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Jackie and Me: A Very Special Friendship Hardcover – April 8, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-In this slight memoir, Grossinger draws a parallel between her feelings of not belonging and Jackie Robinson's experience as an African American baseball player in the 1950s. When the star athlete and his family stayed at the hotel in the Catskill Mountains owned by her cousins, the Grossingers, Robinson took a personal interest in young Tania by playing a game of Ping-Pong and listening to her concerns about feeling "on the outside looking in," and the two became lifelong friends. Illustrations show that living in the Grossinger's "castle" was difficult for the shy, awkward youngster even though famous celebrities visited often. The stylized, almost impressionistic collage artwork makes the 13-year-old look very different from one page to the next. While youngsters will learn a bit of trivia about Jackie's uniform number 42 that is worn each year on April 15th, the day he first played with the Dodgers as the first black player in the National League, more-informative books are available for learning about his significance to the game of baseball, such as Sharon Robinson's Jackie Robinson: American Hero (Scholastic, 2013).-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“"A very beautiful book. I highly recommend it!"” (Sally Jessy Raphael)
“A nostalgic little book about real friendship and the legendary Robinson's courage to overcome all obstacles.” (Liz Smith, Tribune Media Services)
“Grossinger tells her story simply, recalling those long-ago events with fondness and love in text that has the appearance of diary entries. Eye-catching, large-scale close-ups of Robinson and the author as a girl on bright, color-washed backgrounds placed on full- and double-page spreads neatly complement the text. . . . A lovely evocation of a man who changed baseball and America.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Jackie really loved watching Tania grow up and their story is a very special one.” (Rachel Robinson)
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The story is touchingly told, my 4 year old loves it, and the tactful treatment of what it was like for Jackie has led him to ask basic questions like "why did people not want a black man to play baseball" and "why did jackie feel like he was on the outside looking in."
We've had the book for a month, and my son is asking to read it every night.
We love baseball, we love the sybol that Jacie was and is and we love this book. Great for ay kid or adult into baseball and history, and good for ages 4+
As I finished reading the last page of this book, my 7yo daughter asked if we could go back to the beginning and read it again. She loved hearing about real people. We had a few quick side discussions about racism, American history, and character, and I expect we'll pick up those discussions in greater detail on future readings. It is rare for me to look forward to reading a children's book a second time, but I absolutely feel that way about this book.