Monday, November 7, 2016

Robinson, Sharon. The Hero Two Doors Down.

Robinson, Sharon.  The Hero Two Doors Down.  Scholastic Press  2016  202p  $16.99  ISBN 978-0-545-80451-6  elem/ms  Historical  fiction  E-BN    

Stephen Satlow and his father love baseball, especially the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Stephen hears a rumor that a black family is moving into his all-Jewish neighborhood, and a few days later he discovers it is Jackie Robinson and his family. This is the story of the two becoming friends, and particularly a misunderstanding between them one December.  Stephen is at Jackie’s house and he helps the Robinsons decorate their Christmas tree.  Jackie asks if the Satlows have their tree up yet. Stephen answers that they don’t have a tree. To the consternation of Stephen’s parents, Jackie delivers a tree to them.  How do they explain that since they are Jewish they don’t celebrate Christmas or have a tree without embarrassing Jackie?  The families have a good laugh over the misunderstanding and remain good friends. This novel was written by Jackie Robinson’s daughter.  The story gives a glimpse of human insight into the life of a baseball legend. 

This title should be popular among baseball lovers and can be read as a supplement to biographies of Jackie Robinson.  It would be a good way to lead reluctant boys into fiction reading. 

Summary: Jackie Robinson moves into Stephen’s neighborhood, and they become friends.  But one December, they have a misunderstanding. Great for boys and all middle-grade readers.   

Jewish-Christian relations-Fiction, Baseball-Fiction.             --Joan Theal

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