Study Guide

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Chapter 12

By Bette Bao Lord

Chapter 12

December: A Star-Spangled Christmas

  • Shirley's a star onstage as a turkey in her class play, thanks in part to her friends all pitching in to help her make a great costume.
  • When it comes time for someone needs to rep the sixth grade at the Christmas Assembly, Shirley helps get Emily elected.
  • Guess who the guest at the big assembly is? It's none other than Jackie Robinson, and he's going to get a key to the school.
  • This is a pretty big deal to Shirley, and she gets jealous as the days leading up to the assembly. Luckily for her, though, Emily volunteers Shirley to give Jackie the key because she knows Shirley loves baseball so much. Shirley feels unworthy, but is psyched.
  • When the big day finally arrives, though, there's even bigger news than Jackie Robinson. Shirley's mom is pregnant.
  • Shirley insists it'll be a boy and is so psyched, deciding she'll pass on all her wisdom—from America and from China—to him.
  • When it's her turn to give the key to Jackie, she recites a speech. He's really nice and says Shirley might be president one day because anything is possible.
  • Shirley says she can't, because she learned that the president has to have been born in the U.S.A., but that her new baby brother might be. Jackie leads a cheer for Shirley, sister to the future president.
  • Shirley's so proud that she imagines her entire family from China is there. Two worlds, at least in her person, merge in the Year of the Boar (1947).

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