Monday, May 16, 2016

The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson

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This book is written by Robinson's daughter Sharon and is loosely based on a family friend's experiences with Jackie and his wife in Brooklyn, New York during the time when Jackie played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Told as one long flashback it recounts a year in a young Jewish boy called Steven's life when Jackie's family moved into the neighborhood.

At first there is some opposition to the Robinson family from the current residents, all of whom are Jewish. Steven is surprised when his best friend, a girl called Sena expresses some doubts as well. Thankfully his family, and his father in particular are reasonable adults and are determined not to see the lessons of history repeated.

For Steven however, getting to meet Jackie is perhaps the highlight of his life and their families quickly form a strong friendship and celebrate holidays together another way in which they end up sharing their own unique cultural celebrations.

Recent events in our country have shown that there is still a lot of prejudice and ignorance to combat and that if left unchecked there are people with nefarious intentions who will try to enact legislation to discriminate against any group they dislike. Hopefully through reading books such as this one young kids will see that discrimination in any form is wrong and that when faced with it the right thing to do is to stand up against it. I recommend this book for kids 8+.

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