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Parents' Guide to

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Funny tale of Chinese girl adapting to 1947 Brooklyn life.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 1 parent review

age 8+

Engaging read

I love how books put you in other people’s shoes! This book really helped you understand what it’s like to be new to a country, and start in school when you don’t speak the language and have very different cultural norms. Shirley is a strong and likeable main character. Her excitement over the Dodgers reminded me of my own kids joyous excitement over the Milwaukee Bucks winning the championship. I hope to read this book with them.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

A whimsical and beautifully written book, this rendering of the immigrant experience holds many lessons. Told through the eyes of a fifth-grade girl living in 1947 Brooklyn, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson looks at issues of race and culture from a kid's perspective. Though her classmates tell Shirley Temple Wong to go "back to the laundry," calling her "Chop Suey," Shirley considers herself an ambassador of her culture, and refuses to sink to the kids' level. But after discovering a hero named Jackie Robinson, who burst through race barriers, she feels proud of her new home in this foreign land.

Shirley's memories of her sophisticated heritage begin to blend with the everyday pop of Juicy Fruit gum, the thrilling experience of a neighborhood stickball game, and the sting of a black eye. Kids will like the descriptions of the people who do interesting things -- like Senora Rodriguez's habit of removing her dentures during a piano lesson. They will appreciate Shirley's gumption and grace; she teaches by doing. And her refined pride -- even when she's the butt of a joke -- is a comforting lesson in itself.

Book Details

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