UNIT THREE The Human Spirit Injustice anywhere is a threat to

The Human Spirit
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Civil Rights Leader
Moments that Matter
The Literature You'll Read
Walter Dean Myers The Treasure of Lemon Brown short story 334
Carl Sandburg Jazz Fantasia poetry 344
Amy Tan Rules of the Game short story 348
Fred Waitzkin from Searching for Bobby Fischer nonfiction 359
"I've Been Rooked!" Internet article 363
Gabriela Mistral Fear poetry 367
Julio Noboa Identity poetry 367
Christopher Reeve from Still Me autobiography 374
Christopher Reeve Speech speech 374
Careers That Care career information 386
Robert Frost Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening poetry 390
Robert Cormier The Moustache short story 395
E. E. Cummings old age sticks poetry 403
from Grand Mothers nonfiction 408
Legacies/the drum/Choices poetry 417
A Journey/Knoxville, Tennessee poetry 422
Icing on the Cake interview 426
The Concepts You'll Study
Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension
Vocabulary Focus: Analyzing Word Parts—Affixes Connecting
Drawing Conclusions
Determining Text Organization
Identifying the Main Idea
Identifying Author's Purpose
Making Inferences About the Speaker
Author's Perspective
Writing and Language Conventions
Writing Workshop: Cause-and-Effect Essay Adjectives
Adverb Placement
Participles Appositives
Literary Analysis
Literary Focus: Character and Setting
Dynamic and Static Characters
Internal and External Conflict
Point of View
Poetic Form
Lyric Poetry
Speaking and Listening
Oral Report
Original Poem Read-Aloud
Persuasive Speech
Music Review
Oral Interpretation of a Poem
Character and Setting
My stories begin with a person - [and] grow out of that person's nature or character.
- Paula Fox, writer
Do you have favorite characters? The first time you read about them, did it seem as though
you had known them your whole life? Often, our favorite stories have characters who
seem to think and feel the way we do. As we accompany these characters on their
journeys, we learn about ourselves and the world around us.
Characters are the people, animals, or creatures in a story. They may be based on real
people the writer knows or has learned about, or they may come from the writer's
imagination. Characters live in a world created by the writer. That world is the
setting— the time and place in which the action of the story happens. The setting in
which a writer places a character will often determine what happens to that character
and how his or her personality is shaped.
Main and Minor Characters
The most important characters in a story are called main characters. Events in the story
center on the lives of one or more of these characters. Therefore, the writer usually
includes many details about their circumstances, appearance, actions, and feelings.
Main characters often interact with minor characters, who have lesser roles in the
story. The actions of the minor characters, and their interactions with the major
characters, help move the plot forward.
YOUR TURN In the excerpt on the right, which details tell you that Charlie is the main
Dr Strauss and Dr Nemur say it dont matter about the inkblots. I told them I dint spill
the ink on the cards and I coudnt see anything in the ink. They said that maybe
they will still use me. I said Miss Kinnian never gave me tests like that one only
spelling and reading. They said Miss Kinnian told that I was her bestist pupil in
the adult nite scool becaus I tryed the hardist and I reely wantid to lern. They said
how come you went to the adult nite scool all by yourself Charlie. How did you
find it. I said I askd pepul and sumbody told me where I shud go to lern to read
and spell good.
—Daniel Keyes, "Flowers for Algernon"
Dynamic and Static Characters
Generally, one or more of a story's main characters change as a result of the events or
conflict in the story. A character might grow emotionally, learn a lesson, or change his
or her behavior. Such a character is called a dynamic character. A static character, on
the other hand, is one who doesn't change. Charlie Gordon, in "Flowers for Algernon,"
is a dynamic character who changes dramatically throughout the story.
YOUR TURN In the passage from "The Bet," is the banker a dynamic or a static character?
How do you know?
Fifteen years before he had too many millions to count, but now he was afraid to ask
himself which he had more of, money or debts. Gambling on the stock exchange,
risky speculation, and the recklessness of which he could not rid himself even in
old age, had gradually brought his business to decay; and the fearless, selfconfident, proud man of business had become an ordinary banker, trembling at
every rise and fall in the market.
—Anton Chekhov, "The Bet"
Characterization consists of the techniques a writer uses to create and develop characters.
Writers use four basic methods in developing a character:
description of the physical appearance of the character
presentation of the character's thoughts; speech, or dialogue; and actions
what other characters think and say to or about the main character
direct statements made by the writer about the character's nature
All of these combine to give the reader a picture of the character's traits, motivations (what
drives him or her), and relationships. Also, the conflicts that a character faces may
cause the character to change.
In the excerpt to the right, the author uses dialogue to reveal information about the character
who is speaking.
"When you get as old as me, all you say when something hurts is 'Howdy, Mr. Pain,
sees you back again.' Then when Mr. Pain see he can't worry you none, he go on
mess with somebody else."
—Walter Dean Myers, "The Treasure of Lemon Brown"
Character Motives, Traits, and Reaction
When you analyze characters, you examine their motivations, traits, actions, and reactions.
A character's motives are the emotions, desires, or needs that prompt the character's
actions. Traits are permanent qualities of the character's personality. The way a
character reacts to the story's conflict, situation, or other characters also tells you about
the character's motives and traits. Sometimes the motives and traits are directly stated,
and at other times, they are implied, as in the example from "The Treasure of Lemon
Brown" on this page.
YOUR TURN Which of Lemon's character traits are revealed in the passage above?
Setting and Mood
The setting of a story, poem, or play is the time and place of the action. Elements of setting
may include geographic location, historical period (past, present, future), season, time
of day, and local customs and ways of speaking. Sometimes the setting is clear and
well-defined; at other times, it is left to the reader's imagination. The setting will help to
create a mood, or atmosphere. Mood is often revealed through detailed description. For
example, each of the phrases in the following lines creates a mood: the sky hung heavy
and gray; the fog rolled in from the harbor; the sun singed the earth, making the
blacktop of the basketball court turn once more to tar.
A well-chosen setting might make the action seem more real, contribute to the conflict,
symbolize some idea that the writer wants to emphasize, or show how the writer feels
about a subject. The setting can also play an important part in the character's
development and may provide clues to the character's background.
The setting often reflects the tone of the story. Tone is the writer's attitude toward a subject.
For example, in "The Treasure of Lemon Brown," part of the story takes place in an
abandoned building. This could suggest a lonely or sad tone in the story.
YOUR TURN In the excerpt on the right, what details does the author provide to help you
visualize the setting? What kind of mood is set for the story?
They sat down by the fire again. Outside, the wind was higher than ever, and the old
man started nervously at the sound of a door banging upstairs. A silence unusual
and depressing settled upon all three, which lasted until the old couple rose to
retire for the night.
—W. W. Jacobs, The Monkey's Paw"
Have you ever met someone for the first time but felt as though you had known that person
forever? Many people call this a connection. You can connect to literature in a similar
way. Details about the characters, events, and settings can trigger thoughts about your
own experiences or other literature you've read. Active readers connect to what they're
reading by relating it to what they already know. As you grow, you may find new things
to relate to in a story—things you missed before. The old book sitting on your shelf
suddenly may hold new discoveries!
How to Apply the Strategies
To CONNECT, an active reader will:
Think about similarities between the characters in the story and people in his or her own
Become involved in the action
Use details about people, places, and events to relive his or her own experiences
Visualize the events in the story
Question what relates to him or her
Try It Now!
Read and connect from the excerpt below.
But the principal had ended the suspense early when she sent that letter saying Greg
would probably fail math if he didn't spend more time studying.
"And you want to play basketball?" His father's brows knitted over deep brown eyes.
"That must be some kind of a joke. Now you just get into your room and hit those
—Walter Dean Myers, "The Treasure of Lemon Brown"
Here's how Jenny uses the strategies:
"I use the connect strategy by thinking of similarities between Greg's and my own
experience. I ask questions about events as they unfold, for instance, 'Have I ever
wanted to spend my time playing sports instead of studying?' Once I identify with the
events in the story, I can visualize what is happening. I can feel for the character and
the situation."
Focus Your Reading
Generally, one or more of a story's characters change as a result of the events of the story.
Such a character is called a dynamic character. A static character, in contrast, is one
who remains unchanged. The characters' actions and reactions to events and other
characters will give you clues as to whether or not they are changing.
When you read, you connect what you are reading with what you have previously read or
experienced. As you read "The Treasure of Lemon Brown," jot down in your
READER'S NOTEBOOK situations and events in the story that remind you of
situations and events in your own life.
WORDS TO KNOW Vocabulary Preview
The Treasure of Lemon Brown
by Walter Dean Myers
The dark sky, filled with angry, swirling clouds, reflected Greg Ridley's mood as he sat on
the stoop1 of his building. His father's voice came to him again, first reading the letter
the principal had sent to the house, then lecturing endlessly about his poor efforts in
"I had to leave school when I was thirteen: his father had said. "That's a year younger than
you are now. If I'd had half the chances that you have, I'd . . ."
Greg had sat in the small, pale green kitchen listening, knowing the lecture would end with
his father saying he couldn't play ball with the Scorpions. He had asked his father the
week before, and his father had said it depended on his next report card. It wasn't often
the Scorpions took on new players, especially 14-year-olds, and this was a chance of a
lifetime for Greg. He hadn't been allowed to play high school ball, which he had really
wanted to do, but playing for the community center team was the next best thing.
Report cards were due in a week, and Greg had been hoping for the best. But the
principal had ended the suspense early when she sent that letter saying Greg would
probably fail math if he didn't spend more time studying.
CONNECT Think about a time in your life when an important adult did not let you participate in an
activity. How did you feel?
"And you want to play basketball?" His father's brows knitted over deep brown eyes. "That
must be some kind of a joke. Now you just get into your room and hit those books."
That had been two nights before. His father's words, like the distant thunder that now echoed
through the streets of Harlem,2 still rumbled softly in his ears.
It was beginning to cool. Gusts of wind made bits of paper dance between the parked cars.
There was a flash of nearby lightning, and soon large drops of rain splashed onto his
jeans. He stood to go upstairs, thought of the lecture that probably awaited him if he did
anything except shut himself in his room with his math book, and started walking down
the street instead. Down the block there was an old tenement that had been abandoned
for some months. Some of the guys had held an impromptu checker tournament there
the week before, and Greg had noticed that the door, once boarded over, had been
slightly ajar.
