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Play Ball, Jackie!
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Play Ball, Jackie!

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Library Binding, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Millbrook Press (first published August 1st 2010)
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Play Ball, Jackie by Stephen Krensky is a children's picture book that tells the story of Jackie Robinson's first Major League Baseball game for the Dodgers in 1947 through the eyes of Matty, a boy in the stands. Matty tells the story portraying to the reader the tension felt in the stands as the first African American man plays his first game in Major League Baseball.

This story would be a great read aloud in the classroom. The book can encourage class discussions of famous African Americans in
Sharon Lawler
The illustrations will immediately strike the reader as "strong", which is the character of this fictional account of Jackie Robinson and his pivotal role in breaking the color barrier in baseball. The pennants on the endpapers, the ads displayed around the stadium evoke 1947 and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Even though is was a school day, Matty has accompanied his dad to Ebbets Field to witness the first major league baseball game to include an African American--first baseman, Jackie Robinson. Excell ...more
I actually really like the artwork--the blue tones and the predominantly stern and angry faces help convey the reality that despite this major step forward for civil rights, this wasn't a fun and celebratory time; just the opposite. But you know what, we've done this story before, and Krensky's text isn't really a story, it's mostly exposition, covering all the informational bases.

All the Jackie Robinson books make it seem like he was the only one who broke the color barrier. (Just like all the
Caroline Petrow
Play Ball, Jackie By, Stephen Krensky

Description: This is a fictionalized account of Jackie Robinson’s debut to major league baseball. It uses historical facts and recounts information about the civil rights time. However, it is based in a fictional story to reiterate the underlying theme of what it meant to be an African American playing baseball during that time.

Mini Lesson: Use details to support main idea: This book states big ideas such as segregation and gives multiple examples of what tha
Sharon Medina
The story was about a rookie baseball player named Jackie Robinson. He was the first African-American man who played baseball as a Major League player for the Dodger’s. A young boy named Matty and his dad went to the opening game. Matty noticed that most of the African-American’s were supporting Jackie and the white’s were not. Matty went to get a hot dog and met three other boys. They were discussing about Jackie playing for the Dodger’s. Two of the boys were white and the other was black. The ...more
Krensky does a good job of placing the reader in the stands during the first major league game that Jackie Robinson played in. I liked the point-of-view being that of a young boy enjoying a baseball game, who doesn't understand why so many people are throwing things and saying ugly, awful things. The book would be excellent for discussing discrimination and unkindness, which, unfortunately, are still very much with us.

The illustrations do a good job showing the action and the emotion of the play
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Matty’s father gets free tickets to the baseball game. It’s the first game of the Dodgers’ new first baseman, Jackie Robinson. Many white people don’t want to see a black man play on the team. Matty remembered how his grandfather had told him that everyone deserves a chance. Matty decides to give Jackie a chance, too.

“’What do you think, Dad?’ Matty asked. ‘Should Jackie Robinson be here?’

‘I want to see the best players out there,’ said his father. ‘I don’t care what color they are. Remember, yo
Mary Anjali
This story is not about just Jackie, which is what you might predict from the title. This book is actually about a young italian boy who learns about racism first hand. His father has to explain to him that even his own grandpa came from another land, that everyone was an immigrant at one point. The young boy takes his knowledge to stand up for Jackie and another young african american boy at the ball park. He wears a button that says "for jackie". The theme here is that everyone no matter what ...more
This was a great depiction of what it would have been like to witness Jackie Robinson's first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was told from the viewpoint of a child watching the game with his father and was nice for the fact that it told the story without drawing some miraculous personal connection between the boy and Jackie Robinson. It describes in great detail the fan reactions from a boy who starts the game from a neutral point of view and builds into being in support of Jackie. Very nice ...more
I liked this depiction of a young Italian boy enjoying Jackie Robinson's first baseball game. Much of the known facts of Robinson's experience is shared, though I did not see source notes. There is back matter with photos, resources and websites. The illustrations were interesting and fit well. It would be good to pair with other Robinson biographies.
A picture book best suited for older readers (ages 8-12). The story of Jackie Robinson is told in a child-friendly way through the eyes of a young boy at the opening game of 1947 with his dad. Illustrations are good but complex and likely confusing for some readers. Not a good class read-aloud as pictures take some exploring.
Holly Thompson
How sad it would be if African Americans didn't play in major league baseball today! It's people like Jackie Robinson who tolerated the tormenting and paved the way for some great ball players like Kirby Puckett and Torii Hunter. I can't imagine a segregated baseball field - or country.
Powers Family
This is a good book to launch into a discussion of history and civil rights. It may surprise kids that segregation extended to sports. I like the art in this book as well. The irony of the "only whites served" sign in the window of the Liberty Cafe was not lost on my kids.
The story of Jackie Robinson's first ballgame, told from the fictional perspective of a young white boy. Good choice for historical fiction and civil rights movement. Recommended for grades 2 - 4.
A boy and his dad are at the season opener where Jackie Robinson makes his fisrt appearance as a Dodger. Historical perspective of why this was a significant event.
A wonderful concise picture book about Jackie Robinson. The pictures are fantastic! I really liked the end papers!
Edward Sullivan
Striking illustrations, but the author ladens the story with too much information.
Aimee Owen
Sports fans will enjoy this inspiring tale of baseball and acceptance.
beautifully illustrated! way better than i thought ... it wasn't boring!
Nancy Yob
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Mar 01, 2015
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