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In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  5,741 ratings  ·  482 reviews
Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn't know any English, so it's hard to make friends. Then a miracle-baseball-happens. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a bl ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by HarperCollins (first published October 1st 1984)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  5,741 ratings  ·  482 reviews

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In Betty Bao Lord's autobiographical In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, we meet Shirley Temple Wong who has just emigrated from China to Brooklyn, New York. It is 1947 and 10 year Shirley has come to the United States at a time when there is opportunity for all Americans. And no American represented the American Dream more than Jackie Robinson, star second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Before Shirley discovered baseball; however, she was an outcast amongst her peers because she str
R.F. Gammon
A lovely little story of a Chinese girl who moves to America in the 1940s and discovers her love for the Brooklyn Dodgers. One of my favorites growing up, and it still has a place of honor on my bookshelf. <333
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books to share with my fourth grade students. There are so many mini lessons that can be taught that I have to pick and choose carefully in order to keep from spending too much time on it! It helps my students relate to my non-English speakers and the ones who are just beginning to grasp the language. I use it to teach idioms, similes, and metaphors. We discuss dealing with bullies while also discussing the rich vocabulary within the text. Plus, my students laugh out l ...more
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
All American children should read this lovely book about the journey of Shirley Temple Wong to her American home. At first she cannot speak English to the other children in the school, and she is unhappy and deeply lost. She finds solace in listening to baseball on the radio, when Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Baseball not only helps Shirley get a grip on America soil, but also serves as a great metaphor. In China, rules and hierarchies and traditions are set in stone. In Amer ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a positively charming and delightful book for elementary and middle school children. Long a favorite of one of my granddaughters, I finally reserved it from the library so we could discuss it. I can understand why she loves it. She has been studying Chinese in a dual-language program since kindergarten and she is now in fourth grade. This book spoke to her. With her background and introduction to the Chinese culture, I am thrilled that she has been exposed to the challenges of immigratio ...more
Jonathan Peto
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-chapter
This story chronicles an immigrant experience during the mid-1940s. A Chinese girl changes her name to Shirley Temple Wong when she learns that she and her mother will join her engineer father in multicultural Brooklyn, New York. She arrives with lots of enthusiasm and no English language skills.

The description is beautiful. I read this aloud to a class of fourth graders and was amazed how often I could highlight the author’s use of figurative language, though I only did it occasionally of cours
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book when I was a kid. I think I must have read it five or six times. A recent immigrant, Shirley Temple Wong reminds me of Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. Both characters are somewhat naive and get bullied by the other kids when they try to fit in. It's a remarkably poignant book. ...more
Sierra The Book Addict
this is a good book for children to read about cultural differences and what children from other countries feel when they do come here. besides that, this book was good, for it gave a lot of detales and it showed that children are quick adapters to there new world and I love how Shirly Temple became a Lover of baseball. would recommend to a school or a younger person but for as oldies not so much.
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
It's a nice little book about immigrant life, although it lightens up many of the tough subjects maybe a little too much. Nonetheless, the issues are included--losing native language, mixing the old culture with the new, not communicating in the same ways and drifting away from parents' expectations of how the kid should be. It's a great read for kids. My students even clapped when we finished. Aww. ...more
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Many years since I read a book by Bette Bao Lord. This middle grade book, which was on a list of books to read for Asian Pacific American Heritage month, holds up pretty well. An immigrant child’s loneliness and struggle to adjust to life in a new country is well portrayed.
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I could have sworn I'd written a review for this book already.

(Edit: Oh, I did write a review for the book, back when there was no cover attached. Here it is, with my re-review below it:

Ugh, why is there no cover photo for this book?

This is one of the few Asian-American YA books I've read, but even if that was a thriving genre, I've no doubt this would be one of the best.

It's the story of a young Chinese girl (around ten, I think) who moves with her parents from China to Brooklyn in 1947 (the
Laura (Book Scrounger)
This was an enjoyable read about a year in the life of Shirley, a Chinese girl who moves to the United States with her family. The ups and downs of her adjustment to the culture are both sad and humorous at times, and I found her growing baseball enthusiasm to be relatable. The writing covers twelve months in a short book, so some scenes and actions seem like they could have been fleshed out more. I also didn't care for the bullying scene that seemed to imply that accepting violence from a bully ...more
Laura Harrison
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite middle grade readers. Just lovely.
Erica Clou
My 3rd grader was assigned this book in school so I read it too. The author made some strange choices for a book for young children. I was surprised it was published in the 1980s, because it reads like it was published in the 1940s, the period of time it covers. This all somewhat complicated by the fact that the book is semi-autobiographical but for a children's book the out-of-date quality makes it seem like it should no longer be the go-to book for reading assignments.

1) The conversation regar
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Americans and especially Chinese-Americans
A wonderful story and beautifully written. Though obviously a children's book, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson does not use heavy-handed tactics to get points across. Bette Bao Lord describes Chinese customs and Shirley's reactions to American ways with subtlety and gravitas. The ending was perfect and poignant, and it moved me to tears.

