In So Long, Jackie Robinson we are introduced to Matthew Parker. A twelve year old boy who finds himself far from his friends, and baseball team in Pembroke, Ontario, living instead in Montreal, Quebec with his mother and new stepfather Alain, who frankly, Matthew really doesn't like that much at all.
Matthew feels very lost and alone. His love of baseball makes it difficult to make friends as everyone else seems passionate about hockey. One day though, as he wanders around, he hears a familiar sound and traces it. What he finds is Delorimier Downs, the home ground of the Montreal Royals, who just signed Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player to play in the majors.
From there, the story follows Matthew as he lands a job selling refreshments in the stands, thanks to Tyrone, an old baseball player who seems to have a mysterious connection to Jackie Robinson that Matthew has not been able to figure out. He isn't the only one, neither has the reporter, Dewey, who tries to uncover the story to make a name for himself.
Matthew begins to make new friends both at work, and with his neighbours, finally finding his feet and when an opportunity arises, he has a tough choice to make.
This book has so much going for it. History, drama, humour, friendship, and love. The vast range of emotions will leave the reader as it did me, holding their breath, chuckling, sharing moments of sadness and excitement alike. It's a book that a reader can't help but enjoy.
I think my favourite aspect was the sprinkling of french, throughout. It added a nice touch. I definitely loved the history too though and it has inspired me to learn more about that period in time and this great player, Jackie Robinson.
A great read for Young Adults that older adults will greatly enjoy too!
Author's website: http://www.isn.net/~rmaclean/