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Ten year old Bandit Wong comes to Brooklyn in 1947 having been officially dubbed Shirley Temple Wong, at her own request, by her family patriarch before leaving Shanghai.  Now she has to win the acceptance of her schoolmates, while still honoring her Chinese heritage.  This dichotomy is reflected in the title of the book, as it is the Year of the Boar on the Chinese calendar, but in Brooklyn, it is Jackie Robinson's rookie year.  Over the course of the baseball season Shirley becomes a devoted fan of the game and of Robinson, and his trail blazing integration of the game becomes a metaphor for Shirley's efforts to fit in to a new society.

The book is delightful, with a brave and likable heroine who will appeal to anyone, but particularly girls, and the baseball theme should intrigue boys. It should  foster in all kids a further interest in Jackie Robinson,  a genuine American hero.  Best of all, it offers a moving depiction of the immigrant experience and strikes just the right balance between the value of assimilation and immersion in American culture, while maintaining respect for one's native traditions.

Lord's America really is a land of opportunity, but one which places obligations on those who wish to reap them.  In turn, the example of Jackie Robinson stands as a reminder that to fulfill its promise, America must afford these opportunities to all those who are willing to shoulder these responsibilities, regardless of race, creed, or color (or gender).


Grade: (B+)


See also:

Sports (Baseball)
Book-related and General Links:
    -Freedom House : a non-profit, nonpartisan organization, is a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world (Bette Bao Lord : Chairman of the Board, Emeritus)
    -BOOKNOTES : Author: Bette Bao Lord  Title: Legacies: A Chinese Mosaic Air date: May 27, 1990 (C-SPAN)
    -INTERVIEW : Building Bridges : US-China Relations in History-- June 23, 1998 (Online Newshour, PBS)
    -PBS: Think Tank: Biography: Bette Bao Lord
    -Bette Bao Lord : Teacher Resource Unit (Internet School Library Media Center)
    -LORD, BETTE BAO (Educational Paperback Association)
    -Internet Quests:   The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord
    -TEACHING GUIDE : In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (Connecting Students)
    -LINKS : sites can be used to support and enrich the Book Club unit for In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (Planet Book Club)
    -REVIEW : of In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson   (Marilee Hong, Jade Dragon)
    -REVIEW : of In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (Bonny Causutt)
    -REVIEW : of The Middle Heart ( Lisa See, NY Times Book Review)
    -AWARD : AILF - Immigrant Achievement Awards - Betty Bao Lord


Wow, could be the WORST book I have ever read.

- Captainfayt

- Dec-01-2006, 21:29


i love this book and i would be happy if you were alive to come to the bronx and see all the schools and tell us why you wanted to be author and talk to the people who want to be a writer too.

- nana love

- Jun-09-2006, 14:19


this was a great book i think every 1 should read this it was a hard book to read but it was great i give this book a b+


- Nov-02-2005, 22:08




- Feb-29-2004, 12:16


This book was a really good book

- consonser gepaswd

- Nov-30-2003, 11:28