Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers (Ala Notable Children's Books. Older Readers)

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 7 - 12Z8.026303
NAACP Image Award
A 2014 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist

They became America's first black paratroopers. Why was their story never told? Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone reveals the history of the Triple Nickles during World War II.


World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, the injustice of discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Enlisted black men are segregated from white soldiers and regularly relegated to service duties. At Fort Benning, Georgia, First Sergeant Walter Morris's men serve as guards at The Parachute School, while the white soldiers prepare to be paratroopers. Morris knows that for his men to be treated like soldiers, they have to train and act like them, but would the military elite and politicians recognize the potential of these men as well as their passion for serving their country? Tanya Lee Stone examines the role of African Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America's first black paratroopers, who fought in a little-known attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of Morris, "proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability."

From Courage Has No Color
What did it take to be a paratrooper in World War II? Specialized training, extreme physical fitness, courage, and -- until the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (the Triple Nickles) was formed -- white skin.
It is 1943. Americans are overseas fighting World War II to help keep the world safe from Adolf Hitler's tyranny, safe from injustice, safe from discrimination. Yet right here at home, people with white skin have rights that people with black skin do not.
What is courage? What is strength? Perhaps it is being ready to fight for your nation even when your nation isn't ready to fight for you.
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published on January 22, 2013 by Candlewick
ISBN-10: 0763651176
ISBN-13: 9780763651176
2 Book Reviews
  • trmoore
    Mrs. Mooreover 8 years
    Possible 2014 Newbery Award - Nonfiction
    • nonfictionmatters
      Susan Bartlealmost 9 years55 stars
      Well done, read the author's "behind the story" before you read this book. You will find out so much interesting information as you take a look at the whole book before you read it. Check out the index, table of contents, dedication, etc... A wonderful addition from Tanya Lee Stone winner of the Sibert Award for "Almost Astronauts"