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PROMISES TO KEEP: How Jackie Robinson Changed America

Sharon Robinson, Author
Sharon Robinson, Author . Scholastic $16.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-439-42592-6
Reviewed on: 02/09/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
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In this photo biography, Robinson (Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By ) offers an affectionate profile of her father who, she writes, "taught me to flip pancakes, hit a baseball, question political leaders, solve problems, and keep promises." The author's concise history of race relations in the United States enables youngsters to understand the underpinnings of the "segregated world" into which Robinson was born and the racism and injustices he encountered throughout his private and professional life. Especially intriguing is the author's incisive explanation of why her father was selected in 1947 as the individual to "pioneer the integration of Major League Baseball"; her discussion provides insight into the man's abilities and determination on and off the field. The volume's abundance of family photographs and reproductions of Robinson's letters to his wife and children amplify the highly personal nature of the narrative. The author notes that her parents encouraged her and her brothers to "measure our lives by the impact we had on other people's lives." Here she clearly, often eloquently, gauges the enormous impact Jackie Robinson had on so many lives as father, husband, athlete and crusader for justice and equality. Ages 9-12. (Feb.)

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