Reading and Writing Assignments for 2/12 9th class

Reading Assignment: Read until p. 117  In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson


Writing Assignment: Highlighting What Makes Shirley Different From Wanda


 Shirley Temple Wong, the heroine of Bette Bao Lord’s In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, is like Wanda Petronski, a stranger in a strange land.  And like Wanda, she does not fit in. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. As characters, they are quite different.


    Your job as the writer is to describe and illustrate one or two key ways that Shirley differs from Wanda. Below is an example  of what I mean by illustrate. Note how I make a statement about the character, give an example of that character in action and then provide a quote. 


          Kate Shelley, the heroine of the novel Kate Shelly and the Midnight Express is   a child who takes on the responsibility of an adult.  (General statement  describing the character) After her brother dies and her mother becomes depressed, Kate is the one who takes care of the smaller children. (Specific illustration from the book) She even says at one point,  “Mother is tired, if you need something, ask me to help you.”

 (Quotation from the book further backing up my point)  Kate is also portrayed as stubborn. When, for instance,….


Please begin the writing with some general statement like “Shirley Temple Wong in Bette Bao Lord’s In the Year of the Boar and Jack Robinson somewhat resembles Wanda Petronski of Eleanor Estes’s, The Hundred Dresses. She is from a foreign country and has a hard time fitting in with her American-born classmates.  But the character of Shirley is quite different from the character of Wanda. (This should be your focus) Shirley, for instance, is …..

Original Post

Shirley is new, she doesn’t have any friend in American and she can’t talk. She has language problem, even she really want too make friend with them. But Wanda isn’t she just have a funny surname so every body is make fun with her.  Wanda isn’t new, if she into another new place, she still can’t make friend with others, because her surname. But Shirley not, if give Shirley an English mouth, she can make a lots of friends with herself. And Shirley has a little pride but Wanda is diffidence and shy.



     Shirley Temple Wong is different with Wanda Petronski.

    They both don't have any friends at first in school.Shirley is brave but Wanda isn't.Shirley 's charater can help her to make friends.She doesn't talk at first because America is new for her,she can't speak English.Wanda is shy, school isn't new for her,their language is the same,too.Wanda doesn't have friends just because her charater is shy.

    Shirley is confident,she can face dificult,she works hard for her friendship:she study,she try to talk more,she help her mates more……But Wanda doesn't realy want to have friends.



    Shirley and Wanda are little same. They are foreigners, and they all do not have any friends in the first, so they are shy in the U.S. at first, too. But they still have something different.

    Wanda is shy all the time, so she didn't make any friends in the U.S. She can speak English, so she does not have any friends just because she is shy and other people make fun of her funny Polish name.

    But Shirley is Different. She was shy at first just because she can not speak English. If she can speak English well, she can make lots of friends in American. She has a little pride.

    So I think Shirley and Wanda have something same, but their character are still different.

@ Cindy,


I think you have caught some very important differences between the two two girls. And I love that you can use the word "surname." I especially think you are right about Wanda's having some trouble wherever she goes.  I will send you some other comments via e-mail.  L.



I think you hit upon a key difference between the two, and that is Shirley's degree of confidence.  It's also true that she can face difficulties. If anything, she faces them with almost too much confidence.  I will send you some other comments via e-mail.  Best, Laraine



You are on to something when you talk about Shirley having "pride." That is a key element of her personality. And you are right that shyness is a part of Wanda's personality; whereas with Shirley, it stems from her inability to speak English. That is a very astute (really smart) observation (something that is noticed).


    Shirley Temple Wong in Bette Bao Lord’s In the Year of the Boar and Jack Robinson and Wanda Petronski of Eleanor Estes’s, The Hundred Dresses, are little same. They are foreigners, and they all do not have any friends in the first, so they are shy in the U.S. at first, too. But their character are quite different.

    Wanda is shy all the way, she doesn't make friends at school and almost never talk to the others even she doesn't have any communication disorders. For instance, when her classmates teeth her, she didn't strike back; when her classmates want to talk to her she speak less, too. Shirley is a foreigner and she is shy at first, too. But Shirley's character is different.

    Although Shirley can't speak English, but she is brave and a little pride then Wanda. She can make a lot of friends in American if she can speak English. She is open. For instance, she influence Mabel and they became friends and she made more friends from then on. So Shirley is an open girl and she is happy and she will blend in with American society well.

    Wanda is shy but Shirley is different, she is little pride and happy. They are a little same but more different because their character are different.

@Mark, Wow, you really did a re-write. I am VERY impressed. In particular, I like the way you picked up on Shirley's being "open" to new experiences and people.


And double wow, you are right to say Wanda is simply shy. She doesn't have a "communication disorder." (I'm asking myself how in the world did you even know that term, but it's wonderful that you did).


 I think your concluding sentence, is, as always, is spot on. They are more different than similar. For most people, concluding sentences are usually hard to write. You seem to be the exception (a person different from most in a good way)


  I will send you some comments via e-mail, but in general, I am very impressed by your understanding of the story, which shows real depth (deep understanding). I'm especially impressed with your revision, which was a true re-seeing of the story (If you break down the word "revision" into prefix and root, it means to re-see in the sense of re-think in a new way) and very different from what you sent early on.   Amazing work!!


See you tomorrow.  Laraine


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