As a child of an incredibly famous person, Sharon Robinson had to figure out a way to find her own way in the world. In 1963, Sharon turned 13 years old. Little did she know that not only was she entering her teenage years, but it would be a year that would impact her in profound ways.
Sharon Robinson was/is the only daughter of the famous Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier in baseball as the first black player ever to be on a team in the National Baseball League in the United States. When Sharon was growing up, she knew her father would raise money for causes to help support equality for all in the country, but it wasn’t until the Children Marches in Birmingham, AL in 1963 that she realized what an influential person her father really was to the cause. Sharon struggled with typical teenage issues, like her first school dance, and trying to figure out how to fit in as one of only three black students at her wealthy school, when to remain quiet and when to speak out. How do you compare your trials of a school dance to children being attacked by police dogs and firehoses? On top of that, Sharon’s older brother was drawing further and further away from the family and she didn’t know how to make it stop.
Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963 by Sharon Robinson is a powerful glimpse into the private world of a public figure and what it was like one year as his daughter. Not only that, but the book gives readers a real sense of the true issues of racism in our country in 1963 and unfortunately, how we can still see many of the parallels in modern times today.
Recommended for grades 6th and up, and especially for an introduction to the Civil Rights movement.