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Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles
Cover of Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles
Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles
America's First Black Paratroopers
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They became America's first black paratroopers. Why was their story never told? Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone reveals the history of the Triple Nickles during World War II. World War II is raging,...
They became America's first black paratroopers. Why was their story never told? Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone reveals the history of the Triple Nickles during World War II. World War II is raging,...
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  • They became America's first black paratroopers. Why was their story never told? Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone reveals the history of the Triple Nickles during World War II. World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, the injustice of discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Enlisted black men are segregated from white soldiers and regularly relegated to service duties. At Fort Benning, Georgia, First Sergeant Walter Morris's men serve as guards at The Parachute School, while the white soldiers prepare to be paratroopers. Morris knows that for his men to be treated like soldiers, they have to train and act like them, but would the military elite and politicians recognize the potential of these men as well as their passion for serving their country?

    Tanya Lee Stone examines the role of African Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America's first black paratroopers, who fought in a little-known attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of Morris, "proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability."

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Tanya Lee Stone is the Robert F. Sibert Award–winning author of Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream. Her latest book, Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles was a 2014 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist.


    I grew up on the beach on Long Island Sound, so tide pools and jetties were my playground. I always read a ton of books, and would take out more than I could carry from the library on the weekends. My dad is a professor and writer and my mom was an elementary-school librarian, so books were everywhere in our house. My dad built me a kid-size reading loft only I could climb up to—I spent hours up there! In high school, I studied music at a performing arts high school. In college I was an English major at Oberlin, which gave me the perfect excuse to spend all my time reading and writing. And after college I was an editor until I moved to Vermont in 1996 and became a writer.


    I love to write stories about ordinary people who do extraordinary things and shine the light on their little-known stories. Change happens slowly, many times because people quietly push through barriers and move things forward until—bam!— someone else makes a big splash. But headline-makers often stand on the shoulders of those who first paved the way for them to follow. You can read about some of these trailblazers in my books Almost Astronauts and Courage Has No Color.

    Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:

    1. If I had to choose a different job, I would want to be on Broadway, singing in a musical!
    2. I have climbed into a tank of harbor seals wearing thigh-high rubber boots in order to help a veterinarian give some friendly harbor seals an annual exam— all in the name of research.They are cute, but they will bite for food!
    3. I have a mini-poodle named Barney who likes to climb in between my pillows when he naps during the day.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 12, 2012
    Stone (Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream) opens with an enticing question, “What is it like to jump out of an airplane?” The answer, which lets readers imagine doing just that as a paratrooper, will immediately draw them into this thorough story of the U.S. military’s first black paratroopers. More than just an account of their endeavors during WWII, the narrative takes on a broader perspective as it contextualizes the story of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Set against the entrenched racism of the 1940s, the nine chapters include asides about media stereotypes regarding African-Americans and how photographs of black soldiers were often left out of the military record. Myriad quotations from personal interviews and more than 100 b&w photos reveal the heroism and perseverance of these groundbreaking men. While they didn’t see combat (they were instead sent out West to become smoke jumpers), Stone’s final chapters reveal how the Triple Nickles’ service helped integrate both the military and society at large. A captivating look at a small but significant piece of military and civil rights history. Ages 10–up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio.

  • DOGO Books Susan Bartle - Well done, read the author's "behind the story" before you read this book. You will find out so much interesting information as you take a look at the whole book before you read it. Check out the index, table of contents, dedication, etc... A wonderful addition from Tanya Lee Stone winner of the Sibert Award for "Almost Astronauts"
  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from January 1, 2013

    Gr 5 Up-A moving, thoughtful history of the the United States military's first black paratrooper unit. During World War II, African American soldiers were mostly relegated to service and security jobs, generally denied the same training and active-combat positions that were available to their white counterparts. Expertly woven together are two narratives: the large, overarching history of rampant racism in the U.S. military and the smaller, tightly focused account of a group of black soldiers determined to serve their country and demonstrate their value as soldiers. Readers are taken along on the emotional journey with the soldiers as they leapt forward from guard duty at The Parachute School into official paratrooper training, the first of its kind for blacks. They faced multiple setbacks as they encountered discrimination, some justified as "policy" and some that was more personal and insidious. Throughout the book, the courage and strength of these men is evidenced in their tireless quest to be the best at what they do, throwing themselves headlong into sometimes dangerous and terrifying training requirements. The photographs and the design of the book as a whole are a gift to readers. Rich with detail, the pictures not only complement the narrative, but also tell a stirring story of their own, chronicling the triumphs and frustrations of the soldiers as they pursued their dreams. Complete accessibility to a wide range of readers, coupled with expert research and meticulous care, makes this a must-have for any library.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from November 15, 2012
    The fascinating untold story of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, America's first black paratroopers. While white American soldiers battled Hitler's tyranny overseas, African-Americans who enlisted to fight for their country faced the tyranny of racial discrimination on the homefront. Segregated from white soldiers and relegated to service duties and menial tasks, enlisted black men faced what Ashley Bryan calls in the foreword "the racism that was our daily fare at the time." When 1st Sgt. Walter Morris, whose men served as guards at The Parachute School at Fort Benning, saw white soldiers training to be paratroopers, he knew his men would have to train and act like them to be treated like soldiers. Daring initiative and leadership led to the creation of the "Triple Nickles." Defying the deeply ingrained stereotypes of the time, the Triple Nickles proved themselves as capable and tough as any white soldiers, but they were never used in combat, serving instead as smoke jumpers extinguishing Japanese-ignited forest fires in the Pacific Northwest. Stone's richly layered narrative explores the cultural and institutional prejudices of the time as well as the history of African-Americans in the military. Her interviews with veterans of the unit provide groundbreaking insight. Among the archival illustrations in this handsomely designed book are drawings Bryan created while he served in World War II. An exceptionally well-researched, lovingly crafted and important tribute to unsung American heroes. (photographs, chronology, sources note, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles
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America's First Black Paratroopers
Tanya Lee Stone
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Tanya Lee Stone
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