cover image Play Ball, Jackie!

Play Ball, Jackie!

Stephen Krensky, illus. by Joe Morse, Lerner/Millbrook, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8225-9030-9

In 1947, a boy learns how his father got free tickets to the Opening Day game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves: Jackie Robinson is the Dodgers' new first baseman, and many fans are outraged. Matty's father also expresses his opinion: "I want to see the best players out there... I don't care what color they are." Some members of the stylized crowd wear "I'm for Jackie" buttons, while others raise their fists, heckling Robinson, who is drawn in resolute steel blues. Morse's dramatically grained, exaggerated artwork plays up the intensity of the era's racial tensions and the dynamism of the game, while Krensky adeptly moves between the action on Ebbets Field and Matty's conversations with his father. An intimate and powerful account of a historic day. Ages 7–10. (Mar.)