cover image Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson

Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson

Sharon Robinson, , illus. by Kadir Nelson . Scholastic Press, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-545-05251-1

The daughter of the baseball legend recalls the moment when she fully understood the courage it took for her father to break baseball’s color barrier. Jackie Robinson never learned to swim and refuses to join his kids in the lake that fronts their Connecticut estate. But when winter comes and everyone wants to go skating, Robinson overcomes his fear to test the ice for his children. “We waited for what seemed like forever,” recalls the author (Slam Dunk! ), describing how the ice moans and heaves as her father taps it with a broomstick to determine its thickness. “That was Jackie Robinson. And that was my dad. Big, heavy, out there alone on the lake, testing the ice to be sure it would be safe for us.” Nelson (Henry’s Freedom Box ), a Caldecott Honor artist, contributes sumptuous, cinematic paintings that immerse readers in every scene, whether it’s an eye-to-eye meeting with Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey or an idyllic summer afternoon at the family home. Readers will close the book understanding that there are many ways to be hero—and Robinson had all the bases covered. Ages 7–10. (Oct.)