The Hero Two Doors Down, by Sharon Robinson; Scholastic Press, $16.99, 208 pages, ages 9-13.
Eight-year old baseball fanatic Stephen Satlow lives for his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers, and one day the boy’s hero, Jackie Robinson, moves into his mostly Jewish neighborhood. The baseball giant befriends Stephen while teaching the boy about respect and courage in the face of adversity. Written by Sharon Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s daughter, The Hero Two Doors Down is based on interviews Sharon conducted with the real Stephen Satlow. Though a wonderful premise, sections of the story are weighed down by overly didactic passages, and some dialogue exchanges are clunky. Still, young sports fans and reluctant readers may find the book enjoyable or be inspired to seek out further reading about this most remarkable person.