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.
About the Author
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.
Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection