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Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson
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Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  669 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, has crafted a hearwarming, true story about growing up with her father.

When Jackie Robinson retires from baseball and moves his family to Connecticut, the beautiful lake on their property is the center of everyone's fun. The neighborhood children join the Robinson kids for swimming and boating. But oddly, Ja
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press
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Mar 12, 2016 Christine rated it really liked it
Suggested Grade Levels: K-2nd Grade
Genre: Informational-Biography
Historical Topic: Jackie Robinson-First Colored Player in MLB
Themes: Perseverance and determination

This is a story about Jackie Robinson told by his daughter, Sharon. The story plays with a double meaning between telling the story of how Jackie Robinson tested the waters of MLB by being the first person of color to play in the Majors and the story of how Jackie Robinson did not know how to swim. Despite his inability to swim, he we
Really lovely intermediate-level book written by Sharon Robinson about her father Jackie. The strength of this book is that it's a pretty small story. It touches on her father's entrance into major league baseball, but mostly it's just about him being her dad. When she was little I think she knew that he was important, but mostly he was just her dad. The story takes place primarily around 1955 when the family relocated to an idyllic house in Connecticut. Her dad loves the woods, but always stays ...more
If I could give this book a billion stars, I would. Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson is a story told from a childhood memory, that speaks volumes. What child would not be proud of a father who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball? Yet, he is also the father that braved walking across the frozen ice to test its strength, knowing that he couldn't swim. For his children, he would do the unthinkable...for a nation of baseball fans, he was the first of a long line of fi ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
Jackie Robinson was a man who "tested the ice" both literally and figuratively. This story is a combination story of Jackie telling his children and the neighbor children the story of how he entered baseball's Major League. He talked about how it was difficult, but he knew it was important for others who would soon follow in his footsteps. The story that continues through this book is that the Robinson's moved to a house in Connecticut and even though the whole family and the neighbor children l ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
My children are younger than the ages recommended for this book and they still loved it. My son loved it as he's a huge baseball fan and loved learning about one of America's greatest baseball players. Sharon does such a great job at pulling the reader into this story. It starts out talking about her father's accomplishments and what he endured as an African American baseball player. Then she talks about this beautiful home and property they moved into in CT that had a lovely pond that they woul ...more
Julie Williams
Jul 09, 2013 Julie Williams rated it really liked it
It was 1956. Jackie Robinson has retired from baseball, his family lives on a farm in Connecticut with a pond, and he spends a lot of time with his family and their friends. He tells them stories of his years in baseball and the opposition he faced. In the winter, his children and their friends want to go ice skating so he takes them out to the lake. But before he will let them go out he tests the ice even though he can’t swim. His daughter, Sharon, is amazed at just how brave he was.

The author
Written by Jackie Robinson's daughter, this beautiful biography demonstrates his courage. Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in the Major Leagues on the Brooklyn Dodgers team. He faced insults, threats and physical attacks. Still he persisted. Another demonstration of his courage came later. The family had moved to Connecticut and it was winter. The lake had frozen and the children, including their neighbors, wanted to ice skate. Robinson carefully went out onto the lake to t ...more
Jun 21, 2012 Hayley rated it it was amazing
Audience: This book is great for children of all ages. For younger children, it's harder to read but an adult or older child could read it to them. It's also a great read for someone that is a fan of baseball or Jackie Robinsion.

Appeal: I would incorporate this into the classroom when discussing African American history or when talking about treating everyone equally. It tells how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball but it also talks about another fear that he had and that he ov
Apr 07, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2011, picture
Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson, relates events from her childhood and ties them to her father's experiences as the first African American major league baseball player. A great selection for students who already know about Jackie Robinson and his role in the Civil Rights movement.

