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Publisher's Summary

An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin.

On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution. This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.

©2013 Steve Sheinkin (P)2013 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Dominic Hoffman serves as an outstanding educator while also capturing the voices of many of the victims of this tragedy. He also portrays Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who became involved with their case. This audiobook offers young listeners a splendid opportunity to hear a trial in action and learn about the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • rb
  • 09-05-18

Not as amazingly written as Sheinkin’s other books

I am a huge Sheinkin fan. This is the first book that I was disappointed in. It felt like I was listening to court records for many chapters. Unlike Sheinkin’s other books, I didn’t feel personally connected to the people until the end of the book. It is an amazing story, and I am grateful to the Port Chicago soldiers for their sacrifice. I wish that Sheinkin would have included more about the individuals as people throughout the book. Still love this author- but won’t be recommending this book.

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  • Mrs. S
  • SAINT JOSEPH, IL, United States
  • 07-27-18

Never Read this in school history books!

Uses primary and secondary documents to reveal the struggle these young men faced...duty to country versus respect for the work they were commanded to do.

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Port Chicago 50 Thumbs Up!

Books such as “Port Chicago 50” are a nice, and necessary, addendum to the American history that isn’t taught in schools. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants unadulterated historical perspective from the side that is often left out.