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What kind of events in the story did you want to have explained or described to you more fully?
Where in the story do you notice that the adults hold differing ideas about what these young men should do? When do Dolly and Theo find opportunities to let Grace know they understand exactly how she feels?
Grace turns down the chance to say good-bye to Collin, and she shuts herself off to her own emotions so fast she hardly feels them. Later in the story, there are more good-byes. How do these contribute to opening her heart again?
Go to the Internet to find the answers to these questions:
When did the Vietnam War happen?
Where is Vietnam?
How did the Vietnam War end?
On the first page of the story, Grace is not entirely sympathetic to her brother’s situation.Ê When does she begin to have second thoughts?
Sometimes a crisis overrides everyday life.ÊGrace really wanted a birthday party, but maybe it was just easier for her to complain about that than to worry about her brother. Find places in the story where you think this might be true.
Grace thinks her brother, Collin, does not care about her desire for a birthday party. When does she realize he wanted her to have a party, and a happy birthday? Why didn’t she know this any sooner?
Where in the story does Grace find out some things she didn’t know about Collin?
How do her cousins, Dolly and Theo, contribute to her understanding of the decision Collin has to make?
Many of the people in this story, including Grace, guard secrets. Which ones did you see revealed?
What is Grace’s attitude toward Collin in the first paragraph of the story, and what is her attitude toward him in the last paragraph?