The Weekly 411 (9/29/23)
|© Gillian Eilidh O'Mara|
Sept. 29, 2023 vol. 39
|cover art © Leo Trinidad|
About the Book: Honor and Fidelity. That is the motto of the 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Borinqueneers, the only Puerto Rican unit in the United States Army. Since the regiment’s creation in 1899, the men of the 65th have proudly served the US through multiple wars, despite facing racial discrimination. Their courage, loyalty, and patriotism earned them hundreds of accolades, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014.
But the honor and fidelity of the men of the 65th came into question in 1952, in the midst of the Korean War, when ninety-one Borinqueneers were arrested and tried for desertion and disobeying orders. How could this happen in one of the most distinguished and decorated units of the Army? In this telling of one of the forgotten stories of the Korean War, author Talia Aikens-Nuñez guides us through the history of the Borinqueneers and the challenges they faced leading up to what was the largest court martial in the entire war. Rediscover the bravery of the men of the 65th through Aikens-Nuñez’s thorough writing and the soldiers’ firsthand accounts of the Korean War.
About the Author: Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be an author. It was the birth of her children that caused her to start writing. Raising bilingual children inspired Talia to write multicultural children’s books. She and her family live in Connecticut.
About the Book: During her town's Ganesha Chaturthi festival, young Prema comes up with an innovative plan to save the river from pollution. Persevering through multiple obstacles, she convinces her
friends to help her create natural clay Ganesha statues to replace the plaster ones that harm the river when they dissolve. Created by an author and artist from different parts of India and set in modern-day India, this inclusive tale of activism, ingenuity and sustainability is sure to inspire young readers. Endnotes include information about Ganesha Chaturthi, a recipe for homemade sculpting dough and instructions for making an earth-friendly statue.
About the Author: CBA Grad and SCBWI member, Lakshmi Thamizhmani divides her time between her corporate tech job, daydreaming, and writing. After moving from India to the United States, she began writing for newspapers, but then discovered a passion for creative writing instead. Lakshmi now writes beautiful, lesser-known stories to bridge cultures and transport children to new worlds to learn and celebrate diversity.
About the Illustrator: Debasmita Dasgupta is an internationally published, Kirkus Best Prize-nominated illustrator, graphic novelist and screenwriter. She was born in Kolkata and lived in Singapore for more than a decade. Debasmita enjoys drawing both fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. She has illustrated many picture books, comics and poems working with publishers in various parts of the world including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, the UK and the USA. As an art-for-change advocate, she tells stories of changemakers from around the world partnering with global non-profits. Debasmita also mentors aspiring and emerging visual storytellers in Asia. Today she lives in the United Kingdom.