Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson--a Terrific Read and Listen

Greetings, guys everywhere! The Iron Guy is sorry he's been silent for so long but I was away over Spring Break and have been sick since I came back. Between those two things, I haven't had much time to read, so I found this review that I had started in November, right after the World Series of Reading but, due to many circumstances, never posted. It's a great story and there's a terrific audiobook version. So check it out and enjoy!

Boys, here's a review of a terrific book that I read several years ago and never forgot. I remembered it while the World Series of Reading Contest was going on because the World Series and the Brooklyn Dodgers formed an important part of the story. I found a copy of the audiobook, listened to it and remembered why this book had such a lasting impact on me--as it will for you.

The book is In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord. In this book, a young girl, immigrates from China with her mom to join her father, who moved to America earlier to get a job as an engineer. They arrive in Brooklyn in the late 1940's in the same year that Jackie Robinson plays his rookie year. Her family has been in China for many generations but now the girl, who takes the "American name" of "Shirley Temple Wong" is now in a land of strangers. She doesn't understand their customs and they don't understand hers. She doesn't even speak English--and now she has to go to school in this new country! How will she ever manage? Especially when she runs afoul of the biggest and baddest girl in class?

Guys, this is one terrific read. And one terrific listen! There's a lot of humor here (just wait until you see what happens after she tries to fix the furnace for the apartment building!) and some wistfulness, as when they remember the Moon Festival back in China. But it's also a story that everyone can relate to, especially if you've ever moved to a new school or a new city and wondered how you'd fit in. Plus, after all that this girl goes through, the ending will make you want to stand up and cheer. So will her teacher's speech why being an American and playing baseball are so similar and so important. The audiobook version really makes this story come to glorious life. Narrator Christina Moore captures the tone of this book perfectly, as well as the voices of all the different characters from the Chinese great-relatives to a Hispanic neighbor to the tough Brooklyn kids. Either version is good, so find one or the other. but don't miss out--this story will stay in your memory for years and years.


Alex Baugh said...

I loved this book when I read it. And since I'm a Brooklyn born and raised girl, it sounds like I could really get into the audio version, which I didn't know existed. Thanks and hope you are feeling betters.

cleemckenzie said...

I have a baseball player who would love this book. Thanks for telling us about it.

Iron Guy Carl said...

Thanks for your comments! I just edited this post and put a "Baseblall" tab underneath, if your bAseball fan wants to see some other books.

Greg Pattridge said...

I'm glad you're back and feeling better. There's so much to love about this book. The time period, plot, and characters have me hooked. I'll be on the search for it. Thanks for your thoughts.

Rosi said...

Nice to see you back at it. Thanks for telling me about this book. Anything baseball will capture my interest.