In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

By Bette Bao Lord

Year of the BoarFirst published in 1984, this lively and funny book is as fresh as ever today. Shirley Temple Wong leaves her warm extended family in China and moves with her parents to Brooklyn, New York, where she enters fifth grade.

She learns to play stickball, befriends a bully, takes walks with a parrot, and interacts with kids and adults from many backgrounds and races. She also loves listening to radio broadcasts of baseball games and particularly admires #42, Jackie Robinson.

But this story about her first year adapting to America is so much more than that. It has charming drawings, witty humor, and lovable characters.

As the author of a new book about a kid from China learning to love baseball in his first year of living in America, I tip my hat to Bette Bao Lord. Her book deserves its status as a classic.