The United States v. Jackie Robinson

illus. by R. Gregory Christie. 40p. bibliog. chron. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Jan. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062287847.
Gr 3–6—Bordhan-Quallen does not mince words when retelling how Jackie Robinson, not yet the iconic ball player, was arrested and subject to a court-martial when he was in the army for sitting at the front of a bus. The author reiterates throughout that many white people "didn't see an officer in the United States Army. They only saw a black man." In Christie's acrylic gouache painted illustrations, Robinson is usually placed in the center, surrounded by often-angry white faces. Christie elegantly shows readers a visual representation of how Robinson must have felt everyday—different, out of place, resented. A substantial amount of back matter reinforces the storylike narrative. Bordhan-Quallen includes a time line of the history of segregation in the United States along with Robinson's life, in addition to a bibliography. An author's note with commentary on the importance of standing up for what's right is also included.
VERDICT There are many biographies on Jackie Robinson, but this is a worthy addition that focuses on a period of his life before baseball.

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