 Newbery Honor Book.

Since I’m having trouble these days describing books, I’ll take the description off of the Association for Library Services to Children website: “Lizzie Rose, Parsefall and Clara are caught in the clutches of a wicked puppeteer and a powerful witch in this deliciously dark and complex tale set in Dickensian England, where adventure and suspense are interwoven into nuanced explorations of good versus evil.” It is deliciously dark and scary. You can feel the London fog wherever Lizzie Rose and Parsefall travel.

Parsefall is the perfect Dickensian ragamuffin and Lizzie Rose is his prim and proper, although poor, partner in crime, both dominated by greasy, master puppeteer Grisini–a perfect name for him. When these three perform at Clara’s twelfth birthday party and she  disappears soon thereafter, the plot thickens. How the bigger than life Cassandra, the powerful witch in her remote castle, enters into the story is for readers to find out. Even Ruby the spaniel is adorable.

Readers will feel like they are living through an 1860s London winter.They’ll certainly feel like they are part of the story, not merely reading it. They might find themselves shouting out loud, “No Parsefall, don’t do that!” or “Watch out. Grisini’s hiding there!” Even I was afraid of Grisini.

My daughter recommended this book to me, before it was voted an honor book, indicating her good taste in books. For some reason, Splendors and Glooms, to me, was a middle school version of Night Circus because they had that same foggy aura (although their subjects are somewhat different).

So, my 2013 has started off with a bang. I’ve finished Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool and now Splendors and Glooms. Next up is Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone which is getting great reviews and The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver which has gotten great reviews. And then coming down the pike soon is Beth Kephart’s Dr. Radway’s Sarsaparilla Resolvent, a prequel to Dangerous Neighbors. I know, also, that Susan Campbel Bartoletti’s new book, Down the Rabbit Hole: The Diary of Pringle Rose, is due out in March.  If my reading keeps up at this pace, 2013 is going to be a banner year.

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