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Jackie Robinson, from a daughter’s perspective

February 20, 2011

Testing the Ice A True Story About Jackie Robinson
written by Sharon Robinson, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Scholastic Press, 2009
non-fiction picture book

Sharon Robinson tells this incredible and inspiring story of her father. It’s a metaphor for the courage her dad, the famous Jackie Robinson had when he broke the color barrier in baseball.

Just like he needed courage to play baseball in a time when the Major League Baseball only allowed whites with the Negro Leagues for men of other skin colors. When Robinson was offered a chance to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, he knew it would require courage and toughness – he’d be called names, threatened and attacked physically. Despite all that he endures, that same year, Robinson won Rookie of the Year.

The story also tells how Robinson never liked the water. In fact, he wouldn’t swim with his own kids.

One day, when Sharon and her siblings wanted to go ice-skating, her dad drew upon his courage and before he allowed the kids on the ice, he tested the ice on the frozen pond first.

“We cheered as loudly as we could, and we skated circles around Dad as he walked back onto solid ground. All I could think was: My dad is the bravest man alive.”

Book Play: Read more about Jackie Robinson! Read more here. Talk about what makes someone brave. Has your child ever felt brave? When?

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