Jackie Robinson's Courage
A daughter's book shows the public and private side of Jackie Robinson
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
When Sharon Robison wrote her latest book about her father, baseball legend Jackie Robinson, she had one message in mind: courage. She wanted to show that her father had courage both in public life when he broke the color barrier in baseball, and in his private life, as a parent.
In the children's book Testing the Ice, Robinson writes about her father's start in Major League baseball, which is the public side of her father's story that we all know. The title of the book reveals a more private courage—a story of her father walking out over a frozen pond to make sure the ice was strong enough for her and her siblings to skate on.
"I'm trying to encourage kids to step out of their comfort zone and take a risk," she said of the book's major theme.
In Testing the Ice, Robinson describes how Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, approached Jackie Robinson about playing Major League Baseball. Becoming the first African-American player on an all-white team was not going to be easy, Rickey warned him. Robinson was asked to ignore harassment and threats of violence to desegregate the sport. He did it and made history.
Daughter Sharon Robinson shares her father's love of sports. She also shares his passion for life and sense of justice.
"I'm not afraid to take risks and try things," she said. "I was a nurse, I was a teacher, and I am a parent. I write books and I coach baseball. I have seen [my father] do a lot of different things and that has encouraged me to try different things, too."
Check out Kid Reporter Liam Childers' review of Robinson's book Testing the Ice. Also, learn how book illustrator Kadir Nelson did more than turn words into pictures as he worked with Robinson on the book.
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