Henry Aaron's Dream Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-11-10 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 17 user ratings

" THANK YOU, Matt Tavares, for recording in such a meaningful way the sheer guts of Hank Aaron! I well recall the night he broke Babe Ruth's record, and I am so grateful to him for being brave, persistent, and tolerant. I am a dedicated baseball fan, so I would love him no matter what; but knowing the struggles he had to overcome make him a true hero to me, and in our home. Fantastic book, ffor the baseball fan child, and for every child. " said.

"A biographical story of the man’s childhood who would change sports and American forever with his drive and spirit. The book recreates the poor and segregation childhood of Hank Aaron, and his dream to become the first Black player in Major League Baseball. This inspirational tale begins in the sandlot baseball diamonds of Montgomery, Alabama with a boy who didn’t even own a mitt or bat, but possessed a dream that would not be stop by anyone. The inspiring story will teach children to stand up for what they believe in and reach for their dreams not matter what society thinks. " said.

"Great background story of Hank Aaron. I really enjoyed learning more about his history before his major baseball career. Even better than the story, were the incredible illustrations.

My only concern (and I'm sure I will catch flack for this) is I wish it hadn't used the "N" word. Because of the age of the children I would read this book to, I would have found it more appropriate to use the phrase "N word" or just say mean names, etc. I understand the need to use that word for historical purposes, effect, etc., but using it in a book for that age... I wouldn't feel comfortable reading it aloud.

Other than that, I loved the story and illustrations. Great read.
" said.

"This is the second picture book biography of Henry "Hank" Aaron taht I've read in as many days, and I have to say that the variation between the two is very interesting. I'm no Hank Aaron fanatic, but I do find his accomplishemnts and the incredible degree of character that he demonstrated throughout his lifetime worthy of a bit of marveling. He was truly an exceptional human being and he was far from the only one. It's true that Jackie Robinson endured a lot as he led the way with his entrance into the Major Leagues, but that doesn't mean that the trail was any smoother for the others that followed after him. Yet so many people discount perseverance of Hank Aaron. Unfortunate. Good book though. " said.

"1) Text to Self Connection: Henry Aaron’s Dream describes a boy’s determination to play baseball when faced with prejudice. I have faced prejudice because I am female. This does make me very aware of differences in the classroom and remaining open-minded to students’ needs and goals.

2) Remembering: Name two things that Henry struggled with in order to achieve his goal?
Understanding: Explain what is meant by “And through it all, Jackie persevered”?
Applying: What evidence can you find that supports Henry’s hard work paid off?
Analyzing: What is the theme of Henry Aaron’s Dream?
Evaluating: Would you recommend this book to a person that doesn’t enjoy baseball? Why or why not?
Creating: How would you rewrite the story from Henry’s point of view? How would that change the tone of the book?

3) Adapted Citation: (2010, January 1) School Library Journal
" said.

"Any Atlanta Braves fan worth his or her salt knows the name Hank Aaron, but fans may not realize everything Henry Aaron went through to become one of the best players in the history of baseball.

In Henry Aaron's Dream, a nominee for the 2012-13 South Carolina Children's Book Award, author and illustrator Matt Tavares tell the story of how the dream of one young boy came true, despite enormous pressure from those who couldn't see past the color of his skin. This book takes readers from Aaron's boyhood, playing baseball with anything he could find, through his time with minor and Negro league teams, to his triumphant entry into the world of Major League baseball. The journey was not easy, but Henry Aaron, with help and inspiration from his hero Jackie Robinson and other leaders who'd gone before him, emerged as one of the best and most beloved baseball players ever. (As a die-hard Braves fan, I know he's one of my favorites.)

For a great Black History Month lesson revolving around baseball, pair this book with Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson and Kadir Nelson.

*This wonderful book, despite being a picture book, is intended for readers in third grade and up. It does use a racially insensitive word, but only to depict the kinds of hatred that Hank Aaron and other black baseball players faced on a regular basis.
" said.

"“Henry Aaron’s Dream” by Matt Tavares gives the history of baseball legend Hank Aaron’s rise from boyhood baseball fan learning about Jackie Robinson on the Brooklyn Dodgers, to baseball player in the Negro Leagues, to member of the minor leagues, and finally to baseball legend playing for the Atlanta Braves. This book touches on the segregation many black baseball players experienced and the racism hurled at the players by white fans. However, it also highlights Henry Aaron’s hope of one day achieving his dream and his tenacity at overcoming adversity in order to reach his goal. When times got tough and the racism wore on Aaron, his inspiration to keep going came from thinking about his fans and the other Negro League players who never got a shot at playing in the majors.

This book features large watercolor, ink, and pencil illustrations, also by Tavares, that illuminate the text of the story. The size and excellence of the illustrations make this a terrific book to use during story time.

The text is limited, appropriate for young elementary school readers (1st through 3rd grade) but some concepts in the book such as segregation, historical figures such as Jackie Robinson, and historical institutions such as the Negro Leagues may require further explanation for some readers. This is an excellent book for young, male, reluctant readers who have expressed interest in sports. They will love this look at famous baseball legend Hank Aaron and his journey to achieving his dream.
" said.

"Color-drenched watercolor, ink, and pencil illustrations beautifully complement this engaging story of a single-minded boy who becomes a record-setter and groundbreaker in baseball. He retired from the sport with a record 755 home runs, surpassing even the great Babe Ruth. Readers will learn about how Henry (later called Hank) Aaron grew up in segregated Mobile, Alabama where he played the sport even with what he had on hand rather than the proper equipment. All that practice eventually paid off, and he spent time in the Negro Leagues and later in the minors before eventually being picked up by the Milwaukee (later, Atlanta) Braves. Although Hank's own records as a baseball player are quite impressive, the author takes care to highlight the inspiration Aaron drew from the feats of Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947. Following Jackie's example of grace under pressure and his refusal to respond to the racist comments and taunts of some baseball fans, Aaron strived to do the same thing, and even insisted that offensive signs be removed from the ballpark where he played. Although the Author's Note acknowledges many of Aaron's accomplishments and the acclaim he received during his career, the focus of this story is how he kept his eye on his dream, which was to play major league baseball, and not on that home run record. Interested readers will want to search out other picture biographies focusing on Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, and others mentioned in this title to mull over the connections among them and to note the impact each man had on those who followed him. This picture book is a wonderful introduction to how civil rights had a start in sports, and it also serves as a moving tribute to one man's incredible focus and determination. Although the book doesn't delve deeply into his upbringing and early days, the author provides enough details to satisfy readers and to encourage those curious to learn more to search for other resources." said.

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