Pulling his collar up as high as he could, he checked for traffic and made a dash across the
street. He reached the house just as another flash of lightning changed the night to day
for an instant, then returned the graffiti-scarred building to the grim shadows. He
vaulted over the outer stairs and pushed tentatively on the door. It was open, and he let
himself in.
The inside of the building was dark except for the dim light that filtered through the dirty
windows from the street lamps. There was a room a few feet from the door, and from
where he stood at the entrance, Greg could see a squarish patch of light on the floor. He
entered the room, frowning at the musty smell. It was a large room that might have been
someone's parlor at one time. Squinting, Greg could see an old table on its side against
one wall, what looked like a pile of rags or a torn mattress in the corner, and a couch,
with one side broken, in front of the window.
He went to the couch. The side that wasn't broken was comfortable enough, though a little
creaky. From this spot he could see the blinking neon sign over the bodega3 on the
corner. He sat awhile, watching the sign blink first green, then red, allowing his mind to
drift to the Scorpions, then to his father. His father had been a postal worker for all
Greg's life and was
proud of it, often telling Greg how hard he had worked to pass the test. Greg had heard
the story too many times to be interested now.
For a moment Greg thought he heard something that sounded like a scraping against the
wall. He listened carefully, but it was gone.
Outside, the wind had picked up, sending the rain against the window with a force that
shook the glass in its frame. A car passed, its tires hissing over the wet street and its red
taillights glowing in the darkness.
Greg thought he heard the noise again. His stomach tightened as he held himself still and
listened intently. There weren't any more scraping noises, but he was sure he had heard
something in the darkness— something breathing!
He tried to figure out just where the breathing was coming from; he knew it was in the room
with him. Slowly he stood, tensing. As he turned, a flash of lightning lit up the room,
frightening him with its sudden brilliance. He saw nothing, just the overturned table, the
pile of rags, and an old newspaper on the floor. Could he have been imagining the
sounds? He continued listening but heard nothing and thought that it might have just
been rats. Still, he thought, as soon as the rain let up he would leave. He went to the
window and was about to look out when he heard a voice behind him.
"Don't try nothin"cause I got a razor here sharp enough to cut a week into nine days!"
Greg, except for an involuntary tremor in his knees, stood stock-still. The voice was high
and brittle, like dry twigs being broken, surely not one he had ever heard before. There
was a shuffling sound as the person who had been speaking moved a step closer. Greg
turned, holding his breath, his eyes straining to see in the dark room.
The upper part of the figure before him was still in darkness. The lower half was in the dim
rectangle of light that fell unevenly from the window. There were two feet, in cracked,
dirty shoes from which rose legs that were wrapped in rags.
"Who are you?" Greg hardly recognized his own voice.
"I'm Lemon Brown," came the answer. "Who're you?"
"Greg Ridley."
"What you doing here?" The figure shuffled forward again, and Greg took a small step
"It's raining," Greg said.
"I can see that," the figure said.
The person who called himself Lemon Brown peered forward, and Greg could see him
clearly. He was an old man. His black, heavily wrinkled face was surrounded by a halo
of crinkly white hair and whiskers that seemed to separate his head from the layers of
dirty coats piled on his smallish frame. His pants were bagged to the knee, where they
were met with rags that went down to the old shoes. The rags were held on with strings,
and there was a rope around his middle. Greg relaxed. He had seen the man before,
picking through the trash on the corner and pulling clothes out of a Salvation Army box.
There was no sign of the razor that could "cut a
week into nine days." "What are you doing here?" Greg asked.
VISUALIZING What mental image do you have of Lemon Brown?
"This is where I'm staying," Lemon Brown said. "What you here for?"
"Told you it was raining out," Greg said, leaning against the back of the couch until he felt it
give slightly.
"Ain't you got no home?"
"I got a home," Greg answered.
"You ain't one of them bad boys looking for my treasure, is you?" Lemon Brown cocked his
head to one side and squinted one eye. "Because I told you I got me a razor."
"I'm not looking for your treasure," Greg answered, smiling. "If you have one."
"What you mean, if I have one," Lemon Brown said. "Every man got a treasure. You don't
know that, you must be a fool!"
PREDICT What do you think is Lemon Brown's treasure?
"Sure," Greg said as he sat on the sofa and put one leg over the back.
"What do you have, gold coins?"
"Don't worry none about what I got," Lemon Brown said. "You know who I am?"
"You told me your name was orange or lemon or something like that."
"Lemon Brown," the old man said, pulling back his shoulders as he did so. "They used to
call me Sweet Lemon Brown."
"Sweet Lemon?" Greg asked.
"Yessir. Sweet Lemon Brown. They used to say I sung the blues4 so sweet that if I sang at a
funeral, the dead would commence to rocking with the beat. Used to travel all over
Mississippi and as far as Monroe, Louisiana, and east on over to Macon, Georgia. You
mean you ain't never heard of Sweet Lemon Brown?"
"Afraid not," Greg said. "What . . . what happened to you?"
"Hard times, boy. Hard times always after a poor man. One day I got tired, sat down to rest a
spell, and felt a tap on my shoulder. Hard times caught up with me."
"Sorry about that."
"What you doing here? How come you didn't go on home when the rain come? Rain don't
bother you young folks none."
"Just didn't." Greg looked away.
"I used to have a knotty-headed boy just like you." Lemon Brown had half walked, half
shuffled back to the corner and sat down against the wall. "Had them big eyes like you
got. I used to call them moon eyes. Look into them moon eyes and see anything you
"How come you gave up singing the blues?" Greg asked.
"Didn't give it up," Lemon Brown said. "You don't give up the blues; they give you up.
After a while you do good for yourself, and it ain't nothing but foolishness singing
about how hard you got it. Ain't that right?"
"I guess so."
"What's that noise?" Lemon Brown asked, suddenly sitting upright.
Greg listened, and he heard a noise outside.
He looked at Lemon Brown and saw the old man was pointing toward the window.
Greg went to the window and saw three men, neighborhood thugs, on the stoop. One
was carrying a length of pipe. Greg looked back toward Lemon Brown, who moved
quietly across the room to the window. The old man looked out, then beckoned
frantically for Greg to follow him. For a moment Greg couldn't move. Then he found
himself following Lemon Brown into the hallway and up darkened stairs. Greg
followed as closely as he could. They reached the top of the stairs, and Greg felt Lemon
Brown's hand, first lying on his shoulder, then probing down his arm until he finally
took Greg's hand into his own as they crouched in the darkness.
"They's bad men," Lemon Brown whispered. His breath was warm against Greg's skin.
"Hey! Rag man!" a voice called. "We know you in here. What you got up under them rags?
You got any money?"
"We don't want to have to come in and hurt you, old man, but we don't mind if we have to."
Lemon Brown squeezed Greg's hand in his own hard, gnarled fist.
There was a banging downstairs and a light as the men entered. They banged around noisily,
calling for the rag man.
"We heard you talking about your treasure." The voice was slurred. "We just want to see it,
that's all."
"You sure he's here?" One voice seemed to come from the room with the sofa.
"Yeah, he stays here every night."
"There's another room over there; I'm going to take a look. You got that flashlight?"
"Yeah, here, take the pipe too."
Greg opened his mouth to quiet the sound of his breath as he sucked it in uneasily. A beam
of light hit the wall a few feet opposite him, then went out.
"Ain't nobody in that room," a voice said. "You think he gone or something?"
"I don't know," came the answer. "All I know is that I heard him talking about some kind of
treasure. You know they found that shopping- bag lady with that money in her bags."
"Yeah. You think he's upstairs?"
"Watch my back. I'm going up."
There was a footstep on the stairs, and the beam from the flashlight danced crazily along the
peeling wallpaper. Greg held his breath. There was another step and a loud crashing
noise as the man banged the pipe against the wooden banister. Greg could feel his
temples throb as the man slowly neared them. Greg thought about the pipe, wondering
what he would do when the man reached them—what he could do.
Then Lemon Brown released his hand and moved toward the top of the stairs. Greg looked
around and saw stairs going up to the next floor. He tried waving to Lemon Brown,
hoping the old man would see him in the dim light and follow him to the next floor.
Maybe, Greg thought, the man wouldn't follow them up there. Suddenly, though,
Lemon Brown stood at the top of the stairs, both arms raised high above his head.
"There he is!" a voice cried from below. "Throw down your money, old man, so I won't
have to bash your head in!"
Lemon Brown didn't move. Greg felt himself near panic. The steps came closer, and still
Lemon Brown didn't move. He was an eerie sight, a bundle of rags standing at the top
of the stairs, his shadow on the wall looming over him. Maybe, the thought came to
Greg, the scene could be even eerier.
Greg wet his lips, put his hands to his mouth, and tried to make a sound. Nothing came out.
He swallowed hard, wet his lips once more, and howled as evenly as he could.
"What's that?"
As Greg howled, the light moved away from Lemon Brown, but not before Greg saw him
hurl his body down the stairs at the men who had come to take his treasure. There was a
crashing noise and then footsteps. A rush of warm air came in as the downstairs door
opened, then there was only an ominous silence.
Greg stood on the landing. He listened, and after a while there was another sound on the
"Mr. Brown?" he called.
"Yeah, it's me," came the answer. "I got their flashlight."
Greg exhaled in relief as Lemon Brown made his way slowly back up the stairs.
"You O.K.?"
"Few bumps and bruises," Lemon
Brown said.
"I think I'd better be going," Greg said, his breath returning to normal. "You'd better
"I got leave, too, before they come back."
"They may hang around outside for a while," Lemon Brown said, "but they ain't getting their
nerve up to come in here again.
Not with crazy old rag men and howling spooks. Best you stay awhile till the coast is clear.
I'm heading out west tomorrow, out to East St. Louis."5
"They were talking about treasures," Greg said. "You really have a treasure?"
"What I tell you? Didn't I tell you every man got a treasure?" Lemon Brown said. "You want
to see mine?"
"If you want to show it to me," Greg shrugged.
"Let's look out the window first, see what them scoundrels be doing," Lemon Brown said.
They followed the oval beam of the flashlight into one of the rooms and looked out the
window. They saw the men who had tried to take the treasure sitting on the curb near
the corner. One of them had his pants leg up, looking at his knee.
"You sure you're not hurt?" Greg asked Lemon Brown.
"Nothing that ain't been hurt before," Lemon Brown said. "When you get as old as me, all
you say when something hurts is `Howdy, Mr. Pain, sees you back again.' Then when
Mr. Pain see he can't worry you none, he go on mess with somebody else."
