Kid Lit Review of “Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson” by Sharon Robinson

Jackie Robinson is in the center of the public eye again with the new movie “42” in 2013 and the 2016 two-part, four-hour film about his life directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon. It will be great for a new generation to find out about his courage. Jackie Robinson exhibited the same kind of bravery and drive throughout his life in different arenas.


Testing the Ice is a warm, wonderful story by Jackie’s daughter Sharon, illustrated with the amazing oils of Kadir Nelson. As Sharon tells the story of how her dad braved the ice one winter so she and other kids could go ice skating, you feel as if you are sitting around the living room hearing it live. And it will bring (happy) tears to your eyes!


There are so many wonderful stories about Jackie Robinson, like this one I shared in a previous post. He was quite a guy, both on and off the field. An author’s note provides additional background on his life.


Evaluation: This book makes a great start for both kids and adults to get an intimate glimpse of the real Jackie Robinson, and what his life was like outside of baseball at home with his family. And what better way to do so than with the breathtaking pictures of Kadir Nelson, who adds so immeasurably to any story he illustrates. Highly recommended for all ages! [Jim, who refuses to read any children’s book unless Kadir Nelson is involved, not only loved this one, but also had (happy) tears in his eyes at the end!]

TestingtheIce-Spread02[1] (2)

Rating: 5/5

Published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2009

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10 Responses to Kid Lit Review of “Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson” by Sharon Robinson

  1. Beth F says:

    Believe it or not, I’m thinking of getting this one for Mr. BFR. He’s on a baseball player biography kick right now and we can’t wait to see the movie 42.

  2. sandynawrot says:

    I just had this flash of an idea in my tiny brain this morning, seeing Kadir’s ever-gorgeous artwork. I think I’d like to have a library of his entire set of work. I’m not sure how many books he has illustrated but I want them all. They make my mouth hang open.

  3. BermudaOnion says:

    When Kadir spoke at SIBA a few years ago, both Sandy and I developed a crush on him. His illustrations are breathtaking and his passion will make your heart soar. This sounds like a fantastic book!!

  4. Barbara says:

    I love Kadir Nelson’s illustrations too. I’m hoping the movie about Jackie Robinson will be as good as touted.

  5. We have this one in our personal collection. My kids and I loved it too. It was a great intro to them of a man who was courageous and broke the color barrier.

  6. zibilee says:

    Another winner from Nelson! I am not surprised though. That man has such a vast amount of talent, and I am glad he is getting noticed in a big way. I love the illustrations you provided. This book is a must for my baseball loving nephew. He is only 7, and would love this story. Thanks, Jill, for posting about this one today!

  7. stacybuckeye says:

    Jason and I saw the movie last week and loved it. And if it brought tears to Jim’s eyes I must have it!

  8. lis says:

    Wonderful! I have heard that Robinson did a lot of great things well after he quite playing even. My daughter has developed a great love of baseball in the past couple of years so she and her Dodgers-loving grandpa went to “42.” She was aware of who Robinson was and his place in history but really came away with a great appreciation of how difficult it was for Robinson.

  9. bookingmama says:

    Booking Son is obsessed after seeing 42. We’ve read quite a few Robinson books these past few weeks but missed this one.

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