Dad, Jackie, and Me
Dad, Jackie, and Me

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Annotation: In Brooklyn, New York, in 1947, a boy learns about discrimination and tolerance as he and his deaf father share their enthusiasm over baseball and the Dodgers' first baseman, Jackie Robinson.
Catalog Number: #7502
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition Date: 2005
Illustrator: Bootman, Colin,
Pages: 32
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 1-561-45329-3 Perma-Bound: 0-605-08344-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-561-45329-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-08344-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2004016711
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
for reading aloud. Following in the tradition of Bette Bao Lord's n the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (1984), about a young Chinese immigrant to Brooklyn in 1947 who identifies with the travails of the rookie Dodger first baseman, Uhlberg tells another story of an outsider who feels a bond with Robinson. This outsider, though, is a real-life figure, the author's deaf father, who saw in the African American Robinson's stoic endurance of prejudice on and off the field a parallel to his own experience as a deaf man. It takes the young Uhlberg, narrator of the story, a while to overcome his embarrassment at his father's attempts to cheer for Robinson (AH-GEE, AH-GEE, the deaf man yells from the Ebbetts Fields grandstand, attempting to say Jackie), but eventually Dad's devotion wins the day in a moving finale. Colin Bootman, who earned a Coretta Scott Honor Award for Almost to Freedom (2003), uses evocative watercolors rich in soft browns and lush greens to capture both the feel of the 1940s (fedora-wearing fans) and the electricity of Robinson's play.
Horn Book
It's 1947, and a boy and his deaf father love going to Brooklyn's Ebbets Field to watch Jackie Robinson play. Bootman's watercolors keenly re-create the sights and sensibility of 1940s Brooklyn, and Uhlberg, who based this story on a real-life incident, wisely underplays the parallel he draws in his author's note between Dad and Robinson, both victims of prejudice.
Kirkus Reviews
When Jackie Robinson signs with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 as first baseman, the historic event captures the imagination of one middle-aged man in Brooklyn—the author's father. This genuinely affecting, fictionalized story reveals how Uhlberg's father, who is deaf, personally relates to the first African-American player in major league baseball as someone who also has to overcome discrimination. The shared excitement of father and son during a Giants vs. Dodgers game at Ebbets Field is contagious, as readers experience the tension of the game as well as that generated by racist Giants fans. The boy's embarrassment as his father chants Jackie's name as "AH-GHEE, AH-GEE, AH-GEE!" vanishes by the season's last game when Robinson throws the ball straight to his father and, amazingly, he catches it in his bare hand. Bootman's realistic, wonderfully expressive watercolor paintings capture the fashions and flavor of 1940s New York in muted browns and greens. The endpapers, an actual scrapbook of old newspaper articles about Robinson, provide a satisfying context for this ultimately upbeat, multi-dimensional story. (author's note) (Picture book. 7-10)
Publishers Weekly

Uhlberg's (Flying Over Brooklyn) moving text and Bootman's (Papa's Mark) realistic, period watercolors introduce the narrator, an avid young baseball player and fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1947, the Dodgers have just acquired Jackie Robinson, and the boy's father, who is deaf, comes home with two tickets to see the Dodgers play. Though the man has never shown an interest in the sport, soon after the game, the eager-to-learn man grills his son about the sport and about Robinson, and each night attempts to play catch with the boy. Though Bootman's portraits of father and son can be uneven, his close-ups of Robinson consistently convey the athlete's poise and calm under fire. The tale focuses less on the specifics of the season and more on the link between Robinson and the boy's deaf father overcoming obstacles; in many ways the concluding author's note tells the more poignant side of the autobiographical points to the story. But most readers will be thrilled by the book's climax: when Robinson catches a ball to make the last out of the season, he throws the ball to the boy's father, who, for the first time in his life, catches a baseball. Ultimately, this is an affecting tribute to Robinson, to a dedicated son and to a thoughtful, deep-feeling father. And, of course, to baseball. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Like The Printer (Peachtree, 2003), this story is based on Uhlberg's experiences growing up as a hearing child of deaf parents. The tale is set in Brooklyn in 1947, where a young Dodger fan eagerly anticipates the much-heralded addition of Jackie Robinson to his team's lineup. Surprisingly, the narrator's deaf father is interested too; he has recognized his own struggle for respect and acceptance mirrored in Robinson's triumph. The two begin attending games and keep a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about the first baseman. Though baseball and Robinson are at the heart of this story, its strength lies in its depiction of the bond between father and son. It is evident that their relationship is characterized by respect and tenderness, though, at the ballpark, the boy is at first embarrassed when his father's awkward cheer causes other fans to stare. The page design resembles a scrapbook, with actual newspaper clippings on the endpapers. Bootman's lovely watercolor paintings add detail and wistful nostalgia. Baseball fans may be disappointed with the narrative's slow pace and the fact that Robinson is little more than an iconic figure, but others will appreciate the story's insightful treatment of deafness as viewed through the eyes of a child.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Word Count: 1,939
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 103077 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.0 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q38373
Lexile: 610L
Guided Reading Level: Q
Fountas & Pinnell: Q

It was Opening Day, 1947. And every kid in Brooklyn knew this was our year. The Dodgers were going to go all the way!
It is the summer of 1947 and a highly charged baseball season is underway in New York. Jackie Robinson is the new first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgersand the first black player in Major League Baseball. A young boy listens eagerly to the Dodgers games on the radio, each day using sign language to tell his deaf father about the games. His father begins to keep a scrapbook, clipping photos and articles about Jackie. Finally one day the father delivers some big news: they are going to Ebbets Field to watch Jackie play!
Author Myron Uhlberg offers a nostalgic look back at 1947, and pays tribute to Jackie Robinson, the legendary athlete and hero. Illustrator Colin Bootmans realistic, full-color illustrations capture the details of the period and the excitement of an entire city as Robinson and the Dodgers won the long-awaited pennant, and brought an entire New York community together for one magical summer.

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