Tuesday, April 15

Celebrate Jackie Robinson Day With A Book By His Good Friend

“I don’t know if you can understand what it’s like to be on the outside looking in,” young Tania Grossinger said to her new friend, legendary Dodger Jackie Robinson. Of course, Jackie could understand. He was the first African American to play Major League Baseball, and was known for his bravery in the face of racism and exclusion.

Jackie and Me: A Very Special Friendship (Sky Pony Press, ages 5–8) has been hailed by critics, parents, and children. At the time she met Jackie, Tania was only 13 years old, and though she brushed arms with celebrities frequently at her cousins' resort, they often made promises they couldn't keep.

That's why Tania was so stunned when Jackie kept his promise and met her for a game of ping-pong. As a fellow table tennis player myself, I'd like to think Jackie had a mean serve. Either way, this is a fantastic story of just how cool he was, and has a great message of believing in yourself to overcome any obstacles in your way.

As baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day, everyone should celebrate being kind to others. After all, Jackie would have done the same. 

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