I managed to read two n-f books, two I'm sure that one of you, or more, have shared and that's why I ordered them from the library. I'm very happy I did! Both are worth more than a look!
Barbed Wire Baseball - written by Marissa Moss and illustrated by Yuko Shimizu
It's a wonderful thing to discover so many kinds of heroes in the recent numerous picture book biographies. We've learned about sports heroes, adventurers, visual and musical artists, women who defied the usual stereotypes, and stories about writers, much in these past few years.
This time, Marissa Moss has researched a baseball player who didn't let his enthusiasm for the game stop him from playing baseball, even in an internment camp for the Japanese during World War II. Though quite short, Kenichi "Zeni" Zenimura was already known as an accomplished player when his family was put into a camp. With much hope and determination, he managed to build a real baseball field in the Arizona desert. He organized teams, even built bleachers for the fans! It's an inspiring story told here, and the illustrations by Yuko Shimizu are marvelous, big and bold, flashy and action-filled, like baseball. Don't miss sharing this with students. They need to hear of people who do great things, even behind barbed wire! There is extended back matter and a good bibliography included.
Henry Knox, Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot - written by Anita Silvey and paintings by Wendell Minor
For those studying the American Revolution or great problem-solvers, this book will be a good one to add to your collection. I've heard of this hero, one of General Washington's greatest aids in the war effort. The problem was that the army had little artillery, and Boston could not be taken without a great barrage of fire power. This story tells of Henry Knox, quitting school at age 9 to help his family because his father abandoned them. He became a bookseller's assistant, then later a bookseller. Eventually having to flee Boston with his family, he then learned to become a soldier, and the rest of his story is an important point in our American history. Anita Silvey gives good background to help the reader understand the problems, and the hard work that occurred while solving those problems. Henry Knox just never gave up, and hundreds of pounds of artillery was hauled by men and oxen in boats across Lake Champlain, on sleds across frozen terrain, even through mountain passes with no roads. It's an amazing story that will spark further research about this amazing man. The illustrations help tell the tale too with color and detail of the action described in the story. There is a good timeline, suggestions for further research, a map and further pictures in the end papers. It's a terrific story.
I'm leaving on a road trip with my daughter, two granddaughters and grandson from Texas, off to Missouri to see other family. I'll be reading your posts, and will try to comment when I can! Happy Reading! For those who know that my grandson had the baseball/eye injury, he received a good report today and is back to regular activity! Hurrah!