Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage

The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage

Written by: Walter Dean Myers and Bill Miles

Junior High and High School Grades

"Myers collaborated with historian and documentary filmmaker Miles to create this nonfiction tribute to the 369th Infantry Regiment, comprised entirely of African American soldiers (many from Harlem), who fought in World War I. After providing an abbreviated history of African Americans in the military and a brief introduction about the causes of the war, Myers traces the roots of the regiment, from its origin as the 15th New York National Guard and the unit's basic training in South Carolina through the soldiers' active combat at the side of the French, who treated the troops as equals. The authors emphasize the mixed message African Americans received about their military service: "On the one hand, they were being trained to risk their lives in defense of the country, while on the other hand they were being told to accept their role as inferior citizens." The clear prose; effective use of white space; and numerous, often full-page black-and-white photographs will attract reluctant readers while enticing more dedicated history buffs to follow up with one of the titles from the selected bibliography."

Booklist Review

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