Greg smiled.
"Here, you hold this." Lemon Brown gave Greg the flashlight.
He sat on the floor near Greg and carefully untied the strings that held the rags on his right
leg. When he took the rags away, Greg saw a piece of plastic. The old man carefully
took off the plastic and unfolded it. He revealed some yellowed newspaper clippings
and a battered harmonica.
"There it be," he said, nodding his head. "There it be."
Greg looked at the old man, saw the distant look in his eye, then turned to the clippings.
They told of Sweet Lemon Brown, a blues singer and harmonica player who was appearing
at different theaters in the South. One of the clippings said he had been the hit of the
show, although not the headliner. All of the clippings were reviews of shows Lemon
Brown had been in more than 50 years ago. Greg looked at the harmonica. It was
dented badly on one side, with the reed holes on one end nearly closed.
"I used to travel around and make money for to feed my wife and Jesse—that's my boy's
name. Used to feed them good, too. Then his mama died, and he stayed with his mama's
sister. He growed up to be a man, and when the war come, he saw fit to go off and fight
in it. I didn't have nothing to give him except these things that told him who I was and
what he come from. If you know your pappy did something, you know you can do
something too.
CLARIFYING What does Lemon Brown mean by this statement?
"Anyway, he went off to war, and I went off still playing and singing. 'Course by then I
wasn't as much as I used to be, not without somebody to make it worth the while. You
know what I mean?"
"Yeah," Greg nodded, not quite really knowing.
"I traveled around, and one time I come home, and there was this letter saying Jesse got
killed in the war. Broke my heart, it truly did.
"They sent back what he had with him over there, and what it was is this old mouth fiddle
and these clippings. Him carrying it around with him like that told me it meant
something to him. That was my treasure, and when I give it to him, he treated it just like
that, a treasure.
Ain't that something?"
"Yeah, I guess so," Greg said.
"You guess so?" Lemon Brown's voice rose an octave as he started to put his treasure back
into the plastic. "Well, you got to guess 'cause you sure don't know nothing. Don't know
enough to get home when it's raining."
"I guess . . . I mean, you're right."
"You O.K. for a youngster," the old man said as he tied the strings around his leg, "better
than those scalawags6 what come here looking for my treasure. That's for sure."
"You really think that treasure of yours was worth fighting for?" Greg asked. "Against a
"What else a man got 'cepting what he can pass on to his son, or his daughter if she be his
oldest?" Lemon Brown said. "For a bigheaded boy you sure do ask the foolishest
Lemon Brown got up after patting his rags in place and looked out the window again.
"Looks like they're gone. You get on out of here and get yourself home. I'll be watching
from the window so you'll be all right."
Lemon Brown went down the stairs behind Greg. When they reached the front door, the old
man looked out first, saw the street was clear, and told Greg to scoot on home.
"You sure you'll be O.K.?" Greg asked.
"Now didn't I tell you I was going to East St. Louis in the morning?"
Lemon Brown asked. "Don't that sound O.K. to you?"
"Sure it does," Greg said. "Sure it does. And you take care of that treasure of yours."
"That I'll do," Lemon said, the wrinkles
about his eyes suggesting a smile. "That I'll do."
The night had warmed, and the rain had stopped, leaving puddles at the curbs. Greg didn't
even want to think how late it was. He thought ahead of what his father would say and
wondered if he should tell him about Lemon Brown. He thought about it until he
reached his stoop, and decided against it. Lemon Brown would be O.K., Greg thought,
with his memories and his treasure.
Greg pushed the button over the bell marked Ridley, thought of the lecture he knew his
father would give him, and smiled.
---from page 335
1 stoop: a small porch or staircase at the entrance of a building.
---from page 336
2. Harlem: a section of New York City; since about 1910, it has been one of the largest
African-American communities in the United States.
3. bodega (bō-dā'gə): a small grocery store.
---from page 338
4. blues: a style of music developed from southern African- American songs, characterized
by a slow tempo and flattened notes that seem to conflict with the melody.
---from page 341
5. East St. Louis: a city in southwestern Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St.
Louis, Missouri.
---from page 342
6. scalawags (skăl'ə-wăgz'): rascals; shameless people.
---from page 336
impromptu (ĭm-prŏmp'too) adj. done on the spur of the moment; unplanned
ajar (ə-jär') adj. partially open
vault (vôlt) v. to jump or leap
tentatively (tĕn'tə-tĭv-lē) adv. with uncertainty or hesitation
---from page 337
tremor (trĕ'm'ər) n. a shaking or a vibrating movement; a nervous trembling or quivering
---from page 338
commence (kə-mĕns') v. to begin; start
---from page 339
beckon (bĕk'ən) v. to signal to come by nodding or waving
probe (prōb) v. to investigate or to explore by touch; searching
gnarled (närld) adj. rugged and roughened, as from old age or work
---from page 340
ominous (ŏm'ə-nəs) adj. menacing; threatening
Drum on your drums, batter on your banjoes,
sob on the long cool winding saxophones.
Go to it, O jazzmen.
Sling your knuckles on the bottoms of the happy
tin pans, let your trombones ooze, and go hushahusha-hush with the slippery sand-paper.
Moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops,
moan soft like you wanted somebody terrible, cry like
a racing car slipping away from a motorcycle cop,
bang-bang! you jazzmen, bang altogether drums, traps,
banjoes, horns, tin cans—make two people fight on the
top of a stairway and scratch each other's eyes in a
clinch1 tumbling down the stairs.
Can2 the rough stuff . . . now a Mississippi steamboat
pushes up the night river with a hoo-hoo-hoo-oo . . . and
the green lanterns calling to the high soft stars . . . a red
moon rides on the humps of the low river hills . . . go to it,
O jazzmen.
1. clinch: slang for embrace.
2. can: slang for stop.
Connect to the Literature
1. What Do You Think?
What is your impression of Lemon Brown when you first meet him?
Comprehension Check
How does Greg meet Lemon Brown?
What "treasures" are important to Lemon Brown? Why?
As the story draws to a close, what are Lemon Brown and Greg doing or about to do?
Think Critically
2. Why does Greg smile as he rings his doorbell at the end of the story?
Think About:
what he has learned from Lemon Brown
how his understanding of his father may have changed
Look over the situations and events that you recorded in your READER'S NOTEBOOK.
What experiences in your own life helped you connect to these situations and events?
Compare your feelings with those of the character or characters in the story. How are
your feelings similar? How are they different?
4. Walter Dean Myers, the author of this story, believes it is important for people to have
role models. In what way can Lemon Brown, a homeless person, be considered a role
model for Greg?
5. Does this story change your feelings toward homeless people? Why or why not?
Extend Interpretations
6. COMPARING TEXTS Compare Terry in "Stop the Sun" on pages 48-54 with Greg.
What problem does each boy have? How does each boy solve his problem? What does
each story teach you about the relationship between parent and child?
7. Connect to Life Lemon Brown claims that "every man got a treasure." Describe a
treasure that you have now or have had in the past. Why do you consider this object a
treasure? How does your treasure bring you comfort?
Literary Analysis
In a story, a character may be either dynamic or static. A static character is one who does
not change during the story. A dynamic character, on the other hand, does change. For
example, the character may become more mature or learn a lesson.
Paired Activity "The Treasure of Lemon Brown" focuses on two main characters—Lemon
Brown and Greg. With a partner, go back through the story and decide which of these
characters is static and which of these characters is dynamic. Use a chart like the one
shown to help you. Be prepared to discuss how the actions and reactions of the static
character helped to bring about change in the dynamic character.
Dialogue—conversation between two or more characters—is one of a writer's most
important tools in character development. What traits of Lemon Brown and Greg are
revealed through dialogue?
Character Description Think of someone you met briefly who had an impact on your life.
In a short essay, write a character description of this person. Describe what the person
looked like, how he or she talked, and the place where you met. Explain how this
person affected you. Be sure to use correct and varied sentence types. Place the entry in
your Working Portfolio.
Writing Handbook See p. R41: Descriptive Writing.
Research & Technology
SOCIAL STUDIES In this selection, Lemon Brown is a homeless person who lives in an
abandoned building. Use the Internet or library sources to find out more about
homelessness. In recent years, has homelessness increased or decreased? Why? What is
being done to help the homeless? Create a list of resources that are available to help the
homeless in your community. Share the list with your class.
Art Connection
Hubert Shuptrine's watercolor painting on page 335 is a sensitive portrait of an older
gentleman named Williams. Write a paragraph explaining how this portrait differs from
or is similar to the picture of Lemon Brown you have in your mind.
Vocabulary and Spelling
EXERCISE: SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS Identify the relationship between each
boldfaced Word to Know and the word to its right by writing Synonyms or Antonyms.
1. commence
2. beckon
3. vault
4. ajar
5. tentatively
6. gnarled
7. impromptu
8. tremor
9. ominous
10. probe
Vocabulary Handbook See p. R24: Synonyms and Antonyms.
SPELLING STRATEGY: THE SUFFIX —LY You can turn many adjectives into
adverbs by adding the suffix -/y. Sometimes, a final silent e is dropped before adding
the -/y, as in abominably. Turn the following adjectives into adverbs:
1. regular
2. simple
3. informal
4. pleasant
5. practical
Spelling Handbook See p. R28.
Grammar in Context: Adjectives
In the beginning of "The Treasure of Lemon Brown," Walter Dean Myers describes both the
setting of the story and the mood of the main character.
The dark sky, filled with angry, swirling clouds, reflected Greg Ridley's mood as he sat
on the stoop of his building.
The words in red are adjectives. An adjective is a word that modifies a noun or pronoun. As
in this passage, adjectives can be used to describe setting or character.
Apply to Your Writing Using adjectives can add color and descriptive power to your
writing. They can also make your writing more precise.
WRITING EXERCISE Use adjectives to describe each item in a sentence.
Example: Original house
Rewritten The beautiful old house was large and rambling.
1. smell
2. Greg
3. couch
4. building
5. window
Connect to the Literature Look through the first few paragraphs of the story for adjectives
that describe setting or character. How do adjectives help the reader imagine the events
of the story?
Grammar Handbook See p. R86: Using Modifiers Effectively.
Walter Dean Myers
born 1937
I found Harlem a marvel, an exotic land with an inexhaustible supply of delights and
Harlem Roots Walter Dean Myers was born into a large family in Martinsburg, West
Virginia. After the death of his mother, he went to live in Harlem, New York, with the
Deans, friends of his family.
