Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Hero Two Doors Down

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This book tells the story of Steve and his hero, Jackie Robinson.  In 1948, Jackie Robinson and his family rented an apartment 2 doors down from Steve and his family.  Steve was able to meet Jackie and became friends with him.  In fact, the families became friends and have kept in contact to this day.  The highlight of the story was when the two families celebrated Hanukkah and Christmas.

I wanted tolike this book more than I did.  Afterall,it is based on a real event with Jackie Robinson and is written by his daughter.  Unfortunately, I think focusing on just the Hanukkah event and making that a short story or picture book might have made a stronger choice.  The book itself spanned a good length of timeand skipped forward in many places.  The beginning and the ending focused on a time when Steve's dad died and then the rest went back to 1948 and the years immediately following.  I understand the parts of the book that were emphasized that show the respect the two families had for each other and for their stand against prejudice but at times the scenes felt more didactic and not natural.  Which is a shame because I am sure that it really did happen...

I may still buy the book because I like that it told a mostly true (Sharon Robinson said that some is fictionalized) story of Jackie Robinson but I don't think it is as well written as I would have hoped.

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