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Batter up! It's Jackie Robinson's first game in the major leagues. April 15, 1947, is a big day for ten-year-old Matty Romano. His dad is taking him to see his favorite team?the Brooklyn Dodgers?on opening day! It's also a big day for the Dodgers' new first baseman, Jackie Robinson. Many white fans don't like the fact that an African American is playing in the major leagues. By putting Jackie on the team, the Dodgers are breaking the color barrier. How will Jackie respond to the pressure? Is he the player who can...
Batter up! It's Jackie Robinson's first game in the major leagues. April 15, 1947, is a big day for ten-year-old Matty Romano. His dad is taking him to see his favorite team—the Brooklyn Dodgers—on opening day! It's also a big day for the Dodgers' new first baseman, Jackie Robinson. Many white fans don't like the fact that an African American is playing in the major leagues. By putting Jackie on the team, the Dodgers are breaking the color barrier. How will Jackie respond to the pressure? Is he the player who can finally help the Dodgers make it back to the World Series?
Matty and his father, avid Dodgers fans, are in the stands for the first game of the 1947 baseball season. It is also the first time in the modern era that a black player is part of a major league team—Jackie Robinson's debut. There are many black fans there to support him, as well as many white fans who resent his presence. Matty and his dad are of the opinion that everyone deserves a chance and are optimistic that Jackie will be the one to get their team to the World Series. Krensky creates a multilayered recounting of a seminal moment in the history of baseball and America. He incorporates background information while carefully and accurately describing the play-by-play details of that first game, and he also manages to capture the mood of the crowd—and, by extension, the nation. Morse's muscular, out-of-proportion illustrations focus readers' attention on facial and body language, emphasizing the strong emotions alluded to in the text. A worthy homage to a baseball legend. (author's note, photos, bibliography)(Picture book. 7-10)
Posted February 24, 2011
Jackie Robinson quietly finished suiting up as the crowds filled Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. It was opening day, April 15, 1947, and change had come to major league baseball. It was the first time a black man would step up to the plate and, "for a lot of people that was a problem." Manny Romano was a big time Dodgers fan and hoped the team would make it to the World Series. His Dad had gotten some free tickets because, "One of the guys at work refused to go." It was going to be one hot game and would get hotter once Jackie stepped on the field. Manny had read about how tough it was for black people and how they, "couldn't eat in certain restaurants." Times were changing, but some people wouldn't. Manny turned to his Dad and asked, "Should Jackie Robinson be here?" 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 who is sporting one. The artwork is bold, nostalgic and meshes quite well with the story. 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. Quill says: There are many stories about Jackie for the young audience, but this one is particularly impressive.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.