Always a Writer As a boy growing up in Harlem, Myers suffered from a speech
impediment that often made him feel like an outsider. He found comfort in reading and
soon began writing poetry and short stories. When he finished high school, he joined
the army because he was not able to afford college. He continued to write during his
time in the army and after discharge. Finally, several of his stories were published, and
in the late 1960s he won a contest with his text for a children's picture book.
An Award Winner Since 1975, Myers has written at least one book a year, most of them
for young adults. He has received numerous honors, including several Newbery awards
and Coretta Scott King awards.
An Exotic Land Many of the stories that Walter Dean Myers writes are set in Harlem. In
the 1920s, Harlem was the center of a great cultural revival known as the Harlem
Renaissance. Find out about contributions made by African-American musicians,
writers, and artists who lived in Harlem during this period. How do you think the
Harlem Renaissance influenced Myers's feeling that Harlem is "a marvel, an exotic
Rules of the Game
Connect to Your Life
Learning the Rules of a Game Think back to a time when you had to learn the rules of an
unfamiliar game. How difficult was it to learn the rules? What did you learn about
Build Background
The Game of Kings The complex game of chess probably began in India about 1,500 years
ago. From India, it spread east to China and west to Europe and the Americas. For
many centuries it was known as "the game of kings," because it was played by the
nobility and because it was considered good training for those engaged in warfare.
Today, chess players of all ages compete one-on-one, by mail, by e-mail, and on the
Internet. Most nations have chess tournaments for young people and adults.
WORDS TO KNOW Vocabulary Preview
Focus Your Reading
Most stories are built around a central conflict, or struggle. A conflict may be either external
or internal. An external conflict involves a character pitted against another character or
against an outside force, such as a storm. An internal conflict is one that occurs within
a character's mind. In "Rules of the Game," the main character, Waverly, experiences
both internal and external conflicts. As you read the story, consider Waverly's conflicts
with her mother and within herself.
When you read fiction, you may have to draw conclusions about aspects of a story that are
not directly stated. To draw a conclusion, follow these steps:
Notice details from the story.
Consider your own experiences and knowledge.
Write a summary statement about the meaning of the story details.
READER'S NOTEBOOK Create a chart like the one shown. In the first box, write details
about Waverly and her mother from the text. In the second box, jot down your thoughts
based on your own knowledge and experiences. Then use information from the chart to
draw conclusions about Waverly and her mother.
Details from Text
"Bite back your tongue," scolded my mother when I cried loudly ...
My Knowledge
My mother corrected me when I made a scene in public to teach me about self-control.
Mrs. Jong wanted Waverly to learn self-control.
Rules of the Game
iwas six when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength. It was a strategy for
winning arguments, respect from others, and eventually, though neither of us knew it at
the time, chess games.
"Bite back your tongue," scolded my mother when I cried loudly, yanking her hand toward
the store that sold bags of salted plums. At home, she said, "Wise guy, he not go against
wind. In Chinese we say, Come from South, blow with wind—poom!—North will
follow. Strongest wind cannot be seen."
The next week I bit back my tongue as we entered the store with the forbidden candies.
When my mother finished her shopping, she quietly plucked a small bag of plums from
the rack and put it on the counter with the rest of the items.
My mother imparted her daily truths so she could help my older brothers and me rise above
our circumstances. We lived in San Francisco's Chinatown. Like most of the other
Chinese children who played in the back alleys of restaurants and curio shops, I didn't
think we were poor. My bowl was always full, three five- course meals every day,
beginning with a soup full of mysterious things I didn't want to know the names of.
We lived on Waverly Place, in a warm, clean, two-bedroom flat that sat above a small
Chinese bakery specializing in steamed pastries and dim sum.1 In the early morning,
when the alley was still quiet, I could smell fragrant red beans as they were cooked
down to a pasty sweetness. By daybreak, our flat was heavy with the odor of fried
sesame balls and sweet curried chicken crescents. From my bed, I would listen as my
father got ready for work, then locked the door behind him, one-two- three clicks.
At the end of our two-block alley was a small sandlot playground with swings and slides
well-shined down the middle with use. The play area was bordered by wood-slat
benches where old-country people sat cracking roasted watermelon seeds with their
golden teeth and scattering the husks to an impatient gathering of gurgling pigeons. The
best playground, however, was the dark alley itself. It was crammed with daily
mysteries and adventures. My brothers and I would peer into the medicinal herb shop,
watching old Li2 dole out onto a stiff sheet of white paper the right amount of insect
shells, saffron-colored seeds, and pungent leaves for his ailing customers. It was said
that he once cured a woman dying of an ancestral curse that had eluded the best of
American doctors. Next to the pharmacy was a printer who specialized in goldembossed wedding invitations and festive red banners.
Farther down the street was Ping Yuen3 Fish Market. The front window displayed a tank
crowded with doomed fish and turtles struggling to gain footing on the slimy greentiled sides. A hand-written sign informed tourists, "Within this store, is all for food, not
for pet." Inside, the butchers with their bloodstained white smocks deftly gutted the fish
while customers cried out their orders and shouted, "Give me your freshest," to which
the butchers always protested, "All are freshest." On less crowded market days, we
would inspect the crates of live frogs and crabs which we were warned not to poke,
boxes of dried cuttlefish, and row upon row of iced prawns, squid, and slippery fish.
The sanddabs made me shiver each time; their eyes lay on one flattened side and
reminded me of my mother's story of a careless girl who ran into a crowded street and
was crushed by a cab. "Was smash flat," reported my mother.
At the corner of the alley was Hong Sing's, a four-table cafe with a recessed stairwell in
front that led to a door marked "Tradesmen." My brothers and I believed the bad people
emerged from this door at night. Tourists never went to Hong Sing's, since the menu
was printed only in Chinese. A Caucasian man with a big camera once posed me and
my playmates in front of the restaurant. He had us move to the side of the picture
window so the
photo would capture the roasted duck with its head dangling from a juice-covered rope.
After he took the picture, I told him he should go into Hong Sing's and eat dinner.
When he smiled and asked me what they served, I shouted, "Guts and duck's feet and
octopus gizzards!" Then I ran off with my friends, shrieking with laughter as we
scampered across the alley and hid in the entryway grotto of the China Gem Company,
my heart pounding with hope that he would chase us.
My mother named me after the street that we lived on: Waverly Place Jong, my official
name for important American documents. But my family called me Meimei,4 "Little
Sister." I was the youngest, the only daughter. Each morning before school, my mother
would twist and yank on my thick black hair until she had formed two tightly wound
pigtails. One day, as she struggled to weave a hard-toothed comb through my
disobedient hair, I had a sly thought.
I asked her, "Ma, what is Chinese torture?" My mother shook her head. A bobby pin was
wedged between her lips. She wetted her palm and smoothed the hair above my ear,
pushed the pin in so that it nicked sharply against my scalp.
"Who say this word?" she asked without a trace of knowing how wicked I was being. I
shrugged my shoulders and said, "Some boy in my class said Chinese people do
Chinese torture."
"Chinese people do many things," she said simply. "Chinese people do business, do
medicine, do painting. Not lazy like American people. We do torture. Best torture."
My older brother Vincent was the one who actually got the chess set. We had gone to the
annual Christmas party held at the First Chinese Baptist Church at the end of the alley.
The missionary ladies had put together a Santa bag of gifts donated by members of
another church. None of the gifts had names on them. There were separate sacks for
boys and girls of different ages.
One of the Chinese parishioners had donned a Santa Claus costume and a stiff paper beard
with cotton balls glued to it. I think the only children who thought he was the real thing
were too young to know that Santa Claus was not Chinese. When my turn came up, the
Santa man asked me how old I was. I thought it was a trick question; I was seven
according to the American formula and eight by the Chinese calendar. I said I was born
on March 17, 1951. That seemed to satisfy him. He then solemnly asked if I had been a
very, very good girl this year and did I believe in Jesus Christ and obey my parents. I
knew the only answer to that. I nodded back with equal solemnity.
Having watched the other children opening their gifts, I already knew that the big gifts were
not necessarily the nicest ones. One girl my age got a large coloring book of biblical
characters, while a less greedy girl who selected a smaller box received a glass vial of
lavender toilet water. The sound of the box was also important. A ten-year-old boy had
chosen a box that jangled when he shook it. It was a tin globe of the world with a slit
for inserting money. He must have thought it was full of dimes and nickels, because
when he saw that it had just ten pennies, his face fell with such undisguised
disappointment that his mother slapped the side of his head and led him out of the
church hall, apologizing to the crowd for her son who had such bad manners he couldn't
appreciate such a fine gift.
As I peered into the sack, I quickly fingered the remaining presents, testing their weight,
imagining what they contained. I chose a heavy, compact one that was wrapped in shiny
silver foil and a red satin ribbon. It was a twelve-pack of Life Savers and I spent the rest
of the party arranging and rearranging the candy tubes in the order of my favorites.
My brother Winston chose wisely as well. His present turned out to be a box of intricate
plastic parts; the instructions on the box proclaimed that when they were properly
assembled he would have an authentic miniature replica of a World War II submarine.
Vincent got the chess set, which would have been a very decent present to get at a church
Christmas party, except it was obviously used
and, as we discovered later, it was missing a black pawn and a white knight. My mother
graciously thanked the unknown benefactor, saying, "Too good. Cost too much." At
which point, an old lady with fine white, wispy hair nodded toward our family and said
with a whistling whisper, "Merry, merry Christmas."
When we got home, my mother told Vincent to throw the chess set away. "She not want it.
We not want it," she said, tossing her head stiffly to the side with a tight, proud smile.
My brothers had deaf ears. They were already lining up the chess pieces and reading
from the dog-eared instruction book.
I watched Vincent and Winston play during Christmas week. The chessboard seemed to
hold elaborate secrets waiting to be untangled. The chessmen were more powerful than
Old Li's magic herbs that cured ancestral curses. And my brothers wore such serious
faces that I was sure something was at stake that was greater than avoiding the
tradesmen's door to Hong Sing's.
"Let me! Let me!" I begged between games when one brother or the other would sit back
with a deep sigh of relief and victory, the other annoyed, unable to let go of the
outcome. Vincent at first refused to let me play, but when I offered my Life Savers as
replacements for the buttons that filled in for the missing pieces, he relented. He chose
the flavors: wild cherry for the black pawn and peppermint for the white knight. Winner
could eat both.
