Cover image for The hero two doors down : based on the true story of friendship between a boy and a baseball legend
Title:
The hero two doors down : based on the true story of friendship between a boy and a baseball legend
ISBN:
9780545804516
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
202 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Reading Level:
640 L Lexile
Summary:
Eight-year-old Steve Satlow is thrilled when Jackie Robinson moves into his Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn in 1948, although many of his neighbors are not, and when Steve actually meets his hero he is even more excited--and worried that a misunderstanding over a Christmas tree could damage his new friendship.
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Stephen Satlow is an eight-year-old boy living in Brooklyn, New York, which means he only cares about one thing-the Dodgers. Steve and his father spend hours reading the sports pages and listening to games on the radio. Aside from an occasional run-in with his teacher, life is pretty simple for Steve.

But then Steve hears a rumor that an African American family is moving to his all-Jewish neighborhood. It's 1948 and some of his neighbors are against it. Steve knows this is wrong. His hero, Jackie Robinson, broke the color barrier in baseball the year before.

Then it happens--Steve's new neighbor is none other than Jackie Robinson! Steve is beyond excited about living two doors down from the Robinson family. He can't wait to meet Jackie. This is going to be the best baseball season yet! How many kids ever get to become friends with their hero?


Author Notes

Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction. She has also written several widely praised nonfiction books about her father, including JACKIE'S NINE: JACKIE ROBINSON'S VALUES TO LIVE BY and PROMISES TO KEEP: HOW JACKIE ROBINSON CHANGED AMERICA.


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Robinson takes a fictional approach to the subject of her famous father, Jackie Robinson. It unfolds in the voice of Steve Satlow, who was eight when the Robinsons moved onto his predominately Jewish street in Brooklyn in 1948 (Steve and his family also featured prominently in Robinson's 2010 picture book, Jackie's Gift). The story is relayed in flashback, triggered by 20-year-old Steve's discovery of a ticket stub from the '48 Brooklyn Dodgers' home opener in a box of "boyhood treasures" that his recently deceased father left him. Steve's impatience to meet his baseball idol and new neighbor (which finally takes place more than a third of the way in) grows repetitive, but the story's energy builds once Robinson is in the picture. Segues into political and humanitarian issues can get heavy-handed ("Prejudice," Steve's father explains, "is when you judge a person based on the color of their skin and not by their character"), but play-by-play baseball action will hold fans' attention, and Steve's struggle to curb his impulsiveness and fit in with his peers will register with many. Ages 8-12. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Robinson has rich material to plumb in her story of the friendship between her African American father, Jackie, and the Jewish, hero-worshiping eight-year-old who lived two doors away in 1948 Brooklyn. Unfortunately, her writing about the moments of high emotion attendant to such a relationship is interspersed with awkward speeches about discrimination, prejudice, perseverance, and the like. A strong premise, hampered by earnestness. (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

Inspired by a true story, Robinson tells the tale of a young boy who was able to befriend his hero (and the author's father), Jackie Robinson. Steve Satlow is a huge Dodgers fan, so he is thrilled when he hears the news that a player will be moving in two doors down. He hopes that it's his favorite player, Jackie Robinson, and that maybe he can catch a glimpse of him. Steve gets more than he expected when Jackie befriends Steve and his family. While told in a simplistic storytelling style, this charming tale offers up good fodder for discussion about prejudice, discrimination, friendship, and family. Steve's friendship with Jackie gives readers a glimpse into the personal side of this famous baseball hero. A nice choice for libraries looking to expand their sports collection. Be sure to have additional titles about Jackie Robinson on hand as readers are sure to want to learn more.--Thompson, Sarah Bean Copyright 2016 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-In 1948, when eight-year-old Steve learns that his African American baseball hero Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in the sport the previous year, will be the new next-door neighbor in his all-Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood, he gains knowledge about respect, friendship, and unity. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Brooklyn Dodgers fan Steve's life is changed when Jackie Robinson and his family move into his Jewish neighborhood in 1948. This is a true storyparts of it, anyway. The author is Robinson's daughter, and the main character was her family's neighbor in real life. Stephen Satlow was a baseball fan, and he lived two doors down from his hero. The author has changed some details (one character is a composite), but readers may find themselves hoping every word is accurate. The Jackie Robinson in the book seems just as kind and thoughtful as the real Jackie sounded in interviews and news stories. When 8-year-old narrator Steve is having a rough time at school, Jackie walks over to the school softball game and teaches the whole team about stealing bases. There isn't much conflict here. The story is just as down-to-earth and remarkable as the actual baseball star, and it would feel mean-spirited to wish any more drama on these two genuinely endearing people. Absent drama to drive the plot, the book's main fault is that it doesn't make enough of the magical everyday moments. A scene of Jackie and Steve playing stoopball could have lasted pages longer. Jackie's son, Jackie Junior, is hardly a character here, another missed opportunity. The book doesn't dwell long enough on the smallest moments, but each of them feels like meeting the baseball legendand maybe, sometimes, even better than the real thing. (historical note, photos) (Historical fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.