The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage

by Walter Dean Myers

Hardcover, 2005

Status

Available

Local notes

940.4 Mey

Collection

Publication

Amistad (2005), Edition: New title, Hardcover, 160 pages

Description

The true story of the African American heroes of World War I, the soldiers of the 369th Infantry Regiment, dubbed the "Harlem Hellfighters."

Physical description

160 p.; 7 inches

ISBN

006001136X / 9780060011369

Barcode

5820

User reviews

LibraryThing member sanguinity
The 369th Infantry Regiment was a black WWI regiment whose mere existence was so troublesome to the United States Army, that the Army signed the 369th over to French command for the duration of the war. Even without adequate training, even having to fight with unfamiliar weapons under the command of officers they couldn't understand, the 369th performed valiantly, never giving up ground to the Germans and never allowing any of their men to be taken prisoner.

This volume is written for kids, but it isn't a lightweight gloss on the material: it runs 150 pages, and Myers uses the space well, managing to explain the political conflicts that caused the regiment to be formed, and then signed over to French command. Myers does a nice job with the emotional notes, as well -- the soldiers' dreams that honor on the battlefield will be a stepping stone toward equality, the terror and rigors of trench warfare, the heroism of individual soldiers, the infuriating belittling of their achievements from their racist officers. Myers draws a rich picture of the 369th and the world it operated in, populating it with full individuals. Neither bad guys nor good guys become caricatures -- each have their own hopes, goals, histories, and fears.

A marvelously done book, and highly recommended.
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Pages

160

Rating

(5 ratings; 4.2)
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