As our mother sprinkled flour and rolled out small doughy circles for the steamed
dumplings that would be our dinner that night, Vincent explained the rules, pointing to
each piece. "You have sixteen pieces and so do I. One king and queen, two bishops, two
knights, two castles, and eight pawns. The pawns can only move forward one step,
except on the first move. Then they can move two. But they can only take men by
moving crossways like this, except in the beginning, when you can move ahead and
take another pawn."
"Why?" I asked as I moved my pawn. "Why can't they move more steps?"
"Because they're pawns," he said.
"But why do they go crossways to take other men? Why aren't there any women and
"Why is the sky blue? Why must you always ask stupid questions?" asked Vincent. "This is
a game. These are the rules. I didn't make them up. See. Here. In the book." He jabbed a
page with a pawn in his hand. "Pawn. P-A-W-N. Pawn. Read it yourself."
My mother patted the flour off her hands. "Let me see book," she said quietly. She scanned
the pages quickly, not reading the foreign English symbols, seeming to search
deliberately for nothing in particular.
"This American rules," she concluded at last. "Every time people come out from foreign
country, must know rules. You not know, judge say, Too bad, go back. They not telling
you why so you can use their way go forward. They say, Don't know why, you find out
yourself. But they knowing all the time. Better you take it, find out why yourself." She
tossed her head back with a satisfied smile.
I found out about all the whys later. I read the rules and looked up all the big words in a
dictionary. I borrowed books from the Chinatown library. I studied each chess piece,
trying to absorb the power each contained.
I learned about opening moves and why it's important to control the center early on; the
shortest distance between two points is straight down the middle. I learned about the
middle game and why tactics between two adversaries are like clashing ideas; the one
who plays better has the clearest plans for both attacking and getting out of traps. I
learned why it is essential in the endgame to have foresight, a mathematical
understanding of all possible moves, and patience; all weaknesses and advantages
become evident to a strong adversary and are obscured to a tiring opponent. I
discovered that for the whole game one must gather invisible strengths and see the
endgame before the game begins.
I also found out why I should never reveal "why" to others. A little knowledge withheld is a
great advantage one should store for future use. That is the power of chess. It is a game
of secrets in which one must show and never tell.
I loved the secrets I found within the sixty- four black and white squares. I carefully drew a
handmade chessboard and pinned it to the wall next to my bed, where at night I would
stare for hours at imaginary battles. Soon I no longer lost any games or Life Savers, but
I lost my adversaries. Winston and Vincent decided they were more interested in
roaming the streets after school in their Hopalong Cassidy cowboy hats.
On a cold spring afternoon, while walking home from school, I detoured through the
playground at the end of our alley. I saw a group of old men, two seated across a
folding table playing a game of chess, others smoking pipes, eating peanuts, and
watching. I ran home and grabbed Vincent's chess set, which was bound in a cardboard
box with rubber bands. I also carefully selected two prized rolls of Life Savers. I came
back to the park and approached a man who was observing the game.
"Want to play?" I asked him. His face widened with surprise, and he grinned as he looked at
the box under my arm.
"Little sister, been a long time since I play with dolls," he said, smiling benevolently. I
quickly put the box down next to him on the bench and displayed my retort.
Lau Po,5 as he allowed me to call him, turned out to be a much better player than my
brothers. I lost many games and many Life Savers. But over the weeks, with each
diminishing roll of candies, I added new secrets. Lau Po gave me the names. The
Double Attack from the East and West Shores. Throwing Stones on the Drowning Man.
The Sudden Meeting of the Clan. The Surprise from the Sleeping Guard. The Humble
Servant Who Kills the King. Sand in the Eyes of Advancing Forces. A Double Killing
Without Blood.
There were also the fine points of chess etiquette. Keep captured men in neat rows, as welltended prisoners. Never announce "Check"6 with vanity, lest someone with an unseen
sword slit your throat. Never hurl pieces into the sandbox after you have lost a game,
because then you must find them again, by yourself, after apologizing to all around you.
By the end of the summer, Lau Po had taught me all he knew, and I had become a better
chess player.
A small weekend crowd of Chinese people and tourists would gather as I played and
defeated my opponents one by one. My mother would join the crowds during these
outdoor exhibition games.7 She sat proudly on the bench, telling my admirers with
proper Chinese humility, "Is luck."
A man who watched me play in the park suggested that my mother allow me to play in local
chess tournaments. My mother smiled graciously, an answer that meant nothing. I
desperately wanted to go, but I bit back my tongue. I knew she would not let me play
among strangers. So as we walked home I said in a small voice that I didn't want to play
in the local tournament. They would have American rules. If I lost, I would bring shame
on my family.
"Is shame you fall down nobody push you," said my mother.
During my first tournament, my mother sat with me in the front row as I waited for my turn.
I frequently bounced my legs to unstick them from the cold metal seat of the folding
chair. When my name was called, I leapt up. My mother unwrapped something in her
lap. It was her chang, a small tablet of red jade which held the sun's fire. "Is luck," she
whispered, and tucked it into my dress pocket. I turned to my opponent, a fifteen-yearold boy from Oakland. He looked at me, wrinkling his nose.
As I began to play, the boy disappeared, the color ran out of the room, and I saw only my
white pieces and his black ones waiting on the other side. A light wind began blowing
past my ears. It whispered secrets only I could hear.
"Blow from the South," it murmured. "The wind leaves no trail." I saw a clear path, the traps
to avoid. The crowd rustled. "Shhh! Shhh!" said the corners of the room. The wind blew
stronger. "Throw sand from the East to distract him." The knight came forward ready
for the sacrifice. The wind hissed, louder and louder. "Blow, blow, blow. He cannot see.
He is blind now. Make him lean away from the wind so he is easier to knock down."
"Check," I said, as the wind roared with laughter. The wind died down to little puffs, my
own breath.
My mother placed my first trophy next to a new plastic chess set that the neighborhood Tao
society had given to me. As she wiped each piece with a soft cloth, she said, "Next time
win more, lose less."
"Ma, it's not how many pieces you lose," I said. "Sometimes you need to lose pieces to get
"Better to lose less, see if you really need."
At the next tournament, I won again, but it was my mother who wore the triumphant grin.
"Lost eight pieces this time. Last time was eleven. What I tell you? Better off lose less!" I
was annoyed, but I couldn't say anything.
I attended more tournaments, each one farther away from home. I won all games, in all
divisions. The Chinese bakery downstairs from our flat displayed my growing
collection of trophies in its window, amidst the dust- covered cakes that were never
picked up. The day after I won an important regional tournament, the window encased a
fresh sheet cake with whipped-cream frosting and red script saying, "Congratulations,
Waverly Jong, Chinatown Chess Champion." Soon after that, a flower shop, headstone
engraver, and funeral parlor offered to sponsor me in national tournaments. That's when
my mother decided I no longer had to do the dishes. Winston and Vincent had to do my
"Why does she get to play and we do all the work?" complained Vincent.
"Is new American rules," said my mother. "Meimei play, squeeze all her brains out for win
chess. You play, worth squeeze towel."
By my ninth birthday, I was a national chess champion. I was still some 429 points away
from grand-master status, but I was touted as the Great American Hope, a child prodigy
and a girl to boot. They ran a photo of me in Life magazine next to a quote in which
Bobby Fischer8 said, "There will never be a woman grand master." "Your move,
Bobby," said the caption.
The day they took the magazine picture I wore neatly plaited braids clipped with plastic
barrettes trimmed with rhinestones. I was playing in a large high school auditorium that
echoed with phlegmy coughs and the squeaky rubber knobs of chair legs sliding across
freshly waxed wooden floors. Seated across from me was an American man, about the
same age as Lau Po, maybe fifty. I remember that his sweaty brow seemed to weep at
my every move. He wore a dark, malodorous suit. One of his pockets was stuffed with a
great white kerchief on which he wiped his palm before sweeping his hand over the
chosen chess piece with great flourish.
In my crisp pink-and-white dress with scratchy lace at the neck, one of two my mother had
sewn for these special occasions, I would clasp my hands under my chin, the delicate
points of my elbows poised lightly on the table in the manner my mother had shown me
for posing for the press. I would swing my patent leather shoes back and forth like an
impatient child riding on a school bus. Then I would pause, suck in my lips, twirl my
chosen piece in midair as if undecided, and then firmly plant it in its new threatening
place, with a triumphant smile thrown back at my opponent for good measure.
I no longer played in the alley of Waverly Place. I never visited the playground where the
pigeons and old men gathered. I went to school, then directly home to learn new chess
secrets, cleverly concealed advantages, more escape routes.
But I found it difficult to concentrate at home. My mother had a habit of standing over me
while I plotted out my games. I think she thought of herself as my protective ally. Her
lips would be sealed tight, and after each move I made, a soft "Hmmmmph" would
escape from her nose.
"Ma, I can't practice when you stand there like that," I said one day. She retreated to the
kitchen and made loud noises with the pots and pans. When the crashing stopped, I
could see out of the corner of my eye that she was standing in the doorway.
"Hmmmmph!" Only this one came out of her tight throat.
My parents made many concessions to allow me to practice. One time I complained that the
bedroom I shared was so noisy that I couldn't think. Thereafter, my brothers slept in a
bed in the living room, facing the street. I said I couldn't finish my rice; my head didn't
work right when my stomach was too full. I left the table with half-finished bowls and
nobody complained. But there was one duty I couldn't avoid. I had to accompany my
mother on Saturday market days when I had no tournament to play. My mother would
proudly walk with me, visiting many shops, buying very little. "This my daughter
Wave-ly Jong," she said to whoever looked her way.
One day, after we left a shop I said under my breath, "I wish you wouldn't do that, telling
everybody I'm your daughter." My mother stopped walking. Crowds of people with
heavy bags pushed past us on the sidewalk, bumping into first one shoulder, then
"Aiii-ya. So shame be with mother?" She grasped my hand even tighter as she glared at me.
I looked down. "It's not that, it's just so obvious. It's just so embarrassing."
"Embarrass you be my daughter?" Her voice was cracking with anger.
"That's not what I meant. That's not what I said."
"What you say?"
I knew it was a mistake to say anything more, but I heard my voice speaking. "Why do you
have to use me to show off? If you want to show off, then why don't you learn to play
My mother's eyes turned into dangerous black slits. She had no words for me, just sharp
I felt the wind rushing around my hot ears. I jerked my hand out of my mother's tight grasp
and spun around, knocking into an old woman. Her bag of groceries spilled to the
"Aii-ya! Stupid girl!" my mother and the woman cried. Oranges and tin cans careened down
the sidewalk. As my mother stooped to help the old woman pick up the escaping food, I
took off.
