Stealing Home: The Jackie Robinson Story
Stealing Home: The Jackie Robinson Story

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Annotation: Picture book narrative of Jackie Robinson's steal home in the first game of the 1955 World Series.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #14416
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2007
Illustrator: Wimmer, Mike,
Pages: 32
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 0-689-86276-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-12643-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-689-86276-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-12643-5
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2006001048
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Burleigh's text features vivid, sharp images (number 42 dances his odd pigeon-toed dance off third base) that describe Jackie Robinson stealing home during a game in the 1955 World Series. In addition to the main story line, each two-page spread includes biographical and historical snippets, boxed and in smaller type, about Robinson's complicated and often difficult life s years as a multisport star at UCLA, his role as the first African American in major league baseball. This pairing of the poetic main story and the expository backstory is potentially awkward for adults presenting the book to kids, but even the biographical segments are written with muscular energy. Wimmer's oil paintings are simply gorgeous ch, thickly painted close-ups of pitcher, runner, batter, crowd (he chooses to focus mostly on black faces in the stands, which adds a powerful effect).
Horn Book
Subdued yet striking oil paintings accompany poetic text to portray something wondrous: Jackie Robinson stealing home during the 1955 World Series. Inset boxes on each page relate (in tiny print) a more detailed history of how Robinson helped desegregate Major League Baseball. Read the narrative first for its beautiful simplicity, then go back for the facts. Websites. Bib.
Kirkus Reviews
During a World Series game in 1955, Jackie Robinson electrified the crowd and astonished the baseball world by successfully stealing home. Burleigh takes that unforgettable moment and employs just the right imagery to bring it to life. Wimmer's vivid, compelling illustrations, rendered in oils on canvas, are perfect accompaniments. Each double-paged spread features a painting across the fold, with the text printed on a background that simulates a wooden fence. Under the text, framed as a baseball card, Burleigh adds chatty vignettes containing fascinating, lesser-known biographical information about Robinson. The layout, however, creates a somewhat schizophrenic experience. Attempting to read each page thoroughly interrupts the flow of the text; reading the two components as separate works is the only solution. Younger readers in particular will have difficulty with this format and with the extremely tiny print in the "baseball card" sections. It's unfortunate that the high level of writing and art is lessened by design choices that do not consider the needs of the reader, because the story is terrific. (Picture book. 7-10)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-This well-intentioned picture book tribute is marred by a disjointed narrative. While double-page paintings capture the intense excitement of the play as the Hall of Famer steals home, a few lines of free verse detail the action. Meanwhile, along with each painting and verse, a box of text introduces an aspect of Robinson's life and career. One, for example, briefly limns the segregated nature of baseball in 1946; others focus on the athlete's base-running skills, his family, his rookie season, his best season, the Brooklyn Dodgers' rivalry with the Yankees, and his early life. These snippets of information (two to three paragraphs each) are superimposed on facsimiles of old baseball cards; in small-sized font against a slate-colored background, they are frustratingly hard to read. Some of the factoids are interesting and Wimmer's oils are attractive and well done, but with its lack of a cohesive narrative, this effort falls short. Baseball fans will welcome the book despite its flaws; but for straightforward introductions, steer readers to Carin T. Ford's Jackie Robinson: Hero of Baseball (Enslow, 2006) or Sharon Robinson's Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By (Scholastic, 2001).-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

In this engaging, multilayered collaboration, the creators of Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth pay well-deserved tribute to another baseball legend. Burleigh employs two narrative voices, one a spare, lyrical moment-by-moment replay of Robinson's bold steal home from third base in the first game of the 1955 World Series against the New York Yankees. Identifying the player only as "number 42," the unseen narrator, adopting the tone of an impassioned sportscaster, tells how the Yankee pitcher goes into a slow windup, "darting a quick glance sideways, where the base runner starts and stops cold and starts again, bursting suddenly in two strides from absolute stillness to full speed." Historical sidebars on each spread supplement this dramatic, immediate account, providing anecdotes about the era, Robinson's struggles (including Branch Rickey's famous question to the player about the inevitable racial taunts he would receive: "Can you take it—and not fight back?") plus highlights of his baseball career (best season, rookie of the year, MVP, etc.) and personal life. Wimmer's textured, animated oil paintings depict the game action at close range and with lifelike clarity. The art deftly intensifies the emotion of Robinson's home-stealing triumph, revealing the deep concentration and resolve of the ballplayers on both teams, the anticipation of the spectators and the gratification of fans and Dodgers alike after Robinson makes it home safely. Ages 6-9. (Jan.)

Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 2,185
Reading Level: 5.8
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 113495 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.3 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q43342
Lexile: AD910L

Man on third. Two outs. The pitcher eyes the base runner, checks for the sign. The fans in the jammed stadium hold their breath. Flapping his outstretched arms like wings, number 42 leads off again. It is September 1955, game one of the World Series, the Yankees versus the Dodgers, and Jackie Robinson is about to do the unbelievable. Attempt to steal home. In a World Series game. To race a baseball thrown from the pitcher's mound and win! Is it possible? Yes, it is -- if you are Jackie Robinson!

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