In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

by Bette Bao Lord

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

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 happens: baseball. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America. And for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity.

Enrichment Activities
Books for Black History Month


Enrichment Activities

  • Conflict Dissection
    This graphic organizer will help students to study the story's setting, problem, and solution. Use the Conflict Dissection organizer.

    Jackie Robinson and Civil Rights
  • This lesson gets students thinking critically about the Civil Rights movement and its key players, as they explore a biographical site about Jackie Robinson.

    Jackie Robinson Coloring Page
  • A printable coloring book page with a picture of the baseball legend.

    Books for Black History Month

    Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural, by Patricia C. McKissack
    Recommended Ages: 10-13
    These 10 stories of the supernatural are based on historical facts but be warned: they're scary! These haunting tales are perfect for reading aloud and they also address deep issues of racism.

    Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano, by Olaudah Equiano
    Recommended Ages: 10-13
    This is a gripping tale of a young African boy's odyssey of betrayal, cruelty, and courage.

    Nappy Hair, by Carolivia Herron
    Recommended Ages: 4-8
    The gospel rhythm of this lovely children's book is matched only by the bold, color-saturated illustrations of little nappy-haired Brenda.

    Nightjohn, by Gary Paulsen
    Recommended Ages: 12 and up
    After he escaped to freedom in the north, Nightjohn returns to slavery to teach other enslaved people how to read. And 12-year-old Sarny is willing to risk mutilation and death for precious knowledge.

    Something Beautiful, by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
    Recommended Ages: 5-8
    This is the inspiring story of a young girl's search for beauty in her violence-torn neighborhood. The illustrations and story are both beautiful and realistic.

    Watsons Go to Birmingham, by Paul Curtis
    Recommended Ages: 10 and up
    The Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan are taking a trip like no other. They're heading south to Birmingham, Alabama, toward one of the worst moments in American history.


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