Non-Fiction Book Review + GIVEAWAY: BOMBS OVER BIKINI, by Connie Goldsmith

Bombs Over Bikini CoverFavorite quote, which happens to be the opening line: “As soon as the war ended, we located the one place on Earth that hadn’t been touched by war and blew it hell.” – Bob Hope, US Comedian, and Author, 1947.

I haven’t been this moved by a non-fiction book in a long time.

I first heard of the bombings in the Marshall Islands when I was a teenager living in France, through Greenpeace activism. Indeed, the association’s members regularly made the news, both in print and on television, by their protests at various nuclear sites and arrests. Those actions consequently got the word out about the cause they were fighting for.

BOMBS OVER BIKINI, written by Connie Goldsmith and released in January 2014 by Twenty-First Century Books (a division of Lerner Publishing Group), boldly revisits a series of events that took place in the Marshall Islands shortly after World War II, and explains the reality behind the experiments performed to extensively understand the use of the then newly created nuclear bombs. The events took place during the Cold War, and the book focuses on the U.S. Nuclear Testing Program that ran from 1946 until 1958.

Underwater H BombDo you know the difference between a fission and a fusion bomb?

How were animals treated during those experiments? And humans?

Was an entire population, the Rongelapese, purposely sacrificed and used as “human lab rats” by the American government and military to study the effect of the H-bomb? What is their living situation today?

A great read for both upper-graders and adults, BOMBS OVER BIKINI answers all these questions, and more. The tests performed in the Marshall Islands were over the course of only 12 years, and equated to unleashing several thousands Hiroshima bombs in that paradisiac part of the world. The exact number of bombs detonated (see page 67) is likely to surprise you.

My opinion
The book is both gripping and horrifying. I command Connie Goldsmith for her writing skills. Indeed, with BOMBS OVER BIKINI she created page turner, a non-fiction book that reads a bit like a fiction thriller. I couldn’t put it down, and I therefore highly recommenend it. We cannot afford to not know, or forget or overlook the mistakes and sacrifices of so many of our peers.

About the Author
Connie Goldsmith_MediumConnie Goldsmith is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a master of public administration degree in healthcare. She has, at the date of publication of this review, 15 non-fiction books and over 200 articles published, mostly on health and history topics. A member of the Authors Guild and an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Connie writes for children and adults. She is currently working on several non-fiction and fiction projects.

Additional information and notable mentions:
o BOMBS OVER BIKINI Website
o Junior Library Guild Selection for 2014
o Recommended by the National Science Teachers Association and featured on its website in February 2014.
o Find the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore.
o Connie Goldsmith Website
o Follow Connie on Twitter

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
To win an autographed copy of BOMBS OVER BIKINI:
1- Leave a comment. Add your twitter handle if you have one, and nominate a school library. If you win, the school library you picked will also receive a copy.
2- Share the review on Twitter and/or Facebook, or any other social media, a blog if you have one. Use the hashtags #BombsOverBikini and #MulticulturalismRocks.

The winner will be selected via random.org, and announced on Friday, May 9, 2014. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. Good luck!

For up-to-date information on cultural diversity in children’s book and other media, join the network on Multiculturalism Rocks! Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter.

Guest Post Announcement: MY BIRTHDAY IS SEPTEMBER 11 AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, by Nicole Weaver

My Birthday Is September Eleven and Other Short Stories… A book for children and adults, so we never forget 9/11.

On Sunday, September 11, people across the country will pause to observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It’s important that we tell our children about that day, especially kids who were very small, and those who weren’t born yet, so we never forget. I want to make sure teachers, parents, librarians, and grandparents are aware of a new ebook, My Birthday Is September Eleven and Other Short Stories. This is an ebook dedicated to all children born on 9/11, 2001. The stories are for grades 6-8.

Here’s a recent review from a psychologist. “As a licensed psychologist with a specialty in children, parents often ask me to direct them to a book that they can read with their children. I have no problem sending parents to My Birthday is September Eleven and Other Short Stories. In this book, you will find stories about children with real-life struggles and how they find ways to cope with those problems. These stories present opportunities for parents and children to talk about what is happening in their own lives and possible solutions, while strengthening parent-child communication.”

Many children today know little or nothing about 9/11 or why it’s important to them. On a recent national news program, I saw some man-on-the-street interviews of young people in their late teens and early twenties. A few could explain what took place on 9/11, but sadly, most had no idea. We cannot allow this to continue.

