We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

Nelson, K. (2008). We are the ship: The story of negro league baseball. New York, NY: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children.

Nelson uses his paintings to tell the story of Negro League baseball.  He also uses first person to tell the story, which shows how much he identifies with the birth, progression, and eventual disbanding of the league.  Stories of the great ball players that made up the league provide engaging vignettes that propel the plot, show an appreciation for the style and most importantly, show the beautiful pieces of art that Nelson shares.

These stories and the art can be used in nonfiction analytical exercises.  Elementary teachers can use these as informational excerpts and create visual prompts as well. 

Parents can use this book for older children and young adults.  It fosters an appreciation for the past, humble beginnings in the midst of disdain and being ostracized by the sport in the professional world. This story can be use to teach the value of appreciation and support in all circumstances of life.