read aloud icon

Listen Up!

Sharon Robinson’s book Jackie Robinson: American Hero (2013) tells the inspirational story of her father’s life. Ms. Robinson, MLB experts and Jackie Robinson Scholars read aloud from the nine chapters of the book, which is recommended for ages 7 and up (with an adult’s help). Try our “warm up” activities to inspire conversation and prepare for the activities below. Move at your own pace or read along with our special guests here. The following videos were recorded in conjunction with the annual Jackie Robinson Day celebration on April 15, 2020.



Introduction with Sharon Robinson

This is an overview of the book, shared by Sharon Robinson.  Connect to  What makes your team great?  activity.

Read by Sharon Robinson

Chapter One

Jackie’s Childhood with Michael Hill

Learn about Jackie’s mother, brothers and sister and what it was like for him growing up in Pasadena, CA.

Read by Michael Hill

Chapter Two

The Teen Years with McKenna Hensley

Learn about the athletic Robinson brothers and hear the story of how Jackie met his future wife, Rachel Isum.

Read by McKenna Hensley

Chapter Three

A Black and White War with Akintunde Ahmad

Learn about Jackie’s life in the Army during World War II and how he stood up against racial discrimination.

Read by Akintunde Ahmad

Chapter Four

Breaking the Color Barrier with Alexis Stokes

Learn about Jackie’s time with the Negro Leagues’ Kansas City Monarchs and Branch Rickey’s role in Jackie’s move to the major leagues.

Read by Alexis Stokes

Chapter Five

The Meeting with Harold Reynolds

Learn about the conversation Jackie Robinson had with Branch Rickey about the courage it would take to break the color line.

Read by Harold Reynolds

Chapter Six

A Decade with Brooklyn with Miles Pendleton

Learn about Jackie’s first spring training, the year in Montreal, and Rachel Robinson’s important role in the “Great Experiment.”

Connect to  What makes your team great?  activity

Read by Miles Pendleton

Chapter Seven

Rookie of the Year with Howard Bryant

Learn how Jackie’s determination changed minds and about him becoming the first National League Rookie of the Year.

Connect to  What makes your team great?  activity.

Read by Howard Bryant

Chapter Eight

The End of a Decade with Samantha Gibson

Learn about Jackie’s life with the Brooklyn Dodgers and what happened as he continued to speak up for himself.

Connect to  How will you speak out?  activity.

Read by Samantha Gibson

Chapter Nine

A Lasting Legacy with CC Sabathia

Learn how Jackie dedicated his post-baseball life to fighting for equal rights.

Connect to  Who’s your hero?  and  How will you speak out?  activity.

Read by CC Sabathia

bat and ball icon

Put me in, coach

Jackie Robinson believed in the power of young people to make positive change. This starts with being thoughtful about the things that are important to you and those you care about. These activities are designed to help you think about those things, while you also learn about the things that mattered to Jackie Robinson.