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Sonderbooks Book Review of

We Are the Ship

The Story of Negro League Baseball

words and paintings by Kadir Nelson


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We Are the Ship
The Story of Negro League Baseball

words and paintings by Kadir Nelson

Review Posted October 6, 2008.
Jump at the Sun (Hyperion), New York, 2008. 88 pages.
Starred Review.
2008 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #1 Children's Nonfiction
2009 Robert F. Sibert Medal winner
2009 Coretta Scott King Author Award
2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

I'm not even a baseball fan, yet I found this a truly wonderful book.

Kadir Nelson's paintings have the realism of old photos, yet have the glow of color that make them look a thousand times more alive.

I knew nothing about the story of the Negro Leagues before I read this book, and I was captivated by the tale of the obstacles these men overcame in order to play baseball, and their accomplishments of playing it well.

The story is told from the viewpoint of the players as a group. You feel like you're sitting down with a group of brilliant ballplayers, reminiscing about their experiences with the game in the good ol' days -- and the difficult times.

I heard about this book and wanted to simply look it over. But a simple look through definitely was not enough! I will be surprised if I don't see this book on the lists at least for honors for the Caldecott, the Coretta Scott King, and the Sibert Medals. Truly a magnificent book!