Book Review: Testing the Ice
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
Testing the Ice
By Sharon Robinson
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (October 1, 2009)
The book Testing the Ice by Sharon Robinson tells the story of an act of courage by her father Jackie Robinson—this one off the baseball field.
Robinson was the first African-American to play on a Major League Baseball team. Prior to this courageous effort to break the color barrier in 1947, baseball leagues were segregated between African-Americans and whites. That all changed when Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers owner, approached Robinson and asked him to come and play for his team. Robinson accepted.
This took a lot of courage. Robinson encountered rejection and opposition because of the color of his skin. Today we know him as a successful and beloved baseball player who made history.
Testing the Ice tells the story of a different act of courage. The author lovingly describes how one cold winter morning she and her siblings wanted to go ice skating in the lake behind their house. Her father would not allow them to ice skate until he personally walked on the lake to make sure the ice was solid enough for them to skate on safely.
Everyone who knew Robinson knew that he could not swim, and yet he showed courage by testing the ice.
I recommend this book because Robinson's courage both in public and private life is inspirational.
Kid Reporter Liam Childers interviews Testing the Ice author Sharon Robinson. And be sure to check out Kid Reporter Maddy Horner's interview with Testing the Ice illustrator Kadir Nelson!
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