Courage Has No Color

18 Apr

courage-has-no-colorCourage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers written by Tanya Lee Stone is such an interesting piece of history that I had never heard before.  I am amazed by informational text authors finding these interesting subjects to write about – I feel that if teachers were able to use the sources in their classrooms, children may be more interested in learning about history.  The Triple Nickles were the first Black paratroopers in America during World War II, although they never saw battle in the European or Pacific front, they were trained as the elite paratroopers and were (eventually) given the honor of their white counterparts.

Another aspect of this story, which has now made me even more curious to learn more about is the little known Japanese attack on America, not Pearl Harbor, but balloons bombs that Japan sent out on the jet stream hoping for them to drop in California, Oregon, and Washington.  I had never heard of such things and as I looked at the pictures and read the story, I thought to myself, why do so few people know this part of the war?  The balloons the Japanese used were not the typical birthday-sized balloons, but much larger, similar in size to hot air balloons (from what I can see in the pictures).  The Triple Nickles were given their orders and sent to Pendleton Air Base in Pendleton, Oregon where they became smokejumpers fighting forest fires.  It was thought that some of these Japanese balloon bombs might cause forest fires, which is why the paratroopers were being used as smokejumpers.

This is a fascinating story that I think everyone should know and Tanya Lee Stone did an amazing job of using primary sources in creating a strong informational text about a little known group of people who should be recognized for their contributions to the civil rights cause and America in general.  For more information about Tanya Lee Stone and other book she has written, take a look at her website.

There’s also a foreword written by Ashley Bryan, a well-known children’s author and illustrator with some wonderful insight into his life and his service in World War II.  Check out his books for other great reading choices!

Title: Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers
Author: Tanya Lee Stone
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 2013
Page Number: 147 pgs.

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