Follow Bandit from China to America

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In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
by Bette Bao Lord

4 out of 5 stars

Sixth Cousin, also known as Bandit, lives with her extended family in China. She finds herself in frequent trouble with her elders because she is not the perfect child. One day her father, who is traveling, sends for her and her mother. Her grandfather agrees to allow them to head to America for work.

We follow Bandit (now renamed Shirley Temple Wong) from China to America. They land in Brooklyn where Shirley doesn’t speak the language and is very confused by the cultural differences. She no longer has that extended family to rely on, nor does she share a room with her cousin, instead she sleeps in a bureau drawer.

She forms a bond with the classroom bully when she doesn’t back down and doesn’t tattle. Her new friend helps her discover baseball and the way to make friends. Baseball becomes her connection to America. She avidly listens to the games. Jackie Robinson becomes her inspiration.

Nice to see a well-written children’s book with some happy themes.

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