Stealing Home: The Story of Jackie Robinson by Barry Denenberg. In 1919, Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born on a small sharecroppers farm in Georgia. When he was just six months old, his father ran off leaving Jackie’s mother to raise and provide for her five children alone. Despite poverty and prejudice, just 28 years later, Jackie joined the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American player baseball player EVER and became one of the most famous men in the world. This is an inspiring biography you won’t want to miss!
Middle Grade Reading Level, 128 pages, Published in 1990.
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord. Sixth Cousin Wong’s family has immigrated to Brooklyn, New York from China. Everything is new: her school, her house, the English language and even her new name, Shirley Temple Wong. But despite feeling so foreign in her new surroundings, Shirley is determined to succeed in America! In her search to fit in, she discovers baseball and its new superstar, Jackie Robinson. His rags to riches story makes him Shirley’s hero and confirms to her that the United States is truly the land of opportunity — even for a little girl like her. This sweet and funny novel will touch your heart.
Middle Grade Reading Level, 176 pages, Published in 1984.
Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Pulitzer Prize Winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin shares her memories of growing up on Long Island rooting for the ever-losing Brooklyn Dodgers with her father. I’m not much of a baseball fan, but I loved this book. Ms. Goodwin’s description of her family, her neighborhood and the baseball team she loved is a lovely glimpse into a bygone era of America. She experiences both joy and tragedy during her childhood and shares it all with humor and love. It’s another look at Jackie Robinson (and plenty of other players from the 1940’s and 1950’s) who influenced an entire generation!
High School Reading Level, 272 pages, Published in 1997.