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I am Jackie Robinson

Overview

This New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series by Brad Meltzer has an inspiring message: We can all be heroes.

Jackie Robinson always loved sports, especially baseball. But he lived at a time before the Civil Rights Movement, when the rules weren't fair to African Americans. Even though Jackie was a great athlete, he wasn't allowed on the best teams just because of the color of his skin. Jackie knew that sports were best when everyone, of every color, played ...

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Overview

This New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series by Brad Meltzer has an inspiring message: We can all be heroes.

Jackie Robinson always loved sports, especially baseball. But he lived at a time before the Civil Rights Movement, when the rules weren't fair to African Americans. Even though Jackie was a great athlete, he wasn't allowed on the best teams just because of the color of his skin. Jackie knew that sports were best when everyone, of every color, played together. He became the first black player in Major League Baseball, and his bravery changed African-American history and led the way to equality in all sports in America.

This engaging series is the perfect way to bring American history to life for young children, providing them with the right role models, supplemementing Common Core learning in the classroom, and best of all, inspiring them to strive and dream.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

I Am Abraham Lincoln; I Am Rosa Parks; I Am Albert Einstein; I Am Amelia Earhart: In picture book after picture book, author Brad Meltzer and artist Christopher Eliopoulos has presented inspiring role models on a level that youngsters can understand and appreciate. In this winning offering, they introduce Jackie Robinson, the brave African American baseball player who broke the sport's racial ban. Like others in this hardcover series, I Am Jackie Robinson plants a seed that can grow and grow.

School Library Journal
11/01/2014
K-Gr 3—This title highlighting events from baseball star Jackie Robinson's life is a preachy, moralistic account of courage. Its sentimentality and sugary-sweetness are a throwback to motivational tales of a century ago. Meltzer is highly selective in his presentation. Facts, including names, dates, and places, are few and far between, and the theme of bravery overrides all else. Meltzer assumes readers have a basic knowledge of baseball, and many terms are not defined. Eliopoulos's cartoonish illustrations are corny and, as Jackie is always shown as a small child (a characteristic of this series), border on disrespectful. This book isn't complete or thorough enough for use as a biography, and the perky tone will likely cause eye-rolling among readers and listeners. There are many other more informative, better written books on Robinson that also emphasize the themes of courage and racial equality, such as Cathy Goldberg Fishman's When Jackie and Hank Met (Marshall Cavendish, 2012), a picture book that parallels the lives of Robinson and Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg, and April Jones Prince's easy reader Jackie Robinson: He Led the Way (Penguin, 2007).—Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2014-10-15
Baseball's No. 42 strikes out.Even as a babe in his mother's arms, Robinson is depicted wearing his Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cap in this latest entry in the Ordinary People Change the World series. He narrates his childhood alongside cartoon panels that show him as an expert runner and thrower. Racism and poverty are also part of his growing up, along with lessons in sharing and courage. Incredibly, the Negro Leagues are not mentioned beyond a passing reference to "a black team" with a picture of the Kansas City Monarchs next to their team bus (still looking like a child in the illustration, Robinson whines, "Gross! Is this food or goo?"). In 1946, Branch Rickey signs him to play for the Dodgers' farm team, and the rest, as they say, is history. Robinson concludes his story with an exhortation to readers to be brave, strong and use their "power to do what's right. / Use that power for a cause that you believe in." Meltzer writes his inspirational biography as a first-person narrative, which risks being construed and used as an autobiography—which it is not. The digitally rendered cartoon illustrations that show Robinson as a perpetual child fall sadly short of capturing his demeanor and prowess. A memorable life—a forgettable presentation. (photographs, timeline, sources, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 3-6)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Brad Meltzer

Brad Meltzer is the New York Times best-selling author of Heroes for My Son, Heroes for My Daughter, and a number of suspense novels for adults. He is also the host of the History Channel television show Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children.
 
Christopher Eliopoulos began his illustration career as a letterer for Marvel, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, Pet Avengers, and Cow Boy, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and their identical twin sons. 

Biography

Brad Meltzer didn't hope all his life to become a novelist. He came to it by chance, after a job at Games magazine didn't pan out. "I had no idea what to do," he says. "So I did what all of us would do in that situation. I said, 'I'm gonna write a novel.'" After one false start, a book called Fraternity that 24 publishers rejected, Meltzer hit his stride. In 1997, The Tenth Justice (which earned him extra credit as a student at Columbia Law School) was picked up by Morrow and hit The New York Times bestseller list. A year later, he repeated the performance with Dead Even. He's been writing bestselling legal thrillers ever since.

Critics like Meltzer's fast pace and nifty plots (Kirkus called The Tenth Justice "a mean, paranoid fantasy that'll have you turning pages in a frenzy," and USA Today said it "reads fast, rings true, and refreshingly breaks the mold of legal thrillers"), but it's the details that distinguish his novels from most legal fiction. The key, he says, is "Research, research, research," a task that can consume two to six months of his year-long writing schedule.

In addition to his thrillers, Meltzer is a bestselling author of critically acclaimed comic book series like Identity Crisis, Green Arrow, and Justice League. He has also written short stories, television scripts and nonfiction articles, including reviews of The Sopranos, the multiple Emmy Award-winning TV show.

Good To Know

Meltzer played himself as an extra in Woody Allen's Celebrity.

He lives in Florida with his wife, a high-school sweetheart to whom he devotes a lengthy essay on his web site.

With his friend Steve Cohen, Meltzer conceived Jack and Bobby, a critically acclaimed television program about two young brothers (not the Kennedys), one of whom grows up to be President of the United States. Cohen and Meltzer wrote all 22 episodes of the show, which was cancelled after one season. Widely considered a premier example of intelligent, high-quality TV, the series has since become a cult favorite.

Meltzer spoke with former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in order to accrue authentic details for his 2006 novel The Book of Fate, a thriller set in the world of White House politics.

A major plot element in The Book of Lies (2008) is the unsolved murder in 1932 of Mitchell Siegel, whose son Jerry created the iconic comic book hero Superman. Meltzer, himself a rabid comics fan, interviewed the Siegel family to research the murder.

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    1. Hometown:
      Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      1970
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Michigan; J.D., Columbia University
    2. Website:

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