Play Ball, Jackie(Age 7-10) School & Library Binding – Mar 1 2011
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About the Author
Krensky lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, with his family. www.stephenkrensky.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Jackie's road would not be easy, but after talking about Manny's Italian grandfather his Dad simply said, "Everyone deserved a chance for a better life--his grandfather and Jackie Robinson too." Jackie stepped up to the plate to face the Braves' pitcher, Johnny Sain, only to ground out to third and listen to the wrath of the angry crowd. "You're an old man, Robinson," cried a voice from a sea of angry faces. Manny had heard that some people were wearing buttons that said, "I'm for Jackie," but this crowd didn't seem to be. His second time up at bat, he popped up to left field. No go. "You stink, Robinson! Go back where you belong." Was he going to be able to show his stuff or would his nerves get the better of him? It was the bottom of the seventh and Jackie's face was set in determination as he stepped up to the plate ...
This is an exciting story of Jackie Robinson, a man who really could take the heat. This book not only focuses on Jackie's first day with the Brooklyn Dodgers, but also on the difficulties the average African American had to face during that era. The reader will learn about racism and discrimination in the era through things Manny says he has read or through shared dialogue between father and son. There is a brief, but telling scene during the seventh-inning stretch when several boys discuss the "I'm for Jackie" button with a young African American boy is sporting one. The artwork is bold, nostalgic and meshes quite well with the story. There are many stories about Jackie for the young audience, but this one is particularly impressive. There is one page with three photographs of Jackie, including his childhood family portrait. In the back of the book is an author's note with additional biographical information, and additional recommended book and website resources.
"'What do you think, Dad?' Matty asked. `Should Jackie Robinson be here?'
`I want to see the best players out there,' said his father. `I don't care what color they are. Remember, your grandfather came to America from Italy. Lots of people didn't give him a chance, either. He looked strange to them. His clothes were shabby, and he spoke English with an accent. He had to work long and hard for everything he got.'"
The illustrations are lustrous and Jackie seems larger than life perhaps giving us a clue as to the enormity of this first of many days in the big leagues. While the illustrations totally grab you in the story flows smoothly from history to converstation to baseball. Included at the end are some real photos of Jackie, an author's note well worth reading, and suggestions for further reading. This is a wonderful book for baseball fans of all ages and belongs in everyone's library. Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Lerner Publishing Group via Netgalley and will be available March 1, 2011.
The illustrations do a good job showing the action and the emotion of the players. I did find the blue tint of the illustrations a little off-putting, but now that I think about it, I can see why the illustrator chose to do that. It could symbolize the cold reception that Jackie got from other players and fans alike, another good discussion point. Recommended.