Characters
Setting
Plot
Theme
100

In chapter 6, who is the baseball player that Shirley learns about?

Jackie Robinson

100

Describe the setting in the very beginning of the book. Hit--it's not America. Name at least three things about this place that make it different from the US.

China. Shirley lives there with her mother and extended family in a Confucian traditional way before they head to America to live with Mr. Wong. Many extended family members live there and there are servants.

100

In Chapter 12, whom does Shirley say may become president in her family?

Her baby brother

100
Describe the role of baseball in the story. What does it mean to Shirley?

 Shirley uses this as a bonding vehicle with her classmates since they all love baseball. She teaches herself and with the help from others, the game. She becomes a good player and makes friends by doing so. This helps her feel a part of a group which is important to Shirley in her desperate attempt to fit in.

200

What TWO names does Shirley use in China before she selects Shirley Temple Wong?

Bandit and Sixth Cousin
200

Describe the apartment that Shirley's family lives in in America. What city and state is it in and say two more unique things about it.

The apartment is in Brooklyn, NY. They have a land lady who eventually teaches Shirley how to play piano. The apartment is smaller, but it fits the family just fine.

The mother must do all the cooking and cleaning herself using new appliances.

200

What happens when Shirley goes to buy cigarettes for her father and his guests?

She gets lost.

200

"What would make Mother smile, Grandmother cry and Grandfather angry?" Discuss what this quotation means, when it occurs, and what happens in the plot that causes all these things.

Shirly observed these three different reactions to the letter from her father in the beginning of the book. Her father's letter says that the family is moving to America.

300

What new American name does Shirley propose for herself in the beginning that is ultimately not selected?

Uncle Sam

300

Describe the school that Shirley attends. Include what grade she attends and at least two characters who are there with her.

This is the American school that Shirley attends and where she learns how to be American and Chinese. She makes friends and learns from teachers. Shirley attends fifth and sixth grade at P.S.8.

-Emily, Mabel, Tommy, Mrs. Rappaport

300

What gift does Shirley’s father buy her to help her when she isn’t making friends?

Roller Skates

300

What did Jackie Robinson symbolize? Describe what he means to Shirley. Support your answer with at least 2 references to the text. 

Jackie Robinson becomes a symbol to Shirley. Shirley has to overcome her peers and how they perceive her because she is different, just like Jackie. Jackie and Shirley both have to struggle to fit in but ultimately overcome it and become well-liked by many.

400
What is the name of the child who Shirley gets into a fight with, though they ultimately become friends?

Mabel

400

Describe the Boiler Room. What happens down there and why do they go there?

Shirley and her father go there to fix the lights. This the basement where all the machinery that keeps the apartments running is, in the Wong's apartment building. Shirley is a little nervous down there alone, but her father loves all the American gadgets down there. She also smears wet paint.

400

 In Chapter 8, in exchange for watching her apartment what does Senoria Rodriguez offer the Wongs?

Free rent for a month

400

Mrs. Rappaport compares baseball to America. She says, "In our national pastime, each player is a member of a team, but when he comes to bat, he stands alone. One man. Many opportunities. For no matter how far behind, how late in the game, he, by himself, can make a difference. He can change what has been. He can make it a new ball game" (92). 

Discuss what this means to Shirley and how baseball parallels America. Give at least 2 references to plot events. 

-Citizens make a difference

-Shirley comes to love baseball, Jackie Robinson and America. (She plays baseball with her new friends, she enjoys listening to the Dodgers game, she is excited to meet Jackie Robinson).

-She comes to believe that, though different, she can have a place here and make a difference too.

500

What is the name of Shirley's teacher?

Mrs. Rappaport

500

Describe Senora's Apartment. Why does Shirley go there and who lives there?

The land lady's apartment where Shirley takes piano lessons from her and eventually watches the place for Senora while she visits her daughter back in her homeland. She also befriends and cares for the parrot Toscanini. 

500

 In Chapter 3, what does Shirley’s mother tell her about why her behavior matters when she goes to school?

Her mother tells Shirley that she is an ambassador for China.

500

What does School symbolize? Why do you think it is so important in the story?

The school is a melting pot where American and Chinese values for Shirley are mashed together. This is where she learns how to be American.

Click to zoom