After reading A Strong Right Arm about Negro League player Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, I immediately picked up We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson when I spotted it at the library.
What a beautiful book!
Nelson not only wrote the book, he also painted all the pictures. Even if you don’t read the entire book, you need to pick up this book to enjoy the pictures. Most have an almost photo-like quality, rich in depth and detail. Nelson’s sprinkled huge, two- or four-page spreads between portraits of prominent players.
Each chapter is cleverly titled as an “Inning”, with “Extra Innings” at the end. And while the pictures are what make this book so striking, Nelson’s writing is equally as strong.
Just reading it, looking at it, readers understand this book was born from a passion. Nelson confirms this in his author’s note.
Highly recommended for ages 5 (as a read-aloud) and up.