42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero
This compelling biography chronicles the extraordinary courage and dignity of Jackie Robinson, who not only broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball but also changed white Americans’ perceptions of black Americans. His impact reached beyond the world of sports: he won over the hearts of all Americans and became an American hero.
Junior Library Guild
“Rappaport condenses Robinson’s bio from his early years in his financially struggling family, through stints in community college, the military, and UCLA, and forward to his recruitment onto the Montreal Royals and, ultimately, the Brooklyn Dodgers. Short chapters revolve around well-defined episodes, and the scope of the entire work extends only through Robinson’s 1947 season, with a coda that skips ahead to the posthumous retirement of number 42 in 1997. Brevity and accessibility, however, don’t mean lightweight coverage: Rappaport slams down hard on the vicious opponents and rival fans who made Robinson’s rise through the system a living hell, sparingly but effectively dropping the n-bomb in documented quotations. Retellings of the Robinson story have sometimes cast him as pacifistic, or at least stoic, in the face of the racial slurs, but Rappaport presses against this image as well, depicting Robinson as a man with a personal history of using his mouth and his fists in defense of his dignity and who therefore fought daily against his pugnacious nature in order to disarm the arguments of those who would keep African-American players out of the game.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books