2/5/14 ** One measure of good non-fiction is a well-researched story that helps the reader learn new aspects of a tale while also helping the reader integrate information s/he might already have known. I was fascinated to learn of how African-Americans have been systematically excluded from histories of WWII and of Eleanor Roosevelt's support for integration. While I wouldn't rate the book at the same level as I do Steve Sheinkin's fabulously written non-fiction, I did thoroughly enjoy both the meticulous research and well-written prose.
I might mark the book down to 4.5 stars because some of the explanatory material dragged just a bit. The transition from the story of the Triple Nickles to the context of racial discrimination and segregation was a bit rough - it seemed to distract from the events relating to the evolution of Triple Nickles unit. The account of how the Japanese balloons were made and dropped seemed to be more seamlessly connected to the work of the Triple Nickles as smokejumpers.
How I learned of this book: Recognized as an Honor Book on the YALSA Excellence in Non-Fiction list.
Copy read: The Public Library of Indianapolis