So Many Wonderful Sports Books
There are so many headline grabbing athletes today, it is difficult to enter the children’s section of a book store and not be dazzled by the number of books about them, but I want to suggest that as you browse through the books pick up one about athletes of yesteryear. I have already mentioned the Jim Thorpe book on my monthly list of recommendations. I also want to highlight two Jackie Robinson books. I loved I am Jackie Robinson, Ordinary People change the World by Brad Melzer. It looks like a book for the tiny ones, but it is quite dense. I think maybe I would share it with first graders and older groups. I find the comic-like format of this book refreshing and I felt it took a difficult subject, racism, and made it more understandable, some might find it off-putting or perhaps too glib for the subject. Melzer uses this format in this Ordinary Peopleseries for young readers. If you enjoy the format, in this series he has also written books about Gandhi, Lincoln, Neil Armstrong, Amelia Earhart, Jane Goodall, George Washington, and others and they are worth checking out. The second Jackie Robinson book I was impressed by was When Jack and Hank Metby Cathy Goldberg Fishman and illustrated by Mark Elliot. This beautiful book tells the parallel stories of two athletes, Jackie Robinson and Hank Greenberg, who grow up in worlds that seem far apart, and yet, one day the two men meet on a baseball field. Jackie has arrived there after facing racial discrimination, Hank has faced religious discrimination there they stand on the field together, each by his very presence having opened up the game of baseball and in doing so, changed the world.