In 1947, the Chinese year that the boar, a 10-year-old girl and her mom leave their home and also extended family to sign up with Father in America. The child, well-known as Bandit to she loved ones, choose Shirley holy place as she American name. After ~ a 10,000-mile journey by sea and also train, Shirley temple Wong and also her mother reach their brand-new home in Brooklyn, brand-new York.

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Shirley battles at first. She speaks small English and realizes she Chinese customs seem strange to she classmates. When Shirley’s household had servants and a larger residence in China, the Wongs have to now change to a little apartment where mom does the household chores. She parents do her take it piano lessons with the eccentric landlady, Senora Rodriguez.

Shirley tries come roller-skate and play ball favor her classmates however still feeling isolated. On the institution playground, she accidentally collides through Mabel, the tallest, strongest girl in 5th grade. The girl exchange insults, and also Mabel punches Shirley numerous times. Shirley refuses to rat ~ above Mabel for giving her black eyes, also when Mother and Father drag Shirley come the police station. Once Mabel realizes Shirley has actually not reported her, she i do not care Shirley’s friend and advocate.

Mabel teaches Shirley the finer clues of baseball and makes certain the other kids let her play. Shirley establishes a love for the game and also an obsession, like many of she classmates, v the Dodgers and also the upcoming world Series. She becomes specifically enamored through Jackie Robinson after she teacher defines how he has changed the game of baseball as its first African-American player. The teacher states that in America, anyone has the appropriate to pursue a dream, regardless of race, religion or creed.

When Shirley find Senora Rodriguez crying one day, she to learn the woman misses she family. She can’t visit them in the old country due to the fact that there’s nobody to take care of the building. Shirley convinces she parents to take over the job for a while for this reason Senora can visit her loved ones. Shirley’s father find a the majority of junk in the basement the he’s able come turn into treasures for various tenants. Shirley proceeds to listen to the radio whenever she have the right to as the Dodgers battle the Yankees for the pennant.

Shirley befriends a brand-new girl called Emily and enjoys spending time with Emily’s family. Shirley additionally gets a project baby-sitting triplets because that a neighbor twice a week. She thinks it will be her opportunity to sit back and listen to baseball top top the radio, yet the boys prove to be a great deal the work. She is overwhelmed v love for her parents as soon as they offer her a piggy bank so she can start conserving her baby-sitting money because that college.

As the World collection heats up, Shirley safety time listening to the radio through her friends in ~ the soda shop. All room deeply disappointed when the Yankees take the series in game seven. Shirley and also her family members feel sad as soon as they establish they’ve forgotten to memory a holiday that was necessary to their family members in China. Lock wrestle v the desire to organize on to their heritage if making a brand-new life in America.

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Toward Christmastime, Shirley helps Emily get chosen to stand for the 6th grade. The teacher announces that Emily will gain to current an honorary an essential to the institution to the surprised Christmas assembly speaker, Jackie Robinson. Learning Shirley is a large fan, Emily asks the teacher if Shirley can present the an essential instead.

Shirley learns her mommy is walking to have a baby, and also she can not wait come teach him everything she knows. As Shirley provides Jackie Robinson the crucial at the assembly, she imagines the affirming eyes of she Chinese relatives are the town hall her. Jackie tells her perhaps she will certainly be president of the United states someday, and Shirley feels this is the year of double happiness.