I raced down the street, dashing between people, not looking back as my mother screamed
shrilly, "Meimei! Meimei!" I fled down an alley, past dark curtained shops and
merchants washing the grime off their windows. I sped into the sunlight, into a large
street crowded with tourists examining trinkets and souvenirs. I ducked into another
dark alley, down another street, up another alley. I ran until it hurt and I realized I had
nowhere to go, that I was not running from anything. The alleys contained no escape
My breath came out like angry smoke. It was cold. I sat down on an upturned plastic pail
next to a stack of empty boxes, cupping my chin with my hands, thinking hard. I
imagined my mother, first walking briskly down one street or another looking for me,
then giving up and returning home to await my arrival. After two hours, I stood up on
creaking legs and slowly walked home.
The alley was quiet and I could see the yellow lights shining from our flat like two tiger's
eyes in the night. I climbed the sixteen steps to the door, advancing quietly up each so
as not to make any warning sounds. I turned the knob; the door was locked. I heard a
chair moving, quick steps, the locks turning—click! click! click!—and then the door
"About time you got home," said Vincent. "Boy, are you in trouble."
He slid back to the dinner table. On a platter were the remains of a large fish, its fleshy head
still connected to bones swimming upstream in vain escape. Standing there waiting for
my punishment, I heard my mother speak in a dry voice.
"We not concerning this girl. This girl not have concerning for us."
Nobody looked at me. Bone chopsticks clinked against the insides of bowls being emptied
into hungry mouths.
I walked into my room, closed the door, and lay down on my bed. The room was dark, the
ceiling filled with shadows from the dinnertime lights of neighboring flats.
In my head, I saw a chessboard with sixty-four black and white squares. Opposite me was
my opponent, two angry black slits. She wore a triumphant smile. "Strongest wind
cannot be seen," she said.
Her black men advanced across the plane, slowly marching to each successive level as a
single unit. My white pieces screamed as they scurried and fell off the board one by
one. As her men drew closer to my edge, I felt myself growing light. I rose up into the
air and flew out the window. Higher and higher, above the alley, over the tops of tiled
roofs, where I was gathered up by the wind and pushed up toward the night sky until
everything below me disappeared and I was alone.
I closed my eyes and pondered my next move.
---from page 350
1. dim sum: small portions of a variety of Chinese foods and dumplings.
2. Li (lē).
3. Ping Yuen (bĭng yü'ĕn).
---from page 351
4. Meimei (mā'mā).
---from page 355
5. Lau Po (lou bō).
6. check: a move in chess that places an opponent's king under direct attack.
7. exhibition games: public showings or demonstrations—in this case, chess games.
---from page 356
8. Bobby Fischer: a well-known chess player who, at 15, was the world's youngest grand
---from page 349
impart (ĭm-pärt') v. to make known; to give or reveal
circumstance (sûr'kəm-stăns) n. a condition; a financial situation
---from page 350
pungent (pŭn'jənt) adj. sharp and intense, as an odor
recessed (rē' sĕsd) adj. indented or hollowed-out space recess v.
---from page 353
benefactor (bĕn'ə-făk'tər) n. a person who gives monetary or other aid
---from page 354
adversary (ăd'vər-sĕr'ē) n. an opponent
---from page 355
benevolently (bə-nĕv'ə-lənt-1ē) adv. characterized by doing good; kindly
retort (rĭ-tôrt') n. a quick, sharp, or witty reply
---from page 356
malodorous (mă1-ō'dər-əs) adj. having a bad odor
---from page 358
ponder (pŏn'dər) v. to think or to consider carefully and thoroughly
Josh and I played our first chess games on a squat coffee table in the living room when he
was six years old. He sat on the floor, his face cupped in his hands. . . . By trial and
error, more than by my instruction, which he staunchly resisted, he found tricky ways to
trap my pieces. He unearthed standard chess strategies and tactics that players have
used for centuries. He was good at this new game.
So good that I kept forgetting how old he was. Often I became caught up in the intrigues of
combat and found myself trying to take my son's head off. . . . Josh would come back
shaking his fist at me and grimacing. "I must win, I must win," he'd mutter to himself
while setting up the pieces. It must have been profoundly confusing for him that I was
able to defeat his best ideas. A couple of times I offered him the handicap of knight
odds and he cried at my impudence, as if I'd tried to humiliate him. Already he seemed
to know that his old man was a hack, what chess players call a patzer.
While I tried to slaughter Josh, I rooted for him to win. The game became a quicksand of
passion for us. After an emotional loss, he would pretend not to care, but his lower lip
would tremble. Dejected, he'd go off to his room and my heart would be broken. My
carefully crafted victories felt like defeats. The next day he would refuse to play me
again, not even for a new toy car—not even for candy. I would feel panicky. Maybe
during my last blistering attack I'd killed off his baby dream of being the world
champion. Or maybe it was my dream, not his. Such distinctions are ambiguous
between a father and a little son. This is how fathers mess up their kids, I'd lecture
myself. Would you throw a slider to a six-year-old just learning to hit? Or smack him in
the belly with a hard spiral? Still, a few days later we'd be at it again. Once after I'd
sprung a trap on his queen, Josh announced that he didn't want to become a
grandmaster;1 "it's too hard," he said. Feeling bad, I asked what he would do instead. He
announced soberly that he would work in a pizza shop that had a Pac Man machine (he
knew how much I hate video games).
In retrospect I suppose that Josh was just beginning to exercise his muscles as a chess
psychologist, trying to soften me up, because the following afternoon he was squirming
with pluck and purpose, knocking down pieces each time he reached his short arm
across the board to take one of my pawns. That day I was feeling like Karpov,2
carefully building an insurmountable attack. The game took a long time, and while he
was considering the position, I took a break. . . . When Josh called me, he was beside
himself with impatience. I . . . checked the position and made my move. Josh smiled,
slid his rook over and announced, "Mate in two."
"I doubt it," I said smugly, but every move was a vise. He had me. I hugged him and we
rolled on the floor laughing. It was the first time he'd ever beaten me.
1. grandmaster: a chess player ranked at the highest level of ability.
2. (Anatoly) Karpov (ăn'ə-tō'lē kär'pôv'): Chess player who, in 1970, became the world's
youngest international grand master.
Connect to the Literature
1. What Do You Think?
What kind of daughter is Waverly? Use details from the story to support your answer.
Comprehension Check
How does Waverly acquire a chess set?
Why does Waverly's mother create a special set of family rules for Waverly?
What does Waverly do at the end of the story?
Think Critically
2. This story is about more than the rules of a chess game. It is about the rules of life. What
rules of life does Waverly learn in the story?
Think About:
the rules that Waverly's mother tries to teach her
the rules that Waverly learns while playing chess
Look at the chart in your READER'S NOTEBOOK. What conclusions have you drawn
about Waverly? about her mother? Compare your conclusions with those of a
classmate. In what way does an individual's personal experience and prior knowledge
affect the conclusions that he or she forms?
Extend Interpretations
4. Different Perspectives How might this story be different if Waverly's mother had been
born in the United States? Explain your answer.
5. Critic's Corner One reviewer of Amy Tan's work wrote, "Amy Tan examines the
sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and
daughters!' In "Rules of the Game," does Tan portray the relationship between mothers
and daughters as both painful and tender? Support your answer with examples and
details from the story.
6. Connect to Life Do you know someone who has natural talent for playing a game or a
sport? Do you think natural talent is enough for such people, or is it also important to
know and follow the rules of the game? Explain your answer.
Literary Analysis
In a work of literature, a conflict is a struggle between opposing forces. In an external
conflict, a character struggles against another person or an outside force, such as
another character, nature, or society. Internal conflict, on the other hand, is a struggle
between opposing desires within a character.
Activity In this story, what internal and external conflicts does Waverly experience? What
internal and external conflicts does her mother experience? Record your answers in a
chart like the one shown. Compare the internal and external conflicts of the mother and
daughter. How are they similar? How are they different?
Character Comparison In a brief essay compare and contrast Waverly with her mother.
How are they alike? How are they different? Be sure to examine and explain the
motivations and reactions of these characters as they confront conflicts. Place the entry
in your Working Portfolio.
Writing Handbook See p. R45: Compare and Contrast.
Speaking & Listening
Checkmate Research the history of chess. Prepare an oral report that explains how chess
was used as a game played by nobility or how it was used as training for warfare. Use
appropriate grammar, word choice, enunciation, and pace during your presentation.
Speaking and Listening Handbook See p. R104: Organization and Delivery.
Research & Technology
Chess Sets There are many different kinds of chess sets. Using Internet and library sources,
conduct a multiple- step information search to find out about the variety of chess sets.
Look for examples of historical and unusual chess sets. Prepare an oral report on your
findings and include photographs, illustrations, and diagrams. Be sure to note your
Read the Internet article "I've Been Rooked" on pages 363-366 before doing your research.
Choose the word or group of words that means the same, or nearly the same, as the
underlined Word to Know.
1. A difficult circumstance
A pairing
B condition
C gathering
D celebration
2. A pungent odor
J lasting
K pleasant
L sharp
M toxic
3. A recessed stairwell
A neglected
B darkened
C painted
D hollow
4. To ponder a move
J remember
K cancel
L consider
M delay
5. To impart advice
A give
B explain
C seek
D ignore
6. An unknown benefactor
J neighbor
K supporter
L relative
M storekeeper
7. To speak benevolently
A kindly
B seriously
C secretly
D boldly
8. A malodorous cheese
J tasty
K costly
L smelly
M sticky
9. A quick retort
A race
B reply
C meal
D discussion
10. A strong adversary
J advantage
K coach
L opponent
M fan
Vocabulary Handbook See p. R24: Synonyms and Antonyms.
Grammar in Context: Adverb Placement
The meaning of a sentence can sometimes be altered simply by changing the position of an
adverb. Look at this sentence from Amy Tan's "Rules of the Game!"
When my mother finished her shopping, she quietly plucked a small bag of plums from
the rack and put it on the counter with the rest of the items.
The word quietly is an adverb, a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
How would the emphasis change if quietly were placed between mother and finished?
How would it change if quietly were placed before the words put it? Through careful
placement of adverbs, writers can emphasize certain words and change a sentence's
WRITING EXERCISE Change the placement of the underlined adverbs. Then describe
how the change affects the meaning of the sentence.
