Friday, January 30, 2009

Teammates - Sara Sepulveda

Title: Teammates
Author: Peter Golenbock

This is a picture story book about Jackie Robinson's beginning moments being the only African American player in a Major League Baseball team. Jackie faced racial discrimination and hate from the American baseball fans even during games. His teammate, Pee Wee Reese sees this injustice and decided to take a stand against the racial injustice and stand by his teammate.

How to use this book:
This book should be used with the upper grades (3-5) because of the level of vocabulary used in the text. It can be used when discussing the civil rights movement and U.S. segregation. One could focus on the signinficance Jackie Robinson's role in the Major League and how it affected the way and access African Americans all over the United States were struggling and striving for. Pee Wee's role in this book is also good to focus on sticking up for : what we believe in, what is right, our friends, etc.

Application to Social Justice Education

1. Self-love and Acceptance
Pee Wee Reese helps Jackie reaffirm his self-love and acceptance in assuring him that he is his teammate and doesn't deserve the negative treatment.

2. Respect for Others
Pee Wee Reese shows that he accepted Jackie as an African American even if the majority of the people of the time looked down upon African Americans.

3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice
This book exemplifies the racist environment of the United States during this time period through the raction and treatment of the audience to Jackie's participation and inclusion in Major League baseball during the game.

4. Social Movement and Social Change
Although Pee Wee only exhibited a minor physical gesture of standing by Jackie and putting his arm around him, it spoke volumes. He stood up for Jackie knowing that it would not present him in a favorable light to his audience but in a positive light to all African Americans . I think it is very important to highlight and emphasize to our students how small actions like Pee Wee's do mean a word of a difference and bring about at least a start to social change/movement.

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