Tag Archives: Steve Sheinkin

This week’s booktalks 11/19-20

21 Nov

I didn’t let a very short week hamper me. I decided to do a fiction-nonfiction pairing on each of the two days of school we had this week.

Monday

Blacklisted: Hollywood, the Cold War, and The First Amendment by Larry Dane Brimner  & The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

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Tuesday

Bomb: The Race To Build – And Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin & Fallout by Todd Strasser

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The 2015 Cybils WINNERS!

14 Feb

How appropriate that the CYBILs Awards are announced today, Valentine’s Day. The CYBIls are a work of love. You have to love books and the process. It starts late in October with people nominating titles for consideration. Later, a group of people reads the nominees to come up with a list of finalists. Finally, other groups read the finalists and select a winner.

I’ve been honored two years in a row to be a round 2 YA nonfiction judge. Our discussion this year was fantastic and it took a number of votes to end up with a winner. And here is what we chose.

Most Dangerous

Using historical data and interviews, Sheinkin sets a vivid, you-are-there scene, allowing readers to see Daniel Ellsberg move from enthusiastic Department of Defense political analyst to anti-war activist as he realizes that the President would continue sending American soldiers into this unwinnable war. Although Ellsberg is the title character, Most Dangerous is much more than a biography. It covers nearly three decades of US defense and political history, giving readers a front-row seat into the complexity of national security and decision-making.

Compelling, thought-provoking and timeless, Most Dangerous delivers readers not only an historical account of a time period in our history often confusing, but offers readers a critical eye towards the future as well.

Here are a few of the winners in other categories:

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To find out more about these and other CYBILs winners, check out the complete announcement here. I bet you will find something new and excellent to read. I know I will be picking up a few of them.

What I’m Reading Now…mostly

21 Jan

Although I’ve been free range reading a bit in these post Morris Committee days, I still have some required reading.

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I am a round 2 judge in the CYBILS YA Nonfiction category. Fortunately, as a round 2 judge I only have to read the finalists the round 1 judges selected. And these are what I am (mostly) reading these days.

Unknown-1I Will Always Write Back: How One letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda

Symphony for the CitySymphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson

UnknownTommy: The Gun That Changed America by Karen Blumenthal

Unknown-2Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs and Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson

Unknown-4Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle and Michael G. Long

Unknown-3Give Me Wings: How a Choir of Former Slaves Took on the World by Kathy Lowinger

Most DangerousMost Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin

YALSA’s 2016 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-in #4

7 Jan

I usually write this post on Sunday, but, I will be in Boston on Sunday, anticipating ALA’s Youth Media Awards.

I finally got a copy of First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Prize by Tim Grove.

First Flight

Publisher’s Summary:In 1924 the U.S. Army sent eight young men on a bold attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the globe by flight. Men from five other countries—Great Britain, France, Portugal, Italy, and Argentina—had the same goal. The race was on!

First Flight Around the World documents the exciting journey of four American planes—the ChicagoBostonNew Orleans, and Seattle—and their crews on a race around the world. The trip held many challenges: extreme weather, tricky navigation, unfamiliar cultures, fragile planes, and few airfields. The world fliers risked their lives for the sake of
national pride.

Based in part on the journal of one of the crew members, First Lieutenant Leslie Arnold, along with commentary, newspaper reports, and archival images, First Flight Around the World is a captivating tale about American ingenuity, gumption, and perseverance.

The first this that struck me as I was reading was that this happened only 21 years after Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first flight, making this, to my mind, a truly audacious plan.

To be honest, this was my least favorite of the five finalists for the 2016 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award. In part, this is due to my interest in the topic, in part because it seems to skew a bit toward the younger end of YA.

My prediction is that Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War  by Steve Sheinkin will win, but, having served on a committee now for a year, I know that anything could happen. I’ll have to wait until Monday to find out.

…Hello 2016

1 Jan

Lucy and I welcomed the New Year, snuggled in bed.

