I love the story of baseball. I have visited historic parks, read and collected many books, and attended numerous games with family and friends. I love to tell others about base ball’s (it used to be two words) story and one of the most important parts of that story is the history of the Negro Leagues.
We Are the Ship by Kadir Nelson is a welcome book to help children learn the story of this special part of U. S. history. Through compelling paintings—Nelson is an artist first—and rich yet simple storytelling, children gain a comprehensive sense of the history of the Negro Leagues. This book provides more than games and statistics. It covers train rides and restaurant shunnings, Satchel Paige’s power pitching, Josh Gibson’s home runs, to integration with Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson.
We Are the Ship recently received the 2008 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year from Spitball Magazine. It marks the first time the award has been presented to a children’s book. In winning the award, the judges called the book "Expressive. Majestic. Inspiring”… “everything a great book should be”… ”a book to enjoy over and over again" ... "a beautiful work all parents should share with little baseball fans to the edification of both."
All children will benefit from gaining the insight into this special part of our history. We need to keep reading and telling the story of the Negro Leagues so that each generation learns of the struggles and heroes, and so we never forget. We Are the Ship tells the story in ways that is beautiful, interesting, fun, heart-warming and intriguing for children and parents alike. It makes a perfect bridge from Black History Month to the coming spring.