Glenn Burke, Game Changer: The Man Who Invented the High Five (Hardcover)

Glenn Burke, Game Changer: The Man Who Invented the High Five By Phil Bildner, Daniel J. O'Brien (Illustrator) Cover Image

Glenn Burke, Game Changer: The Man Who Invented the High Five (Hardcover)

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An inspiring picture book biography about Glenn Burke, the first Major League Baseball player to come out as gay, and the story of how he created the world’s most recognizable handshake, the high five.

Playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Glenn Burke could do it all—hit, throw, run, field. He was the heart of the clubhouse who energized his teammates with his enthusiasm and love for the game. It was that energy that led Glenn to invent the high five one October day back in 1977—a spontaneous gesture after a home run that has since evolved into our universal celebratory greeting.

But despite creating this joyful symbol, Glenn Burke, a gay Black man, wasn’t always given support and shown acceptance in return.

From acclaimed author Phil Bildner, with illustrations from Daniel J. O'Brien, this moving picture book biography recognizes the challenges Burke faced while celebrating how his bravery and his now-famous handshake helped pave the way for others to live openly and free.

Phil Bildner is a former New York City public school teacher who lives in Newburgh, New York with his husband, dog, and cats. He is the author of many picture books and novels, including the acclaimed coming-of-age story A High Five for Glenn Burke as well as the middle grade Rip & Red series.

Daniel J. O’Brien is a Trinidadian-born author and illustrator currently residing in New York. He holds a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts. Daniel has written, illustrated, designed, and self-published two children’s books, The Carnival Prince and I Am the Midnight Robber, and is also the illustrator of The Talking Mango Tree, The Masquerade Dance, and Juneteenth.
Product Details ISBN: 9780374391225
ISBN-10: 037439122X
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: February 20th, 2024
Pages: 40
Language: English

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

“Following up his middle-grade novel A High Five for Glenn Burke, Bildner pens a picture-book biography about a remarkable gay Black baseball player . . . O’Brien’s illustrations, opaque and with highly defined detail, are both imposing and intimate, and they move readers through Burke’s trials and triumphs. Bildner’s honest and weighty text is balanced by spreads full of motion, whether figures round bases or connect with high-fives. A bittersweet legacy now accessible to younger readers and sports fans.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Portraying the athlete as someone who ‘could change the game,’ Bildner conveys Burke’s high energy . . . O’Brien’s distinctive use of composition and saturated palette lend cinematic appeal to this affecting story.” —Publishers Weekly