An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker, Shirley Raye Redmond has written 27 books and over 400 magazine and newspaper articles. She comes from a military family—her father won a Bronze Star in WWII, her husband was a chaplain in the Army reserves, and her daughter was an Arabic linguist for the Army. Shirley Raye even dedicated the book to her sister, who was born in an Army hospital overseas!
Welcome back to my blog, Shirley Raye. Your nonfiction children’s book is about a real American hero…a World War II messenger pigeon that saved many lives. Please tell us about your book.
This is so interesting. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
My father was a Marine in WWII, so I’ve always been fascinated by that time period in American history. While watching a program on the History Channel one night, I learned about the Army Signal Corps using pigeons during the war. I wanted to learn more. About that same time, youngsters all over the United States were involved in class projects to raise funds to help pay for the World War II Memorial. Celebrities, such as actor Tom Hanks and Senator Bob Dole, were actively supporting the project as well. I guessed that teachers, school librarians, parents and grandparents would be looking for WWII stories appropriate for children. My book Pigeon Hero! fits the bill!
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Of course, I started by Googling everything I could find on messenger pigeons and G.I. Joe in particular. There are several military reference books that cover the subject, and I also found an old National Geographic article on pigeons that served in both World War I and II. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Museum at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey was a big help too.
Thanks for the interview, Shirley Raye. I love learning about American history. It fascinates me. This book should be fun for parents to read to their children. For a free Pigeon Hero! bookmark, readers can contact Shirley Raye through her website at http://www.shirleyrayeredmond.com.