Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963

Scholastic. Sept. 2019. 240p. photos. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781338282801.
Gr 3-7–As the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the author lived in a wealthy Connecticut neighborhood, attended an all-white school (with only two exceptions), and even owned a horse. Her family consisted of her parents and two brothers, Jackie Jr., a troubled youth, and younger brother David. While blessed in some ways, Robinson still faced subtle ignorance about her race from her peers. However, a television program featuring black people protesting in Birmingham, AL, and the “Segregation now, Segregation forever” battle cry from George Wallace opened Robinson’s eyes to life beyond her neighborhood. Readers are introduced to this time period and its implications for the segregated South. At times almost exhaustive, the detailed descriptions of segregation laws and events such as the Little Rock Nine, Brown v. Board of Education, and church bombings do, however, serve a purpose. The honest explanation of the civil rights movement mirrors the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers. Robinson shows the events that led up to the March on Washington; she recounts her advocacy in action through fundraising, creating awareness, and marching with those seeking to make a difference in the world, as well as meeting King. Her excitement is palpable; her experiences are unforgettable. Sixteen pages of family photos enhance the memoir.
VERDICT A depiction of the civil rights movement that exudes honesty and composure from a remarkable voice who tells her story with grace and pride. Readers will be moved and inspired.

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