Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson

My students love baseball, especially the boys.  Year in and year out, that’s a given.  One of the most popular players to read about is Jackie Robinson.  When I saw Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson in the Scholastic catalog, I couldn’t wait to read it.

This is a touching tribute to Jackie Robinson, written by his daughter Sharon. While it does explain his how he integrated major league baseball, it is really a story of a daughter and her father. We see Jackie as a father and family man in the story, determined to do the best for his children.

In 1955 the family moved to a 6 acre stretch of land in Connecticut. The children befriended the neighbors and spent hours swimming in their lake and exploring. Jackie spent a lot of time with them, but never went in the lake because he could not swim. But when the lake freezes over, Sharon and her siblings learn just how brave their father is. Because while they know he was extremely brave to integrate baseball, children rarely see their parents the way the rest of the world does. This story is a tribute to Jackie Robinson as a father, not just as a baseball player. And Kadir Nelson’s drawings are gorgeous!

*Review copy courtesy of publisher

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2 Responses

  1. Wow, this seems like it would be a great book. It would be interesting to read from his daughter’s point of view of him as a father, as you mentioned.

    I have a question for you that is not related to this book. Do you ever have a hard time deciding whether or not to include certain YA books in your classroom library because you think they might be more geared to high school? Or do you typically include most books and leave it up to students to decide whether or not it is appropriate for them?

  2. Ironically, that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Before this year I rarely had an issue and I’m not sure why. Maybe because I had half as many students and felt I knew them better? Anyway, I’m struggling with curses right now. I’m really hesitant to put PURPLE HEART and NUMBERS (two recent examples) in my classroom library right now because of the excessive cursing. While I hear my students drop curses all day long, I don’t want to upset parents. And curses are such an easy thing to latch on to when a parent doesn’t want a book in the library.

    Wow, long response! So essentially, yes. But I don’t know what to do.

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