MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Rereading a childhood favorite
The book that inspired my thesis topic, I have been able to have the time to sit down and relax with "In The Year of The Boar and Jackie Robinson," a children's novel written by Bette Bao Lord, and a personal childhood favorite. I fell in love with this book as a child for many reasons, and possibly the biggest reason is that it centered around Jackie Robinson, a childhood hero, the Brooklyn Dodgers, my all time favorite baseball franchise, and it was a rare book that had an Asian as the main character (Chinese female immigrant) who happened to be around my age (elementary student).
The book is about a young Chinese girl who immigrates to Brooklyn from China during the 1950's and her adventures (and misadventures) as she adjusts to living in America. The book also chronicles her love for Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers. I definately recommend this book to anybody who would love to sit down and read a book, for the simple joys of just reading.
Rereading it now, I can see why I loved this charming book, the way it presents so authentically, the viewpoint of children learning to live in a grown-ups world. I could relate to it in many ways having been the only Asian (along with my brother and sister) at my Elementary school, as well as having to learn a whole new language when I entered Kindergarten. Reading it now, I have the hindsight of being able to pick up on more literary devices, allusions and metaphors that I couldn't pick up on when I was a child which has added more depth this read around.
It was also interesting to read the form of ideal US patriotism that was present in the book. In one part of the book the teacher exclaims to her students:
"In the life of our nation, each man is a citizen of the United States, but he has the right to pursue his own happiness. For no matter what his race, religion or creed, be he pauper or president, he has the right to speak his mind, to live as he wishes within the law, to elect our officials and stand for office, to excel. To make a difference. To change what has been. To make a better America. And so can you! And so must you!
This year, Jackie Robinson is at bat. He stands for himself, for Americans of every hue, for an America that honors fair play...."
It was very interesting to hear such an ideal expression of what America is when, especially in these recent years, Americans have become so critical of the ideals of America, and when the norm is for talk show hosts like Jon Stewart do nothing but make political jabs, and when headlines reveal the latest political scandals.
This book, written in 1984, seems so out of place in this current culture which got me to realize that it is quite important when defining an author, the time-period, the cultural, political, social and economical period that the author is writing in. Which makes me wonder, what Bette Lao Lord would write regarding America in 2006.
Anyway, I definately recommend this book to those that have some spare time and are looking for a good read.
Hope everybody is having a good fall break ya'll!