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Review: Courage Has No Color

February 22, 2014

Courage Has No Color

Like much of the country, the U. S. military has had a long history with racial discrimination.  As late as World War II, African Americans who served in the military were assigned to all black units or to jobs servicing white units.  As he worried about re-election, President Roosevelt promised that blacks would serve in all branches of the military.  Things were slow to change, though, so some determined soldiers took matters into their own hands.  Even though they weren’t treated fairly, a group of black soldiers fought for the right to train as paratroopers and won.  Twenty black soldiers were brought together to form the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, otherwise none as the Triple Nickles.

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, by Tanya Lee Stone, tells the story of a little known, all black parachute battalion that was formed during World War II.  Even as they served with dignity, these men faced prejudices both inside and outside the military.  They were well trained and worked hard but were denied the right to fight for their country.

The story of the Triple Nickles and their service was new to me and I found it fascinating, even as it angered me at times.  I really liked the way Stone made the story come alive by not only telling about the unit and it’s training but telling the story of some of the individuals who served.  I was so taken with their story, I did some research on both the unit and the men after I read the book.

This is a great book to introduce children to the prejudices black soldiers faced and the dignity they presented in tough situations.  They wanted to fight the Nazis and spent much of their time fighting prejudices at home.  Not only does Courage Has No Color tell of their struggle, it celebrates their success.  The book contains some wonderful old photos as well as a bibliography and index.  I do think some knowledge of the military and World War II are necessary to appreciate this book, so I would recommend it to readers aged 12 and up.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Candlewick Press. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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18 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2014 4:10 am

    I really want to read this. My boyfriend was Paratrooper SES for 18 years. It is an extremely challenging branch of the military and not one many people even know about. I love how these men went and fought to end discrimination against the Jewish people, when at home they were also being discriminated against, albeit genocide was off the table. Very courageous men in more ways than one.

  2. February 22, 2014 7:35 am

    I don’t know why I didn’t get this one. Such an important story!

  3. Patty permalink
    February 22, 2014 8:01 am

    This is a really important book. Thank you for sharing.

  4. February 22, 2014 8:49 am

    I remember seeing this story a while back, but I don’t recall if it was in a book or a movie. I agree though – this is an important history to share with kids.

  5. February 22, 2014 10:19 am

    That sounds like a great read Kathy!

  6. February 22, 2014 11:15 am

    This looks like a book I need to read, forget about kids. This is new to me too.

  7. February 22, 2014 11:49 am

    This sounds really good!

  8. February 22, 2014 12:16 pm

    this is all new to me. I had no idea they were segregated.

  9. February 22, 2014 1:10 pm

    Courage Has No Color sounds like an important book to read.

  10. February 22, 2014 1:21 pm

    Sounds like a very worthwhile read. Thanks for introducing me to this one!

  11. February 22, 2014 1:37 pm

    This sounds like a wonderful book, Kathy, and a part of history that deserves more attention. Thank you for your terrific review!

  12. February 22, 2014 2:08 pm

    I knew of the Triple Nickles from watching a documentary on tv, but didn’t know there was a book out about them. Thanks for the review!

  13. February 22, 2014 2:32 pm

    Sounds like a great read for adults, too!

  14. February 23, 2014 9:07 am

    Yep, I’m going to have to introduce my oldest son to this one!

  15. February 23, 2014 9:38 am

    Wow! Sounds really good. I’ll have to get it, read it, and pass it along to my dad.

  16. February 23, 2014 1:02 pm

    This sounds amazing. I’ll have to pick this one up.

    Hope you have a great week Kathy.

  17. February 23, 2014 10:11 pm

    I too did not know that units were segregated. Sounds an important book.

  18. February 28, 2014 7:53 am

    I agree with the rest of the comments that this book is so important! Thanks for sharing.

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