“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
Bibliographic Information: Nelson, K. (2008). We are the ship: The story of negro league baseball. New York, NY: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children.
Grade Level Equivalent: 6.2
Synopsis: Winning both the Coretta Scott and Sibert awards, this informational text is a biography that tells the story of Negro League baseball. Using bright and realistic illustrations, quotes from famous players, and powerful dialogue this text captures the experiences of the first African American baseball players. This book brings light to the prejudice and tolerance that came with competition. The ninth chapter gives a biography of Jackie Robinson as a professional athlete and his contributions towards this sport.
Rationale for Classroom Use: Focusing on the chapter about Jackie Robinson, students can participate in close reading to find evidence of reasons the author provides to explain why Jackie was such an influential person in the history of changing baseball. The teacher can then read I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson in order to align with standard RI.4.6.
Common Core Connection:
RI.4.8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
RI.4.6 Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.