SINCE HE RETIRED AS a lawyer about
eight years ago, Silver Spring resident Fred
Bowen says he keeps a list of all the books
he’s read and stars the ones he wants to
recommend to others.
“If you write, you have to be a reader,”
says the sports columnist for The Washington
Post’s KidsPost and the author of 22 books,
including Outside Shot (Peachtree Publishers,
March 2017), his latest sports ;ction title for
8- to 12-year-olds.
Along with titles for adults, Bowen likes to
read books aimed at kids, including a recent
favorite, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg
and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by
Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook Press, 2015),
a ;nalist for a National Book Award in 2015.
It’s about the whistleblower who released
the famous Pentagon Papers detailing years
of government deception in Vietnam.
“It’s a great overview of those days in
the ’60s and ’70s,” Bowen says. “Ellsberg
was somebody who started off as a RAND
[Corporation] and Pentagon person who
believed in the war. Then he went and he
couldn’t believe in it anymore.”
Bowen credits Sheinkin with doing a
great job explaining the complex story in a
compelling way to middle school- and high
school-age readers, and says the book also
will appeal to anyone interested in the era.
“It’s a fun read, except for the fact that it’s
so tragic,” Bowen says. “[Sheinkin] makes
it very, very readable. When you write for
children, you know you have to make it very
readable. … [We] sometimes forget that.”
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