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"Storm Warriors" by Elisa Carbone; Alfred A. Knopf, $16.95, 165 pages.

One hundred years after black crew members of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station in North Carolina's Outer Banks risked their lives during a heavy storm to rescue white shipwreck survivors, a Gold Life-Saving Medal was awarded them for their bravery.

The true-life story of the brave Pea Island rescue team inspired Carbone's wonderful novel, set in the 1890s, centered around an African-American boy named Nathan and his dream of someday becoming a surfman. But post-Civil War racism persists, and Nathan's father, a fisherman, does all he can to point Nathan in another direction.

Carbone's painstaking research into the rescues at Pea Island pays off with a novel rich in interesting detail. (She also wrote "Stealing Freedom," a marvelous fact-based novel about a Maryland slave girl and her escape to freedom.)

-- Jean Westmoore
In honor of Black History Month, why not make a multicultural friendship wreath to represent people of all skin colors?

Supplies you will need:

8- to 12-inch cardboard wreath.

Construction paper in assorted skin tones.




Clothespins, snapshots.

Place a dinner plate on a piece of cardboard and trace around it with a pencil to make a wreath. Use scissors to cut around the outline. Cut the center from the circle, leaving a wreath 2 to 3 inches wide. Trace the outline of your hand onto a piece of cardboard and cut it out.

Fold sheets of construction paper into thirds and trace the hand pattern in three or four places on the paper. Cut out six or eight handprints in each color you have chosen. Glue hands randomly onto the wreath, overlapping to cover the cardboard. Use clothespins to attach snapshots of your friends and yourself.

Try this short quiz about books for young people:

1. This author's novel, "Bud, Not Buddy," won the 2000 Newbery Medal.

a. Christopher Paul Curtis

b. Mildred Taylor

c. Walter Dean Myers

d. Virginia Hamilton.

2. By profession, this author was a:

a. Teacher

b. Librarian

c. Auto worker

d. Police officer

3. Mildred Taylor's "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" takes place in:

a) Florida

b) Arizona

c) Mississippi

d) New York

Answers: 1.) a 2.) c 3.) c

1526 -- First African slaves brought to what is now the United States by the Spanish.

1645 -- First American slave ships sail from Boston.

1739 -- The Stono Rebellion in Charleston, S.C., one of the first attempts by slaves to free themselves by force. It led to the death of at least 40 blacks and 20 whites. A year later, South Carolina outlaws teaching slaves to read and write.

1756 -- Olaudah Equiano, of Nigeria, is taken by ship to slavery in England and America.

1758 -- First black Baptist church in the American colonies is built on a Virginia plantation.

1773 -- Phillis Wheatley, first well-known black woman poet, publishes "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral," gaining fame in Europe and America.

1787 - U.S. Constitution is ratified, classifying one slave as three-fifths of a person, when Congressional districts are drawn up.

1790 -- African-American mathematician Benjamin Banneker appointed by George Washington to the District of Columbia Commission, where he surveys D.C.

-- Washington Post

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