Baseball great Jackie Robinson would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year, if he were still alive today. To celebrate the Hall of Famer who broke the color barrier when he started for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and to foster conversations in your home and classroom about inclusion and breaking barriers, we're recommending these five books, all by Jackie's only daughter, author and educator Sharon Robinson:
Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America by Sharon Robinson
A warm, intimate portrait of Jackie Robinson, America's sports icon, told from the unique perspective of a unique insider: his only daughter.
Sharon Robinson shares memories of her father who was an outstanding athlete, a devoted family man and a dedicated civil rights activist. She touches on the fascinating circumstances surrounding her father’s breakthrough, tells off-the-field stories of Robinson’s victories and shares the inspiring effect he had on his family, community and country.
The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson
Based on the true story of a boy in Brooklyn who became neighbors and friends with his hero, Jackie Robinson.
Stephen Satlow, a local Jewish boy, is an avid Brooklyn Dodgers' fan but a mediocre athlete, at best. When Jackie Robinson moves into his predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn and befriends Steve, his status changes instantly.
Their bond deepens when Jackie commits a well-intentioned blunder. He mistakenly gives Steve's family a Christmas tree. As the tension clears, acceptance of Jackie's gift of the tree becomes symbolic of two families from different religious and cultural backgrounds finding common ground. The friendship between the two families grows over the next few decades, as enormous social changes sweep the nation.
Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Values to Live By by Sharon Robinson
This inspiring collection pays tribute to baseball legend and civil rights hero Jackie Robinson. Jackie's daughter, Sharon, acts as a personal tour guide through the nine heartfelt, hard-won values that helped her father achieve his goals. Jackie's values are brought to life through the powerful words of other heroes and pioneers, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah Winfrey, and Christopher Reeve.
Jackie Robinson: American Hero by Sharon Robinson
A tribute biography of sports and civil rights icon Jackie Robinson that introduces his story to a new generation of young readers in a comprehensive form. Featuring photos throughout, this biography is both a sports tale and a history lesson introducing the sports and civil rights icon to a new generation of readers.
Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson; illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Sharon Robinson shares a personal story about her father in her first picture book, illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor artist Kadir Nelson.
Jackie Robinson has retired from baseball and now lives in Connecticut with his family. The beautiful lake on their property is the center of everyone’s fun except for Jackie's. During their first winter in the new home, Jackie must test the ice on the lake to make sure its safe for ice-skating, but just as he is about to pronounce the frozen lake safe a terrible noise from below. It is then that Sharon realizes why she’s never seen her father in the water and when she comes to understand her father’s fears and what an amazing hero he is. In a stunning metaphor for Jackie Robinson’s legendary breaking of the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Sharon Robinson honors her extraordinary father’s memory with her warm graceful storytelling.
Don't miss our live chat with Sharon Robinson!
On Thursday, January 31 at noon EST, we'll be going live on Facebook to talk with Sharon about her father's life and legacy and how his values helped inspire her to start the educational program Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life with the MLB. Tune in here!