Ashley Burke's Reviews > We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

We are the Ship by Kadir Nelson
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's review
Apr 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: wsu-education-program-block-1

I enjoyed Heart and Soul, another book by Kadir Nelson, so much that I knew I had to read more of his works. This story is the story of Negro League Baseball. Baseball is not my favorite sport to play, as I lack hand eye coordination; however, I do enjoy watching the game be played on a nice day. The story is of discrimination and the power of courage and overcoming challenges. The story begins in the 1920s and continues through its decline with Jackie Robinson in 1947 beginning to play in the majors. The oil paintings correlate with the text and provided details to the story. The pictures are breath taking and though provoking, just as the illustrations in Heart and Soul. The two books of Kadir’s that I chose to read are very similar in style or text and illustrations. This book would be great for a classroom and interest those inclined towards sports, baseball in particular. The book concludes with, “if we get you boys, we’re going to get the best ones. It’s going to break up your league.” Jackie Robinson crossing over to the majors did just that. Many were happy to see Robinson play in the majors, but it burned out many of the owners. The story shows triumph in the face of discrimination.
This story would be one I would share in the classroom. It would not be a great Read-Aloud book, however, if read in chunks at a time, the book would be entertaining for the students. Baseball is a sport most students know about or have played at some time. The baseball topics in this book, as well as All the Broken Pieces, could be tied together with a baseball lesson. Baseball could be taught and played with the class, as well as the history evaluated and the significance in cultures around the world. The art work is beautiful, and the text is written well. The plot, theme, voice, and characterization are all apparent in this work.

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