Example: Original She was a child when she started playing only chess.
Rewritten She was only a child when she started playing chess. (Emphasis shifts from chess
to child; the meaning is that it is remarkable that a child started playing chess.)
1. Amy drew a handmade chessboard and carefully pinned it to the wall.
2. She moved her chess piece and waited for her opponent to react slowly.
3. Everyone who knew us well said that we lived on Waverly Place.
4. Her mother responded when her daughter ran angrily away.
5. She ran down the alley, hoping her mother would not chase her frantically.
Grammar Handbook See p. R86: Using Modifiers Effectively.
Amy Tan
born 1952
"I couldn't survive without writing. It's like breathing."
A Young Prize Winner Amy Tan was born in Oakland, California, several years after her
mother and father immigrated from China. She was raised in various cities in the San
Francisco Bay Area. When she was eight, her essay "What the Library Means to Me"
won first prize among elementary school participants.
The Joy Luck Club After earning an M.A. in linguistics from San Jose State, Tan held a
variety of jobs. Then, in 1985, she attended her
first writers' workshop. Only four years later, her novel, The Joy Luck Club, became a
surprise bestseller, logging over 40 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list.
More Success Tan went on to publish two more best-selling novels—The Kitchen God's
Wife and The Hundred Secret Senses. She is also the author of two children's books—
The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat.
A Happy Ending? Amy Tan later included "Rules of the Game" as part of her novel The
Joy Luck Club, which is largely based on Tan's own life. Read the parts of the book that
are told by Waverly Jong and her mother, Lindo Jong. How does the conflict between
Waverly and her mother get resolved in the novel?
"I've Been Rooked!"
What do you know about the game of chess? Do you know anyone who plays?
Would you like to learn to play? Here are some rules that will acquaint you with
the basics of the game and how each game piece moves.
1 The Rules of Chess
The Objective in Chess
The primary objective in chess is to checkmate your opponent's King. When a King
cannot avoid capture, it is checkmated, and the game is immediately over. If a
King is threatened with capture but has a means to escape, then it is said to be
in check. A King cannot move into check, and if in check, must move out of
check immediately.
Reading for Information
The game of chess can seem very complicated to the beginner: the board has 64 squares, 6
types of game pieces for each player, and specifically defined movements for each
game piece.
Using Graphics
Complicated information is often easier to understand when it is presented visually with
graphics. For example, numerical data presented in a chart or graph allows the reader
to easily compare figures and categories. Images, such as photographs or drawings, can
add meaning and detail to written text. Diagrams, charts, maps, illustrations,
photographs, and time lines are examples of different kinds of graphics.
YOUR TURN Use the following questions and activities to help you get the most from the
Internet article's graphics and text.
1 Graphics are designed to get the reader's attention. Notice the photo of the chess piece on
this page. It provides a visual clue about the contents of the article. As you scan this
article, what other information do the graphics provide?
---see pictures
The Starting Position
Chess is played by two players beginning in the positions shown. The White player
(the player of the light-colored pieces) moves first. Then each player takes a
single turn.
When setting up the pieces, keep two things in mind. The corner light-colored
square goes on the player's right, and Queens go on their own color next to the
Kings on the center squares.
You may not move a piece to a square already occupied by one of your own pieces.
You may capture an opposing piece by replacing that piece with one of your
own pieces, if it can legally move there.
Movement of the Pieces
The King is the most important piece. When it is trapped so it cannot move without
being captured, then the game is lost. The trap is called checkmate. The King
can move only one square in any direction—horizontally, vertically, or
The Queen is the most powerful piece because it can move in any straight line—
horizontally, vertically, or diagonally—as long as its path is not blocked.
The Rook is a very powerful piece because it can move to any square along its row
as long as its path is not blocked. The rook moves in a straight line—
horizontally or vertically.
The Bishop is a powerful piece because it can move to any square along its
diagonals as long as its path is not blocked.
The Knight is the only piece that can hop over other pieces in an L-shaped path that
consists of three squares. The Knight may move one step in a horizontal
direction and then two steps in a vertical direction. Or, it can move two steps
horizontally and then one step vertically.
Reading for Information continued
2 A graphic can be a symbol. A key, or legend, identifies what the symbols represent. Here,
the and represent the King game piece. What other symbols can you find in the article?
What do they represent?
3 A diagram can show how an object works or how a process flows. It can sometimes be
easier to understand than a written explanation. By examining only the diagram,
describe how a bishop moves.
4 Each graphic illustrates the text below it. If there were no graphic, would you as easily
understand the movements by reading only the text?
Creating a Graphic For some people, information presented in a graphic can be easier to
understand and remember than written text. On a separate sheet of paper, complete the
following graphic. In the appropriate column, record how each chess piece moves.
Research & Technology
Activity Link: "Rules of the Game," p. 361. On page 355 of "Rules of the Game," Amy
Tan lists some of the advanced moves she learned from Lau Po. Research one or more
of these moves and create a graphic representation for each move.
The pawn is the least powerful piece on the board. It may move only one square
forward if its path is not blocked. However, it has the option—on its first move
only—to move two squares forward. The pawn can never move backwards. It
can only capture another piece by moving diagonally one square. It may not
capture in a forward move. If a pawn is able to reach the last row of its
opponent's side of the board, the pawn is promoted to any other piece but the
King. In the diagram, the squares with X's indicate possible destinations for the
pawns. The squares with dots show the destinations for captures.
Translated by DORIS DANA
Translated by INA CUMPIANO
Connect to Your Life
Be Yourself In these poems, the speakers do not want other people to tell them or their
children how to behave. Does your life sometimes contain conflicts between "I" and
"they"? Are there things you don't like about the kind of person "they" want you to be?
Discuss your answers in a small group.
Build Background
Two Languages/Dos Lenguas The poems "Fear" and "Identity" are presented in both
Spanish and English. Gabriela Mistral, the author of "Fear," grew up in Chile in South
America. She wrote her poem in Spanish, and it was later translated into English. On
the other hand, Julio Noboa, the author of "Identity," was brought up in a bilingual
household in the United States; that is, his family spoke both Spanish and English.
"Identity" was originally written in English and later translated into Spanish.
English and Spanish share common roots. Note the similarities between English and Spanish
in the following examples from "Fear:'
Focus Your Reading
A person, place, object, or action that stands for something beyond itself is called a symbol.
For example, the poem "Identity" may seem to be about plants, but it is not. The plants
in this poem symbolize certain qualities. As you read these two poems, look for other
The process of forming a mental picture from a written description is called visualizing. In
reading poetry, it is important to visualize the images that the poet presents. A poet
creates images by using language that appeals to the reader's sense of sight, hearing,
smell, taste, or touch.
READER'S NOTEBOOK Make a chart like the one shown. As you read the poems, note
the images that each poet presents. Then go back and write a brief description of what
you visualize for each image.
English Translation by DORIS DANA
I don't want them to turn
my little girl into a swallow.
She would fly far away into the sky
and never fly again to my straw bed,
or she would nest in the eaves
where I could not comb her hair.
I don't want them to turn
my little girl into a swallow.
I don't want them to make
my little girl into a princess.
In tiny golden slippers
how could she play on the meadow?
And when night came, no longer
would she sleep at my side.
I don't want them to make
my little girl a princess.
And even less do I want them
one day to make her queen.
They would put her on a throne
where I could not go to see her.
And when nighttime came
I could never rock her . . .
I don't want them to make
my little girl a queen!
1. Why do you think the poet repeats certain lines in the poem?
2. In your opinion, is it better to wear golden slippers or to play in the fields? Explain your
3. Why did Gabriela Mistral entitle her poem "Fear"?
Think About:
what she says she's afraid of
what she is really afraid of
Yo no quiero que a mi nina
golondrina me la vuelvan.
Se hunde volando en el cielo
y no baja hasta mi estera;
en el alero hace nido
y mis manos no la peinan.
Yo no quiero que a mi nina
golondrina me la vuelvan.
Yo no quiero que a mi nina
la vayan a hacer princesa.
Con zapatitos de oro
como juega en las praderas?
Y cuando llegue la noche
a mi lado no se acuesta...
Yo no quiero que a mi nina
la vayan a hacer princesa.
Y menos quiero que un dia
me la vayan a hacer reina.
La pondrian en un trono
a donde mis pies no llegan.
Cuando viniese la noche
yo no podria mecerla...
Yo no quiero que a mi nina
me la vayan a hacer reina!
by Julio Noboa
Let them be as flowers,
always watered, fed, guarded, admired,
but harnessed to a pot of dirt.
I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed,
clinging on cliffs, like an eagle
wind-wavering above high, jagged rocks.
To have broken through the surface of stone
to live, to feel exposed to the madness
of the vast, eternal sky.
To be swayed by the breezes of an ancient sea,
carrying my soul, my seed, beyond the mountains of time
or into the abyss1 of the bizarre.
I'd rather be unseen, and if
then shunned2 by everyone
than to be a pleasant-smelling flower,
growing in clusters in the fertile valley
where they're praised, handled, and plucked
by greedy, human hands.
I'd rather smell of musty, green stench
than of sweet, fragrant lilac.
If I could stand alone, strong and free,
I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed.
1. abyss (ə-bĭs): a seemingly bottomless pit.
2. shunned: avoided or stayed away from deliberately.
Que sean ellos como las flores,
bien rociadas, bien nutridas, cuidadas y bien amadas
Pero presas y limitadas en su maceta de tierra sucia.
Más quisiera yo ser mala hierba, alta y fea,
de aquellas que se aferran bien al risco,
como el águila que ondea en la ventolera
más ally de las rocas copetudas.
Poder romper mi propia grieta en lo plano de la piedra,
poder vivir expuesto a la locura, vasta eterna,
de aquel cielo.
Poder mecerme en el vaiven de las brizas de un mar antiguo,
llevar a cuestas mi alma, mi simiente, más alla de las montanas
que son el tiempo
o de los viejos abismos de la extravagancia.
Más quisiera que no me vieran aunque entonces
quedara solo,
que ser la fragante flor
arracimada en el valle fértil,
loada, manoseada, arrancada
por las voraces manos del gentio.
Más quisiera el tufo verde y trasnochado
que la fragancia de lilas dulces.
Pudiendo mantenerme erguido, fuerte y libre,
más quisiera yo ser mala hierba, alta y fea.
translated by Ina Cumpiano
Connect to the Literature
1. What Do You Think?
To which of these two poems did you respond more strongly? Give reasons for your choice.