I'm not sure why this book is considered fiction. The story is written by Sharon Robinson and she relates events from her childhood.
Jun 22, 2016 Jillian rated it liked it
A wonderful story, although I think the ice metaphor might be lost on the Very Young Ones. The illustrations are beautifully detailed, and I loved the simple lesson about bravery even without the bigger picture. (And let's never underestimate the importance of this book's Big Picture!)
Jun 23, 2012 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: Young to Intermediate readers

Appeal: Sports fans, family oriented readers and civil rights activists will enjoy this book.

Awards: 2012 Golden Sower nominee & 2012 Show-Me nominee
Jan 19, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
I love this book from the way it told the story, to the illustrations to the lesson learned from an American hero.
Jan 09, 2017 Kate rated it really liked it
This was a great and gentle introduction to the history of racial relation for my two little children. Very beautifully written and illustrated.
I like Jackie Robinson's story and impact on history. This is a different angle. His daughter writes about him as a father rather than as a baseball player. He is shown to be brave in more ways than the ones he is famous for. A nice love note to a father.
Jul 16, 2013 M J rated it it was amazing
Testing the Ice is a short biographical story about one event in the life of Jackie Robinson, the first African American major league baseball player in America. It was written by and from the point of view of an adoring daughter, Sharon Robinson. This story has earned the Choices Award in 2009 from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Parents’ Choice Award in 2009, as well as nominated for the Show Me Award in 2011.

The story begins with a brief history about who Jackie Robinson was, and wh
Cassidy Wells
Feb 24, 2017 Cassidy Wells rated it really liked it
Shelves: eled-340
I thought this was a really good biography that provided both accurate information about the life of Jackie Robinson as well as a fun-loving story about his life as a father. I like how the author seamlessly connected the two. Also, I think it was a really good biography because his daughter wrote the book, meaning that the information in it is very accurate. Biography.
Mary Ann
I especially love sharing picture book biographies with young children. They are intrigued by the real stories, and the best of these books push students to think about bigger issues. Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson, is a wonderful, stirring picture book by Sharon Robinson and Kadir Nelson that shares the story of Jackie Robinson with a young audience.

Sharon Robinson, daughter of famed baseball player Jackie Robinson, wrote this book to teach kids about her father, but she f
Sep 24, 2011 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
While searching the library shelves for treasures, I came across Testing the Ice by Sharon Robinson, a true story about Jackie Robinson. The last names are not a coincidence; Sharon wrote this book about her beloved father. What I cherished about her story was that it wasn’t centered around Jackie's record-breaking baseball career, but rather focused on a different side of her father… a side that portrayed vulnerability and insecurities in one of our most profound heroes.
Not only did this hear
Mar 20, 2014 Amaal rated it it was amazing
Title: Testing the Ice A True Story About Jackie Robinson
Author: Sharon Robinson; illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Date of Publication: 2009
Genre: Biography/Picture Book
Annotations: In this book, Sharon Robinson tells a short tale of growing up with her father, Jackie Robinson. From describing what it was like where they lived, telling a story from her father’s point of view of what it was like breaking the color barrier in baseball, and how her father tested the ice for her siblings, friends, and her
Mar 30, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book—a tribute from a daughter to her heroic father. And isn’t that the way it should be? My father was certainly my childhood hero (and he still is!). Author Sharon Robinson grew up with fond memories of her father who was the first black man to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. It’s a story about courage brought to life through the stunning illustrations by Kadir Nelson. I especially loved the facial close-ups. They helped to make the story that much more re ...more
Oct 03, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful diversity book of people of color. I enjoyed the illustrations. I would recommend this book to 2nd or 3rd graders.