My Birthday Is September Eleven and Other Short Stories will help teachers, librarians, grandparents, and parents with this issue. Additionally, the stories were written to help teach children about having compassion for others.

See description of each story below:

My Birthday is September Eleven– A story about a boy who was born on 9/11. When the reader steps into the world of Matthew, he or she will recognize the undercurrent of mourning that will help all to not forget 9/11.

Zebra Boy – A biracial boy is spared further teasing when his best friend comes to his rescue.

The Good Samaritan – A group of fifth-graders raise funds to help a fellow classmate that needs money for a life-saving surgery.

No More Hunger – Ronald, a Haitian boy whose village was virtually wiped out by a devastating hurricane, becomes a victim of abject poverty. He is later rescued when the well-respected Madame Wilson takes it upon herself to nourish him back to health.

A New Life – A biracial boy experiences many hardships before being adopted by a caring couple.

There is a special web page for My Birthday Is September Eleven and Other Short Stories. You are welcome to lift any material that might help you in communicating with your circle of influence http://mybirthdayiseptembereleven.blogspot.com

Reviews and Comments
Nicole Weaver’s latest collection of short stories is a great gift for any middle grader or teen to read about 9/11. While this date only reminds us of tragedy, the author has found a way to weave themes of friendship, loyalty and compassion in these stories which aren’t only educational but entertaining as well. Written in simple language and in an engaging style, My Birthday is September Eleven and Other Short Stories will make a great gift for that special child in your life.
Amazon- Mayra Calvani ( Brussels, Belgium)
***
Young audiences will love these short stories that teach young children to cope and overcome the many obstacles we all can face growing up. Young readers will learn about pain, suffering, compassion and the willingness to be more accepting of others.

Nicole Weaver introduces readers to Matthew a young boy who has to spend his birthdays celebrating the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. With no friends to celebrate and the sadness that surrounds that day, he really doesn’t want a birthday at all.

Another interesting story for readers is about a boy named Pascal. He is bi-racial and is faced with bullies at school. Two older kids Eric and Tommy spend their time on the playground threatening kids for money. Eric especially likes to tease Pascal by calling him Zebra Boy. Pascal and his friend Marcel must learn how to overcome these challenges and stand up to these kids.

More stories follow that will teach triumph and the celebration of div adversity and helping others. These stories can be a great tool for parents, teachers and homeschoolers.
Teaching children about friendship, forgiveness, and to stand up for themselves as well as others, will help them become better human beings.
Kristi Bernard (Overland Park, KS)
***

This collection of short stories touches on many different subjects from dealing with tragedy to bullying to giving to self-sacrifice to adoption. Each story has a child main character or characters that have to deal with real-life situations that readers may have or will experience personally or through a friend sometime in their own lives. For those who never have to experience some of the tougher situations like a natural disaster, it offers the reader a glimpse of this tragedy on a more human level rather than just a list of faceless statistics of fatalities and damages.
Lessons learned from the stories are far-reaching. Such as that the way we begin our lives in not always how we are destined to lead them. These stories show how we are all socially connected to the world at large even though we may physically be far away. Sharing these stories with your children will open their minds and hearts to living and thinking beyond themselves.
By having the characters come from many different walks of life, this book will appeal to a wide variety of juvenile and older readers. As the U.S. has always been a diverse blend of peoples, cultures and languages, this book reflects that diversity showing that what we may consider different is actually familiar.
Amazon-Auto mom
***

These stories provide a great springboard for classroom or parent-to-child discussions on bullying, adoption (infant adoption, older-child adoption) and the world history tragedies of 9/11 and the Haitian earthquake. The stories themselves are tangential to the worst of Ripped from the Headlines news, so they are more palatable to middle schoolers and young adult readers. The stories center around children and are relatable–as children and their families work through problems, not all the way to Hollywood endings but to a place of compassion and understanding. The story about 9/11 is especially telling in this strategy. A boy happens to have a birthday on 9/11. He wants that day to be one of celebration for himself, but always there is this undercurrent of mourning. Thought-provoking for the boy, and for a reader
Amazon-Vicki Gundrum (San Francisco)

Biography
Nicole weaver was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti. She came to the United States when she was ten years old. She is fluent in Creole, French, Spanish and English. She is a veteran teacher of French and Spanish. Her second children’s trilingual book titled: My Sister is My Best Friend will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing fall 2011. She is also the author of a children’s trilingual picture book titled: Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle. She has a third book currently under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing titled: My Brother is My Best Friend.