The Ivy Hero: The Brave Life of Sergeant William Shemin
by Sara Shemin Cass and Dan Burstein
Illustrations by Gary Bullock
The Ivy Hero is the true story of Sergeant William (Bill) Shemin, child of immigrants, an American soldier who fought in World War I. The book also features Henry Johnson, an African American soldier who, like Bill, fought bravely and heroically in World War I.
Both Bill Shemin and Henry Johnson were awarded posthumous Medals of Honor by President Obama, due in no small measure to the efforts of their family members.
Although much progress has been made, racial and religious discrimination have been with American society from the birth of our country to the present day. The struggle for equality and freedom continues, as people try to make the United States a “more perfect union.” The pain and suffering of war and discrimination run through this story, but it has a hopeful ending. And much can be learned from the lives and experiences of these heroes!
This was the first historical book my son and I read together. It’s also not considered a picture book, but a young adult book. He’s only 7 but he loved this new genre. He thought it was so cool to learn about these brave men and about the war. He liked looking at all the historic photos that were “so old looking”. If you have kids that love this sort of thing, it's an absolute must buy. I am really into historical documentaries of different wars and this book was great as an adult. Now I think my son will be joining me because of this book.
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