Children's Literature
This is a beautifully illustrated book written by Jackie Robinson's daughter about her father, his break into baseball, and a personal family story. The family had just moved from Queens, NY to Connecticut and the part of the move that the family liked best was the new friends that they made with the neighbors and the lake that ran to their y
Taylor Winnix
Apr 24, 2016 Taylor Winnix rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Who knew that Jackie Robinson had a fear of ice? How does this connect to his impact with baseball? All of these questions are answered in this book Testing the Ice: A True Story about Jackie Robinson. This book would be great for students in grades 3-5 to introduce the impact of Jackie Robinson. Students will be able to read about many events that he went through to become the legend that he was. For example, it described how it was difficult for him to play on a team that included white player ...more
May 05, 2015 Agapuci rated it it was amazing
It is a very moving book. It says about a man who must face his own fear for the sake of his beloved children. The man who cannot swim and is terribly afraid of water avoids going into the lake, which is located near his family's house. At the very beginning we don't know hwy he is afraid of the lake so much; there is a huge mystery around him. it seems like there is a particular reason for his fear of the water. It seems that the man must have had a traumatic experience connected with water in ...more
Madie Marie
Apr 19, 2016 Madie Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
Multicultural book number 4- In the book it starts off the Jackie and his family moving to the country and his children becoming friends with the neighbor children who are caucasian. The neighbor children want to know about how Jackie got into the Major Leagues. The story goes onto tell about how in that time, the teams were segregated into white and black leagues. One day a gentleman offered for Jackie to play on a caucasian team if he was willing to ignore the remarks and control his temper. J ...more
Kayla Buchan
Jul 09, 2013 Kayla Buchan rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: Primary
Genre: Picture Book
Pre-reading strategy: Anticipation Guide- Relate prior knowledge, experiences, and curiosity with new concepts from the book.

As my pre-reading strategy, I would begin by reading a passage from the book:

"Baseball, like most of America, was segregated," Dad began. "Major League Baseball was for whites only. Black-and brown-skinned players had to play in the Negro Leagues. Some of the greatest baseball players were not white. They were denied entry into the maj
Nov 18, 2016 Jackie added it
Shelves: life-stories
Summary: Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, shares this story of her father after his major league baseball career. The children in the neighborhood all come to play but first gather around Jackie Robinson to hear his life story. Jackie describes how he had to 'test the ice' throughout his career and how he was able to pave the way for other African Americans to follow their dreams an join the big leagues.

Review: A new take on the life story of Jackie Robinson will have you interested
Elizabeth S
Apr 12, 2011 Elizabeth S rated it really liked it
Wonderfully done. While the book tells the story of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in MLB, that is not the whole purpose of the book. The book is really about bravery, both dramatic and simple. It leaves you feeling that even though your dad isn't on the news or remembered in history, yet he may be just as brave as Jackie Robinson. It is also a glimpse into the home life of Jackie Robinson, as told by his daughter. It doesn't say anything about the kids having friends of different sk ...more
Linda Silva
Oct 23, 2012 Linda Silva rated it it was amazing
Jackie Robinson not only showed his courage when he crossed the race barrier in the American baseball leagues in the 1940's, but he also became the bravest man in his children's eyes. This story shows Jackie and his children interacting in an activity that Jackie is very uncomfortable, swimming. However, when it comes to his children's safety after the pond freezes over, Jackie is the first one out on the ice to check its' thickness. His unselfishness is also evident when he paved the way for ot ...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
My children are younger than the ages recommended for this book and they still loved it. My son loved it as he's a huge baseball fan and loved learning about one of America's greatest baseball players. Sharon does such a great job at pulling the reader into this story. It starts out talking about her father's accomplishments and what he endured as an African American baseball player. Then she talks about this beautiful home and property they moved into in CT that had a lovely pond that they wou ...more
Sarah BT
Mar 09, 2011 Sarah BT rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I really enjoyed this book! Sharon Robinson's writing style is beautiful. She never talks down to the reader. She's written a book that has a message without it ever feeling too preachy. Instead, it comes across as her telling a childhood tale. The image of Jackie Robinson stepping out onto the frozen ice, even though he's afraid because he can't swim is also a great metaphor for him stepping into the world of baseball and breaking the color barrier. But this metaphor is worked so well into the ...more
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