Review: Jackie and Me by Dan Gutman

Like every other kid in his class, Joe Stoshack has to write a report on an African American who’s made an important contribution to society. Unlike every other kid in his class, Joe has a special talent: with the help of old baseball cards, he can travel through time. So for his report, Joe decides to go back to meet one of the greatest baseball players ever, Jackie Robinson, to find out what it was like to be the man who broke baseball’s color barrier. Joe plans on writing a prize-winning report. But he doesn’t plan on a trip that will for a short time change the color of his skin – and forever change his view of history and his definition of courage.
Joe was a baseball player who was teased by another kid because he was Polish. He got mad and ended up fighting with the boy and getting kicked off the baseball team. When he had to do the book report he chose a baseball player because he loved the sport. He used his baseball card to travel back in time to Jackie Robinson, but went back as an African American boy who lived in Jackie’s house. He then witnessed how Jackie handled bullys and teasing on the field. He witnessed many incidences of prejudice towards Jackie. Jackie taught him to turn the other cheek and how to shut them out while he was playing the game. Joe was taught a valuable lesson from Jackie and ended up back in the present time being let back on the baseball team. He played in the championship game and was able to meet face to face with his bully and handle it the way Jackie showed him to. This book had a great message for kids about teasing and bullying and how to handle those situations. The story was also full of great American history regarding baseball. The boys gave this an “I liked it a lot” ranking.
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