Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
N/A
Learning Value 
 
4.0

Nice Overview of Career and Life

This biography of Jackie Robinson balanced things well. There was information about Robinson's life as a child, which made the historical context of his inclusion on a major league baseball team make more sense. There were enough details to make the story interesting, but not so many that the book got bogged down. The pages were well formatted-- there was enough white space, and the print was not tiny. I always appreciate a good index, and there are even footnotes (which one needs, but which students never consult!). There could have been more pictures--Tam O'Shaughnessy. Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America's Pioneering Woman in Space really spoiled me, and I want ALL the biographies I read to have this many pictures!

Good Points
My favorite books to read in 4th grade were biographies. My elementary school library didn't have many, but there was a section of Childhood of Famous Americans books, and I would take out one a day (I worked in the library during recess-- there's a shocker!) and read it on the back porch at home when the weather was nice. While those books aren't tremendously well researched, they were fun to read. The best biographies hit a balance between those two important things.

I learned a lot of interesting facts, and my readers who want sports books will read ANY sports books, even nonfiction ones. There are a lot of books covering Jackie Robinson's life, however-- I would be even more interested in a book about his brother, Mac, who came in second to Jesse Owens in the Olympics, or about the other African American men who came right after Robinson-- Larry Doby, Willard Brown, Henry Thompson and Dan Bankhead. Until those books come out, I'll definitely have a need for Ms. Rappaport's fine book.
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