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Before falling asleep, she told me that her 2016 resolution was to refrain from sleeping in the middle of the bed to give me more room. I hope she keeps it!

She wasn’t feeling very well last night, and I am now in debate mode: do I take her to the emergency vet or wait until tomorrow to see my regular vet? I wish she could tell me what is wrong.

I am especially worried because, one week from today, I am off to the ALA’s 2016 Midwinter meeting in Boston and I don’t want to worry about Lucy being unwell while I am gone. I am excited about the events I am scheduled to attend. I don’t anticipating having to ship home another box like I did at the Annual meeting.

Today also marks the official start of my second year as a round 2 CYBILs judge for YA Nonfiction.

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The announcement of the finalists in all categories has been made and I can now tell you that the finalists I will be reading are

Symphony for the City Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson

Most DangerousMost Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin

Unknown-1 I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda with Liz Welch

UnknownTommy: The Gun That Changed America by Karen Blumenthal

Unknown-2Courage and Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson

Unknown-3Give Me Wings: How a Choir of Former Slaves Took on the World by Kathy Lowinger

Unknown-4Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle and Michael G. Long

 

YALSA’s 2016 Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-in #2

27 Dec

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The rereading of the Morris Award finalists continues. I can’t believe it is only 12 days until I go to Boston.

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I finished Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War  by Steve Sheinkin. It is interesting that it all took place during my childhood. I remember bits of it in the news, but never really put it all together.

Most Dangerous

I also read This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon by Nancy Plain.

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I never really gave Mr. Audubon much thought. Although I’ve read a few novels in which he is featured, I just sort of imagined him in a studio, painting. This Strange Wilderness really sheds light on the struggles he had to simply make the paintings and what it took to get the book published. This book feels much more like a  traditional biography than Most Dangerous, but it is very well-written and researched and, reading it, I got a real feel for the times in which Mr Audubon lived.

I have two of the other three books checked out from the library.I’ve already read these, but will reread them with a more critical eye. The third is on hold ad, of course, it is the one I haven’t read. I’m hoping to get it this week.

YALSA’s 2016 Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-in

20 Dec

yalsa-morris-nonfiction-seals

School ended Friday and now I have two fantastic weeks stretching out before me. I have some plans to knit myself a pair of gloves, read a stack of books and generally lounge about.

Yesterday, I started reading Steve Sheinkin’s Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War.

Most Dangerous

Like the other books Sheinkin has written, this is extremely readable nonfiction, which I suppose is why it is a YALSA nonfiction finalist, a National Book Award for Young People’s Literature finalist and on several end of the year “best” lists.

Publisher’s Summary: From Steve Sheinkin, the award-winning author of The Port Chicago 50 and Bomb comes a tense, exciting exploration of what the Times deemed “the greatest story of the century”: how Daniel Ellsberg transformed from obscure government analyst into “the most dangerous man in America,” and risked everything to expose the government’s deceit. On June 13, 1971, the front page of the New York Times announced the existence of a 7,000-page collection of documents containing a secret history of the Vietnam War. Known as The Pentagon Papers, these documents had been commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Chronicling every action the government had taken in the Vietnam War, they revealed a pattern of deception spanning over twenty years and four presidencies, and forever changed the relationship between American citizens and the politicans claiming to represent their interests. A provocative book that interrogates the meanings of patriotism, freedom, and integrity, Most Dangerous further establishes Steve Sheinkin as a leader in children’s nonfiction.

I think what makes this even more compelling is the fact that  Sheinkin wraps it up by bringing the issues central to the Vietnam War crisis up to the present day story of Edward Snowden. Yeah, I peeked at the ending. But, to justify my peeking, the back of the arc I have says

“Forty years before Edward Snowden and Julain Assange were household names, Daniel Ellsberg became the first large-scale government whistleblower. He would be called a hero, a traitor, and, by some, “the most dangerous man in America”.

If you, or someone you know, enjoys nonfiction, this is an excellent choice.

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