cover image Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963

Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963

Sharon Robinson. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-338-28280-1

In this coming-of-age memoir, Robinson (The Hero Two Doors Down), daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, focuses on the year 1963, when she was 13, illuminating how political activism on the national stage intertwined with her growing awareness of the civil rights movement. Robinson lives a privileged life in Stamford, Conn., with a large house and her own horse. Yet as one of two black students in her class, she feels a disconnect between her family’s focus on the church bombings, nonviolent protests, and imprisonment of marchers taking place in Birmingham, Ala., and her schoolmates’ lack of awareness about current events. She also worries about her brother, who struggles with the pressure of being his famous father’s namesake, and she enjoys new experiences attending all-black social events, such as a Jack and Jill club designed to nurture future African-American leaders. Observing her father’s commitment to furthering the cause of justice, watching the Children’s March in Birmingham, and hearing Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech inspire Robinson to embrace political activism and honor her family’s legacy. Robinson’s unique viewpoint, accompanied by illuminating photographs from this charged historical period, offers plenty to hold readers’ attention. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)