November 10, 2010 by Reader's Connection
Regional winner of the 2010 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, Ray Boomhower was recently interviewed at Central Library. A few of his many books are displayed below.
Dubbed “leading ace” by the U.S. Navy, Vraciu was best known for shooting down six enemy dive-bombers in eight minutes. Through his story, readers follow WWII from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Black-and-white photographs and quotes from primary sources make this biography a credible and compelling account. — Horn Book
On April 4, 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., arrived in Indiana to campaign for the Indiana Democratic presidential primary. As Kennedy prepared to fly from an appearance in Muncie to Indianapolis, he learned that civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been shot outside his hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Before his plane landed in Indianapolis, Kennedy heard the news that King had died. Despite warnings from Indianapolis police that they could not guarantee his safety, and brushing off concerns from his own staff, Kennedy decided to proceed with plans to address an outdoor rally to be held in the heart of the city’s African American community. On that cold and windy evening, Kennedy broke the news of King’s death in an impassioned, extemporaneous speech on the need for compassion in the face of violence. It has proven to be one of the great speeches in American political history . . . This book explains what brought the politician to Indiana that day, and explores the characters and events of the 1968 Indiana Democratic presidential primary in which Kennedy, who was an underdog, had a decisive victory. — Indiana University Press
Famed Indiana author Booth Tarkington once took on the task of naming three of Indianapolis’s most outstanding citizens. Two of the three he named–former president Benjamin Harrison and legendary poet James Whitcomb Riley–were well-known people. The third, however, was someone whose memorable accomplishments have become lost to history–educator, woman’s rights pioneer, and peace activist May Wright Sewall . . . Written by award-winning author and historian Ray E. Boomhower, Fighting for Equality : A Life of May Wright Sewall, a biography aimed at young readers, showcases Sewall’s important contributions to the history of Indianapolis, Indiana, the United States, and the world. — Red Room
Boomhower portrays Pyle, still the most renowned war correspondent ever, as a journalist whose special gift was capturing extraordinary moments in the lives of ordinary people. Sandwiched between an opening overview chapter and four sample columns, he traces the Indiana native’s career from school days to death by sniper fire, describing his restless travels to every part of the country, and later through every theater of WWII in which U.S. troops fought . . . The narrative . . . does capture Pyle’s character and outlook, while being frank enough to note the battles with alcohol and depression both he and his troubled wife fought. — Kirkus Reviews
The ups and downs of Lew Wallace’s amazing days are told in this new biography for young readers . . . The son of an Indiana governor, Wallace became passionate about books and combat. He tried to win lasting fame though service for the Union cause on the battlefield during the Civil War, but instead won honor and glory through a quieter pastime: writing. His novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ became one of the country’s best loved books and was made into two successful Hollywood films. At various times in his life, Wallace also was a lawyer, and Indiana state senator, vice president of the court-martial that tried the conspirators behind the assassination of President Lincoln, governor of New Mexico Territory during the days of outlaw Billy the Kid, and a diplomat who represented the United States in Turkey — Indiana Historical Bureau
The shortest of the original Mercury Seven astronauts stands tall in this solid biography. Born in a small town in central Indiana, Grissom served briefly in the air force at the end of World War II, then went to Purdue before returning to the military. He flew a tour in Korea, trained as a test pilot, and eventually was picked as one of the first astronauts. This led him to his famous 1961 suborbital flight in which the spacecraft sank upon return–not, it appears, because of any negligence on his part. He commanded the first Gemini mission in 1965, and thereafter was appointed to the 1967 first Apollo mission, in which he died in the fire that consumed the fatally defective spacecraft. Not a glamorous figure, Grissom was outstanding for his workmanlike attitude toward every task set before him . . . [This] book does the badly needed job of rescuing his memory from the pages of Life and Tom Wolfe, his major previous limners. — Booklist