Every Chinese-American should read this book to get a sense of where they and their ancestors came from. Every American should read this book to bett
Christine Boyer
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 4-6 grade teachers/students.
Recommended to Christine by: Other teachers.
This is the third time I've done this book with my students. Great plot, and lots of good themes to discuss: courage, fitting-in, cultural differences, immigration, friendship, loyalty, etc. It also allows for some great projects including Chinese New Year, Chinese horoscope, researching Jackie Robinson and his groundbreaking presence on the Brooklyn Dodgers, and even introducing Shirley Temple! The book takes place in 1947, so we also did a compare/contrast with the America that immigrants came ...more
Chris J
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, beautiful, touching book about little Shirley Temple Wong, a young girl who immigrates with her mother and father from Chungking, China to Brooklyn in 1947. Funny but never silly, poignant but never sentimental, Lord portrays the joys, sorrows, hilarity and confusion of the immigrant experience in a way that captures the imagination.

I read this to my 11 and 8 year old girls. The book is probably best-suited for the 10-12 age range, but my 8 year old seemed to love it too. I'm afrai
Apr 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
We've been listening to this in the car on the way to school in the mornings. I loved this story. For Shirley Temple Wong (love the name) it was a big shock to go from a fairly well-to-do Chinese household to Brooklyn and find herself less well-to-do and alone. I loved the mixture of confidence and uncertainty with which she approaches her new life. I also liked the progression from how new and inexperienced she felt to finding a friend and becoming a true American baseball fan. Wonderful story. ...more
Zoë Bledsoe
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was cool, and it’s not a school book cause I’m home-school. The hearts I type in are stars❤️🧡💛💚 the broken hearts are how much I don’t like it💔 I hope you like it too!!!!!!!
Mar 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-f-m
I first read this book as a school assignment in elementary school. So long ago in fact that the cover price reads $2.95 and the glue in the binding is so old that pages fall out as I turn them. But although the book itself has not healed up, the story has. Set in 1947 it is a charming story of young Chinese girl coming to America and what the transition is like. Some of the language made me uncomfortable at first because it sounded so stereotypical. I checked the author to make sure it wasn't s ...more
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
How would you feel if you arrived in a new country where you hardly spoke their language, and had trouble fitting in? Scared? Nervous? Excited? Bette Bao Lord writes part of her childhood in Shirley Temple Wong, an immigrant girl who came with her mother to the U.S.A. for a new life, to join her father.

Meeting new friend, facing new challenges, the world is opened in front of Shirley, and then someone comes into her life -- Jackie Robinson, a black player for the Dodgers. Soon she comes to admi
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of my favorite books of all time. It has it all-immigration, Brooklyn, history, baseball, cultures clashing and immersing, and great descriptions of food. I have read it at least 20 times and just found a free copy at the library to take home.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-all-the-way
I'd been meaning to re-read In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson for a while - last read in 5th grade, so it's been a minute - but never quite got around to it. But I needed a book to fill my last task for the Book Riot Read Harder challenge and this was available on audio at the library :)

Re-reading as an adult, the narrative does feel heavy-handed at times, but almost 30 extra years of life experience brings out a lot of details I missed. Such as Shirley being just thrown into a fifth g
Beth Anne
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud, 2020
Read aloud with the kids. This book was so fun, so well told, a really great family read aloud. In this semi-autobiographical story of a Chinese girl who immigrates with her family to New York City in 1947 each chapter covers one month of the year. It shows how difficult immigration is, from not speaking the language, to learning new culture, to the joy of being American while still working to retain family and heritage. We love the baseball elements, and it was so fun to see Shirley grow over t ...more
This was a long novel despite being only one hundred seventy pages. I felt like it took me a lot longer to read it than it should of. Regardless, I enjoyed how the story flowed and the struggles of Shirley. The sports aspect didn't interest me since I am not into sports, but that didn't affect my enjoyment of the novel. ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Anna by: mymediamall
an absolutely beautiful inspiring story!

"this year of 1947.
The Year of the Boar.
The Year of Double Happiness."
Bette Bao Lord, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

***Read by Melissa Hughes
app 3.25 hrs
Hannah C
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is my favorite book ever it’s so dope or whatever you kids say these days. I’m a granny of 29 and I’m gonna make all my relatives read it it is so useful and entertaining that’s why I gave it 2 stars. For second place well peaze out or whatever y’all are sayin these days yee haw howdy pardner
Oct 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
That was a lovely little story. I don't know if I'll ever return to it, but I did read it in one day - a day that involved work, school, exams, and not much time for reading.

('Tis good to see the Cardinals lose.)
Brandon O'Neill
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youthlit
I had wanted to read this for a while, but finally pulled the trigger. I'm glad I did. Fitting in to a new culture and new school - basically growing up in a totally new environment with new kids, new games, a new language are explored in this story. ...more
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this book is one of the best books
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Bette Bao Lord is a Chinese American writer and civic activist for human rights and democracy.

With her mother and father, Dora and Sandys Bao, she came to the United States at the age of eight when her father, a British-trained engineer, was sent there in 1946 by the Chinese government to purchase equipment. In 1949 Bette Bao Lord and her family were stranded in the United States when Mao Zedong

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