Study Guide

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Perseverance

By Bette Bao Lord

Perseverance

Perseverance is the name of the game for our main girl Shirley in In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. She's got a lot on her plate when she moves to Brooklyn, including learning a new language and fitting in at school, and rather than just sit around waiting for this all to happen, Shirley tries her hardest to put herself out there and make friends. She tries to learn to roller skate, determined to keep going, despite her failures, and even when no one asks her to recite a poem in class, Shirley does so anyway because everyone else is.

In short, even though she falls a lot, Shirley gets right back up time and time and keeps going until she get what she wants.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. Does Shirley ever give up? If so, when?
  2. What can you learn from Shirley's determination? Does she inspire you?
  3. What drives Shirley to achieve all of her goals?

Chew on This

Shirley works hard, just like her parents do in their own way, to fit in and become an American.

Shirley only fits in because she refuses to stop trying to make friends—none of the other kids try half as hard as she does.

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