Jackie & Me (Gutman)

This book made me angry. Not because it challenged me or I disagreed with it or anything. It made me angry in the, “How in the world did this get published?” kind of way.

Joe shows up for the 6th game of the World Series and the Dodgers need a batboy. Not at all credible.

The epilogue suggests that somehow this young white kid is similar to Jackie Robinson? Absurd and insulting.

The time travel elements make Quantum Leap look intellectual.

And the way Joe reacts to his skin color in various settings? Really? Did no one read this and tell the author, “Hey, Danny boy, that’s really problematic!”

So who is this book for? Well, it’s got a young boy for a protagonist and it’s about baseball. And you want that audience to read the admittedly softened language but still incredibly fraught language that people used to taunt Jackie Robinson (and Joe, because he’s learning what it’s like to be Jackie in just a few days)? Really?

Do students need to know Jackie Robinson’s story? Absolutely. Is this a useful tool? Not a chance.

So how in the world does it become a good play?

http://www.childrenstheatre.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=533&Itemid=209 (and they spelled the main character’s last name wrong – unless they changed it)


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