In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Chapter 7
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July: Toscanini Takes a Walk
Bird's the word this month. Shirley's friends are all off doing fun things for summer vacation, but she's got nada going on.
It makes her miss her family in China… but she's got peeps here, including her parents, Señora Rodriguez, and her bird, Toscanini. All Shirley wants to do is listen to the Dodgers play baseball on the radio.
She still takes piano lessons, and offers to take Toscanini for a walk one day. Señora R expresses her doubts at the plan, but ultimately agrees to it.
The birdie enjoys the stroll, but when they get back to Señora R's apartment, the old lady is really sad.
She says Shirley reminds her of her own daughter, Nonnie, and that she misses her little girl very much.
She hasn't seen her in ten years and can't go back to her home country because of a bad man who stole her rent money when she left the house in Brooklyn.
Happy to help, Shirley promises that she and her family will take care of the house while she's away and keep Señora R's stuff safe.