The Book Reviews – Website

September 21, 2008

Jackie’s Nine

Jackie’s Nine

Author: Sharon Robinson

Page Length: 181

Reading Level: 5

Genre: Non-Fiction           

PLOT SUMMARY: Sharon Robinson wrote the book Jackie’s Nine as a tribute to her dad, Jackie Robinson, the first African-American professional baseball player.  The book is written in nine chapters, each giving tribute to one of the values Jackie Robinson lived by.  Each chapter includes a story from Jackie’s life, and one from Sharon’s life to describe the particular principle. Sharon, also, includes at least one selection about one of her personal heroes who has touched her life in someway.

The values shared begin with courage and end with excellence.  Those values helping to reach that end objective of excellence are:  determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, and commitment.  Some of the celebrities who Sharon shares stories about are Christopher Reeve, Pee Wee Reese, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Michael Jordan,  Roberto Clemente, Muhammad Ali, and Oprah Winfrey.

REVIEW: Sharon Robinson has followed in the footsteps of her dad, mother and brother who have all been inspirations of life to the people of the United States.  Sharon experienced her own particular hardships before she reached the age of 23, losing her brother in a car wreck and her dad just a year later, to a massive heart attack.

She shares how she took control of her life getting her nursing degree, later retiring and joining the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball as Director of Education Programming.  She launched Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life, an educational program using baseball-themed activities as teaching tools around the country.  Breaking Barriers is based on the nine values presented in this book. 

This is a very inspirational and motivational book for young teens to read. The selections are brief but informative.  Authentic pictures of Jackie, Sharon and the celebrities are featured which bring the stories more to life.  This book would serve as a good “teacher read aloud” or the selections could be read individually and used as writing prompts.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: Writing prompts, Compare/Contrast, Cause/Effect, and Historical Context

RELATED BOOKS: Promises to Keep, Stealing Home: The Story of Jackie Robinson

MOVIE, MUSIC, ART CONNECTIONS:The Jackie Robinson Story”, “Brain Pops: A Social Studies Movie about Jackie Robinson”, the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown

RELATED WEBSITES:

www.ilfonline.org/AIME/YHBA/newstuff/PromisesToKeep.pdf

www.jackierobinson.org

www.bookpage.com/0105bp/sharon_robinson.html

www.loc.gov/locvideo/robinson

REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

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