Always, Jackie: The True Story of a Boy and his Baseball Hero

Creative Editions. Jan. 2020. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781568463070.
Gr 3-5–When young Ronnie Rabinovitz’s father wrote a letter on his son’s behalf to Jackie Robinson, neither of them could have predicted that the simple act would spark a cross-cultural, intergenerational friendship. Surprisingly, Rabinovitz and Robinson became pen pals. The former met his idol in 1953, and the two kept in touch: Robinson attended Rabinovitz’s 10th birthday party, and the athlete took his young fan on a tour of the Dodgers’ dressing room to collect autographs from the team. Their friendship lasted until the end of the baseball player’s life, but his death didn’t stop Rabinovitz from continuing to speak about Robinson’s lasting personal and cultural influence. The author and cowriter Lewis highlight the story of an unlikely friendship and address the racism and hostility that Robinson faced in pursuit of his career. Reminiscent of Norman Rockwell’s art, Thompson’s sepia-hued illustrations pair perfectly with this story of hope and nostalgia.
VERDICT This nonfiction picture book is part biography, part memoir, and all tribute to Jackie Robinson. Purchase to enhance nonfiction picture book collections.

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