42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero

42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero

 
3.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
481   0
Write Review
42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 05, 2017
ISBN
978-0763676247
Buy This Book
      
Baseball, basketball, football — no matter the game, Jackie Robinson excelled. His talents would have easily landed another man a career in pro sports, but such opportunities were closed to athletes like Jackie for one reason: his skin was the wrong color. Settling for playing baseball in the Negro Leagues, Jackie chafed at the inability to prove himself where it mattered most: the major leagues. Then in 1946, Branch Rickey, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, recruited Jackie Robinson. Jackie faced cruel and sometimes violent hatred and discrimination, but he proved himself again and again, exhibiting courage, determination, restraint, and a phenomenal ability to play the game. In this compelling biography, award-winning author Doreen Rappaport chronicles the extraordinary life of Jackie Robinson and how his achievements won over — and changed — a segregated nation.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.8
Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
N/A  (0)
Learning Value 
 
4.0  (2)
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.
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
N/A
Learning Value 
 
4.0

The story of an exceptional man.

Jackie Robinson was an exceptional man, and in 42 Is Not Just a Number, Doreen Rappaport shows readers why he should certainly be celebrated for not only his baseball prowess, but also for his strength of character. Although the book is brief, it succeeds in that mission.

Rappaport brings Jackie Robinson to life by focusing on his childhood, his family, and the struggles he faced growing up in the 1920s and 30s as a strong willed child of color in the days of segregation. Jackie faced injustices everywhere he went, and he fought them in every way he could. Rappaport does a fine job of showing how Jackie Robinson challenged the status quo whenever he faced adversity in the educational system, in the military, and in everyday life. And her portrayal of Jackie-the-fighter offers an excellent backdrop for the time when Jackie was forced to fight, not with words or fists, but with silence and restraint when he became the first black man to play baseball in the major leagues.

42 Is Not Just a Number highlights some fascinating facts about Robinson and his family, and its short chapters help keep the story moving. Although the book is a brief 128 pages, there is a lot of history crammed into it. That said, it would have benefited from some fleshing out of these real-life characters. The second to last chapter highlights the 1947 “Subway Series” between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and although Jackie Robinson played for almost ten more years after that, the book ends somewhat abruptly with a final brief chapter that details the final accolades for the man. I know that I was left wanting more, and I suspect young readers who are pulled into Jackie’s story by the narrative up until that final chapter will be disappointed in the lackluster conclusion. I’d also love to see some photos (the cover is great, and the only photo offered)… I’m a firm believer that every non-fiction book targeting youth should be filled with photographs to help illustrate the “realness” of the people and/or events portrayed.

Overall, I recommend 42 Is Not Just a Number for baseball fans and as a supplementary book for middle grades units on civil rights.

My thanks to YA Books Central and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Good Points
Background on an American hero suitable for middle grade readers
Great supplementary material for lesson plans on civil rights
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice
A perfect tool for young readers as they grow into...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
Texas: 1931. It’s the height of the Great Depression, and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Voyage of the Dogs
SOS. Ship damaged. Human crew missing. We are...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Shorty & Clem Blast Off!
The energetic and zany duo Shorty and Clem are back,...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Bear's Spooky Book of Hidden Things: Halloween Seek-and-Find
If you want to keep kids happily busy for hours...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Strange New World
Dahlia 16's life is a lie. The city of...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Like Never And Always
Liv Burnham thinks nobody knows Morgan Frost like she...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Outcasts- The Blood Dagger: Volume 1
Mystical relics. Powerful vampires. Strange allies. It's hell being...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ascent (A Peak Marcello Adventure #3)
After conquering the mountains in Afghanistan, Peak Marcello goes...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Here to Stay
For most of high school, Bijan Majidi has flown under...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Hiding Lies
At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
We, The Lucky Few
"Each time I think this night reaches its lowest...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)
The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meg has it made. She has money to spare, attends...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Red Ribbon
Shining a light on a little-known aspect of the Holocaust,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
 
4.3
"Bonnie Parker is waiting for Clyde to be released from prison. It's 1931 and she wants him to come..."
Here to Stay
 
4.7
"Bijan Majidi does okay in high school-- he has a good friend, Sean, is on the basketball team, and while..."
Hiding Lies
 
5.0
"HIDING LIES is the second installment in the Eleanor Ames series. It begins with Ellie and Miles saying goodbye since..."
The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)
 
5.0
"Apollo, now known as a human teenager named Lester, must restore five Oracles that have gone dark in order to..."
The Red Ribbon
 
5.0
"Fourteen-year-old Ella is striped down and treated as subhuman by the Nazis and tries to survive. When she hears of..."
Strange New World
 
4.3
"Dahlia 16 just found out her whole life is a lie and that she's not a clone after all...."
Ascent (A Peak Marcello Adventure #3)
 
5.0
"After their disastrous climb in The Edge, Ethan, Alessia and Peak are looking for some adventure that is a bit..."
Uncle Tom's Cabin
 
5.0
" “Any mind that is capable of a real sorrow is capable of good.” To be..."
Brave New Girl
 
4.0
"All Dahlia 16 knows is that she's just one of five thousand identical girls that's sole purpose is to work..."
The Last Best Story
 
4.7
"'The Last Best Story' by Maggie Lehrman is provocative and intriguing, bringing a shadow of a doubt to the truth-finding..."
Picture Us in the Light
 
2.0
"I tried, but I just could not finish this book. I could only make it to chapter three. It is..."
Little White Lies
 
4.0
"LITTLE WHITE LIES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a novel mashup of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars set in..."
Missing at 17
 
3.0
"When Candice, better known as Candy, discovers that she's adopted, she feels betrayed and angry. These negative emotions make her..."
Let Me List the Ways
 
4.3
"'Let Me List the Ways' by Sarah White is a breezy and engaging look at the relationship between two best..."
LIFEL1K3
 
4.3
"LifeL1k3 is an engaging novel full of incredible writing, violence, action, romance, and strong world-building. Told in third person, and..."
Playing Her Secret Crush
 
4.0
" "Playing Her Secret Crush" follows Katie and Alex as they enter their senior year of high school. Katie has..."
The Year of Living Awkwardly
 
4.7
"Chloe Snow is a high school sophomore who is struggling with the abandonment of her mother. She also is absorbed..."
Six of Crows
 
4.7
" A clever and dark YA fantasy—featuring a well-rounded cast paired to a heist plot that tugs at the mind..."
Three Dark Crowns
 
2.3
"Original Review: literarychaos.com Rating: 2.5 Stars I really wanted to love this book, unfortunately, I just..."
These Rebel Waves
 
4.7
"THESE REBEL WAVES is the first book in a fantasy duology by Sara Raasch. The story is told in third..."