Who is telling this story? Whose views are not being considered?
At the end of the book is a section called “A Note on the Locomotive.” It briefly mentions the plight of the American Indians whose hunting land and way of life were lost to the railroads. The Chinese
Have you ever considered someone to be so unimportant that you are better than them?
This story shows how slavery can impact a family, including children. Do you think being sold away from your family was the worst thing that slaves suffered? At the beginning of the story we read, "Henry's master had been good to Henry and his family." Can that be a true statement? Why or why not? Would you have tried to escape slavery as Henry did? Why or why not?
Honesty- What does Henry's mother teach him about slavery children early on? Did you think this would happen to Henry in the story? Why or why not?
Empathy- Look carefully at the pictures of Henry throughout the story. They give clues to Henry's feelings. Describe how you think Henry feels at different parts of the story. Do the pictures match? Have you ever thougtht about all the things slaves lost? They once had lives in Africa with their own families, language, religion, songs, foods and more. They were violently taken from all of that. Once they started news lives in America, they were cruelly treated and had no rights. They often lost their new families, too. They couldn't marry without permission.
Advocacy- Think about how your life would be different if you didn't know your family. Though not due to slavery, do you have classmates who don't live close to their families? Get to know them and ways you can help. If there isn't anyone in your class, are there people in your community that don't live close to their families. Find out if you can help. Another way to advocate is to find out how people whose ancestors are slaves can research their geneology. Click this link to find this type of information: Public Broadcast Company.
Action- Host community events that can help people who aren't close to their families have people they can connect to.
Have you ever longed for something to happen? How did you keep hope that it would happen when times became very hard? Do you think it was hard for Ada Ruth to keep hope when so much was happening in the world at that time?
Honesty- At the beginning of the story, Ada Ruth's mother says to her, "Ada Ruth, they're hiring colored women in Chicago since all the men are off fighting in the war." Why does she say that colored women, not women are being hired?
Empathy- Think about a time you really wanted something to happen, but you didn't know if it would or not. What were your feelings? Describe them.
Advocacy- Find out about how families in America were affected during World War II, especially the role of working women. Click on the link Partners in Production for more information. Describe Ada Ruth's and her grandmother's struggles. Do you think many people struggled in the U.S. during World War II?
Action- Think of ways you can stay hopeful and positive when things are difficult. How can you support others when they're struggling in similar ways?
Book reivewed by Sarah Mudd, Ohio Northern University teacher candidate.