Definitions

Yours Truly, Shirley

Yours Turly, Shirley

Yours Turly, Shirley (ISBN 0823407195) is a children's novel written by Ann M. Martin published in 1988. The title is often mistaken as Yours Truly, Shirley.

Plot

Shirley Basini is in fourth grade, but doing very poorly because she is dyslexic (which is why the title spells "Truly" as "Turly") and has trouble reading. She ends up struggling with feelings of inferiority and fears of disappointing her parents, especially since her older brother is intellectually gifted. To hide her inner anxieties, she horses around in class, much to the displeasure of her strict teacher. To add pressure to the situation, if she does not do well in school this year, she will probably be held back.

When Shirley's parents decide to adopt a Vietnamese baby boy as their own, Shirley is mildly happy that her parents attention will no longer be on her. However, when a mix up results in the possibility of having slightly older younger sister instead, Shirley becomes excited with the prospect of being able to teach and help someone learn how to speak English and about American culture.

Shirley's new younger sister, newly named "Jackie", soon becomes devoted to Shirley and eager to learn from her older sister and they become fast friends. But when Jackie ends up excelling in school and moved from the regular third grade class to an advanced one, Shirley begins to feel threatened and jealous that Jackie will no longer need her and once again, Shirley will be useless and unable to succeed.

When she stops making an effort at school, an unexpected challenge arises in the two sisters' relationship and forces Shirley to come to terms with her role as Jackie's sister and beginning to understand her own strengths. With extra help from the school resource room, Shirley begins to succeed in school in her own way.

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