Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson

A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson

David A. Adler
Illustrator:  Robert Casilla 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Holiday House (P), 1997   ISBN: 0823413047

Jack Robinson was born on a farm in Georgia, and he was the grandson of a slave. Jack’s father Jerry earned such low wages that his wife felt that they were “no better off than slaves.” After working as a sharecropper for a while, Jerry told his wife that he was going to go to Florida to find better work, and he never came back.

After being thrown out of her home in Georgia, Jack’s mother Mallie moved her family to California with the hope that she would be able to have a better life there. Though she and her children still had to deal with racism on a daily basis, Jack did well in school, and when he got to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) he starred in four sports, something no student had done before.

After the United States was attacked by the Japanese at Peal Harbor, Jack was drafted into the army, and he once again had to deal with unfair laws that discriminated against African-Americans. After causing all kinds of problems for the Army, Jack was discharged, and then he began playing baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs, an African-American baseball team that was a member of the Negro League. Jackie never dreamed that one day he was going to be asked to break the color barrier in baseball.

In this well written picture book biography, David A. Adler tells the story of one of America’s great athletes. He shows young readers how Jackie Robinson courageously set out to prove that African-Americans deserve to be treated as equals.