Testing the Ice
A True Story About Jackie Robinson: A True Story About Jackie Robinson
Publication Date: October 2009
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When Jackie Robinson retires from baseball and moves his family to Connecticut, the beautiful lake on their property is the center of everyone's fun. The neighborhood children join the Robinson kids for swimming and boating. But oddly, Jackie never goes near the water.
In a dramatic episode that first winter, the children beg to go ice skating on the lake. Jackie says they can go--but only after he tests the ice to make sure it's safe. The children prod and push to get Jackie outside, until hesitantly, he finally goes. Like a blind man with a stick, (contd.)
Jackie taps on the ice's surface, when suddenly howling and roaring sounds come out of the lake! It is only then that Sharon realizes why she's never seen her father in the water -- Jackie doesn't know how to swim! But her horror changes to relief as Jackie bravely taps his way to the middle of the lake -- and declare it safe!
In a stunning metaphor for Jackie Robinson's legendary breaking of the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Sharon Robinson honors her extraordinary father's memory with her warm graceful storytelling. Two-time Caldecott Honor Book artist Kadir Nelson has created richly rendered paintings that radiate with the beauty and spirit of one of America's finest heroes.
Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction. She has also written several widely praised nonfiction books about her father, including JACKIE'S NINE: BECOMING YOUR BEST SELF and PROMISES TO KEEP: HOW JACKIE ROBINSON CHANGED AMERICA.
Kadir Nelson illustrated two Caldecott Honor Books: MOSES and HENRY'S FREEDOM BOX. ELLINGTON WAS NOT A STREET by Ntozake Shange won the Coretta Scott King Award. Will Smith’s JUST THE TWO OF US won an NAACP Image Award, and his new book, WE ARE THE SHIP continues to garner major awards. Nelson showed artistic talent at age 3 and began working in oils by age 16. He lives with his family in San Diego, California.
Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball player Jackie Robinson, wanted to teach kids about her father, so she wrote a children's book. But instead of focusing on the achievement for which her father is most famous — breaking baseball's color barrier — she chose a more humble, personal moment. More at NPR.org
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