• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

by Bette Bao Lord (1984)

Shirley Temple Wong is ten years old and Brooklyn, New York is a brand new world for her, circa 1947. At first Brooklyn is a curiosity as Shirley thinks often of her old life in Chungking and how different things were there. But Brooklyn’s (and America’s) charms soon begin to work on Shirley and she learns the ways and mores of her American schoolmates – what they eat (meatball subs!), what they play (stickball and stoopball), and who they root for (the Brooklyn Dodgers). It is thru collective affection for the Dodgers that Shirley – like thousands of Brooklynites (and Americans) – becomes enamored of the great Jackie Robinson in his inaugural season.

Bette Bao Lord nicely opposes Shirley’s old life and customs with the strange new attractions of Brooklyn and America- from ice-boxes to streetcars. More importantly, Shirley learns – thru Jackie Robinson’s example – why America represents a land of opportunity for many people from many lands for many different reasons. Opportunity and freedom mean different things to different people. None of this is explained didactically as Shirley is ten years old and is chiefly concerned with learning how to buy candy from the stores across the street, learning piano and the ways of the Italian immigrant who lives in her apartment building, and holding onto (and understanding) some of the leftover tales and customs of her grandfather.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson has been charming and beguiling readers for 25 years. It is, however, a slightly more sophisticated novel (the first chapter is by far the hardest), and recommended for schools looking for a second or third novel to keep challenging and expanding the horizons of their One School, One Book population.


There are five supplementary resources for Bette Bao Lord’s In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson:

  • a sample letter home to parents
  • a sample reading schedule
  • a Trivia Bank
  • a list of suggested activities
  • suggested assembly ideas

As a participating member of One School, One Book you may have access to all of these documents. Here are some samples:

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