Comprehension Check
In "Identity," why would the speaker rather be a "tall, ugly weed"?
Think Critically
2. Which speaker is more likely to get his or her wish?
Look back over the images that you visualized in your READER'S NOTEBOOK. Choose
your favorite image from each poem. What does each image make you think of? How
does each image make you feel?
4. Compare the speakers in these poems. How are they similar? How are they different?
Think About:
the way each speaker views "they"
the way each speaker views "self"
what each speaker is wishing for
Extend Interpretations
5. COMPARING TEXTS Both poems use birds as images. Why does Mistral use the
image of a delicate swallow while Noboa uses the image of a strong eagle? Could the
birds have been reversed in the two poems? Why or why not?
6. Connect to Life Do you have possessions, dreams, or feelings that are so important that
you would be willing to be "ugly," "unseen," and "shunned" in order to keep them?
Explain your response.
Literary Analysis
SYMBOL A person, place, object, or action that stands for something beyond itself is called
a symbol. For example, a dove is a bird, but it may also symbolize, or stand for, peace.
A flag is a colored piece of cloth, but it also symbolizes a nation.
Paired Activity In "Fear" and "Identity," the poets use many symbols to enrich the meaning
of the poems. With a partner, complete the following charts. The first column in each
chart contains the poem's symbols. In the second column, explain what you think the
symbol means. If necessary, write more than one meaning. Is one meaning more
powerful than the others? Explain your answer.
Pros and Cons Write a paragraph in which you describe the good and bad points of being a
weed as opposed to being a garden flower. Feel free to introduce your own ideas as well
as those of Julio Noboa. Revise for word choice, appropriate organization, and a
consistent point of view. Place the entry in your Working Portfolio.
Speaking & Listening
Pattern Poem Write an eight- line poem using Gabriela Mistral's poem as a model. Begin
your poem with the following line:
I do not want them to . . .
Include symbols and imagery that allow the listener to picture what you're saying. Read your
poem aloud to your class.
Speaking and Listening Handbook See p. R106: Oral Reading.
Research & Technology
Spanish Speakers Spanish- speaking people have an important influence on American life
in such areas as music, dance, food, literature, art, architecture, and government. In the
library or online, locate the most recent United States census information. How many
people in the United States list Spanish as their first language? What percentage of the
total population is this group? Create a graph that illustrates your findings. Display your
graph in the classroom.
Gabriela Mistral
"If you are not able to love a lot, don't teach children."
A Dedicated Teacher Gabriela Mistral grew up in a small village in northern Chile and
became a schoolteacher at the age of 15. Despite her youth, she excelled in this career.
When she was 33, the Mexican government asked her to start educational programs for
the poor in Mexico. Eventually Mistral settled in the United States, where she taught
Spanish literature to college students.
A Famous Poet Mistral began publishing poetry when she was a village schoolteacher. In
1945, she became the first Latin-American woman to win a Nobel Prize in literature.
Julio Noboa
born 1949
"Make your poetry the reflection of your life."
A Bilingual Poet Julio Noboa was born in the Bronx, New York City, to parents who came
from Puerto Rico. When he began writing poetry, he decided to write in both Spanish
and English.
An Educator and a Writer Noboa now lives in San Antonio, Texas, where he writes for
the San Antonio Express-News, and the La Estrella of Fort Worth. Noboa also works in
the Department of Teaching at the University of Northern Iowa and serves as Clinical
Supervisor for student teachers in San Antonio public schools.
from Still Me
Connect toYour Life
The author of these selections, actor Christopher Reeve, lost the use of his arms and legs as
the result of a horseback-riding accident in 1995. What do you already know about how
people cope with paralysis? What do you want to know? Make a chart like the one
shown. Fill in the first two columns. You will complete the third column after you read
these selections.
Build Background
Christopher Reeve is the actor who once played Superman in the well-known movie. He is
also now a quadriplegic, meaning he is paralyzed in all four limbs. Reeve is confined to
an electric wheelchair, which he operates by sucking out of or puffing into an air tube.
It takes a team of ten nurses and five aides to give him the required round-the-clock
Shortly after the accident that paralyzed him, Reeve's wife, actress and singer Dana
Morosini, told him, "You're still you. And I love you!' Reeve says these two sentences
saved his life and inspired him to help himself and others.
WORDS TO KNOW Vocabulary Preview
Focus Your Reading
The perspective from which a literary work is told is called its point of view. When a work
is told from first-person point of view, the narrator is a character in the work and uses
first-person pronouns such as I, me, we, and us.
Still Me is an autobiography, an account of Christopher Reeve's life written by Reeve. Like
most autobiographies, Still Me is told in first-person point of view.
Speeches, including Reeve's speech on page 380, are also told in first-person point of view.
Notice how both works use the pronouns I and we.
Writers of nonfiction and speeches choose a pattern or patterns of text organization to fit a
certain purpose for their writing and to help them develop relationships between facts
and events. Common patterns include
chronological order
cause and effect
compare and contrast
proposition and support
READER'S NOTEBOOK Writers often use more than one pattern in a selection. As you
read Reeve's speech and the excerpt from Still Me, see if you can find examples of each
from Still Me
At about this time I had to decide if I was well enough to attend the annual fund-raising
dinner of The Creative Coalition, scheduled for the seventeenth of October. As one of
the founders and recent copresident, I felt a strong obligation to attend, especially
because as far back as January I had asked my close friend Robin Williams to be one of
the two honorees of the evening. The Creative Coalition was founded in 1989 by Ron
Silver, Susan Sarandon, myself, and a number of other celebrities to bring certain issues
before the public to try to effect change. We were in the unique position of having
access to the media as well as to key players in Washington. Our focus was mainly on
the National Endowment for the Arts,1 homelessness, the environment, and campaign
finance reform. Robin was to be honored for his appearances on HBO with Billy
Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg for Comic Relief, which had raised millions of dollars to
help the homeless. After consulting with Dr. Kirshblum and making special
arrangements for Patty and Juice to come with me, I told the board of TCC that I would
attend and present Robin his award.
No sooner had I agreed than it dawned on me how challenging this short trip to the Hotel
Pierre was going to be. It would be the first time I would be seen or heard in public. I
wondered if I would be able to address the audience or if I would be too nervous to
speak at all. Would I spasm? Would I have a pop-off?2 I also knew that getting in and
out of the hotel would require well-coordinated security, because the press and
photographers would be extremely aggressive in their efforts to get the first pictures of
me since the accident.
Dana3 and I talked it over and decided that the psychological advantage of keeping a longstanding commitment outweighed the risks of just getting through the evening. Robin
put his own security people at our disposal. We rented a van from a local company,
Dana dusted off my tuxedo, and on the afternoon of the seventeenth I finished therapy
early and braced myself to go out into the unknown.
I vividly remember the drive into the city. For nearly four months I had been cruising the
halls of Kessler4 in my wheelchair at three miles per hour. Driving into the city at fiftyfive mph was an overwhelming experience. All the other cars seemed so close.
Everything was rushing by. As we hit the bumps and potholes on the way in, my neck
froze with tension and my body spasmed uncontrollably while I sat strapped in the back
of the van, able to see only taillights and license plates and the painted lines on the
pavement below us. As we pulled
1. National Endowment for the Arts: An independent agency of the federal government
that gives grants for projects, large and small, to promote excellence, diversity, and
growth in the arts. It was established in 1965.
2. pop-off: a term to describe when a patient's breathing tube becomes disconnected.
3. Dana: the wife of Christopher Reeve.
4. Kessler: the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, the place where Reeve learned skills to
manage his disability.
access (ăk'sĕs) n. the power to reach; to make use of; to get past barriers
up to the side entrance of the Pierre, Juice and Neil Stutzer, who we hired to help us
with the logistics and accessibility, taped sheets over the windows to protect us from the
photographers. There were hundreds of them, straining at the police barricades that had
been set up to give us room to park. The block had been sealed off, and mounted police
patrolled the street. A special canopy had been constructed that reached from the side
door of the hotel to the roof of our van. Once that was in place I was lowered to the
ground and quickly pushed into the building.
We made our way through the kitchen to the service elevator. As I went by, the kitchen
workers stood respectfully against the wall and applauded. I was in something of a
daze, but I
logistics (lō-jĭs'tĭks) n. the management, planning, and carrying out of details in an operation
or a project
managed to nod and thank them. Soon I found myself in a suite on the nineteenth floor,
where I was transferred into a hospital bed to rest and get my bearings. I had made it
this far, but the whole experience had been much more intense than I had anticipated,
and the evening was still ahead of me.
Soon it was time to get back in the chair and make all the final adjustments before joining a
special reception of friends and honored guests. I wheeled into the suite's living room to
find my friends and colleagues from TCC as well as Barbara Walters and Mayor
Giuliani, Robin and Marsha, and a sea of other faces, all waiting to greet me and wish
me well. For a split second I wished a genie could make me disappear. Somehow I
made it through the reception, occasionally doing weight shifts in my chair while Patty
discreetly emptied my leg bag and checked my blood pressure. Finally the guests went
down to dinner, and I was left alone with Dana to recover. She hugged me but didn't
need to ask how I was doing; she could tell that even though I was white as a sheet, I
was happy to be out in the world again.
We watched the evening's entertainment on a closed-circuit TV until it was time for me to
prepare to go onstage. A special ramp had been built from near the kitchen entrance to
the stage of the grand ballroom. Black drapes had been hung to shield me from the
audience until it was time for me to go on. At last the moment came. I heard Susan
Sarandon introducing me from the podium, and suddenly Juice was pushing me up the
ramp and onto the stage. As I was turned into
position, I looked out to see seven hundred people on their feet cheering. The ovation
went on for more than five minutes. Once again I had mixed feelings—of gratitude,
excitement, and the desire to disappear. At last the applause died down, and the
audience lapsed into an intense silence. A blind person walking into the room probably
would not have been able to tell that anyone was there.
In a moment of panic I realized that I hadn't prepared any remarks. All my attention had
been focused on the practicalities of the evening. Luckily, a thought popped into my
head, and I went with it. I said, "Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. I'll tell
you the real reason I'm here tonight." (A long pause, as I waited for the ventilator to
give me my next breath.) "When I was a senior at Princeton Day School (another pause
for breath), my English teacher George Packard once asked a student, 'Why weren't you
here yesterday?" (Another pause as I tried to form my thoughts.) "And the student
replied, 'Sir, I wasn't feeling very well." (Now I knew where I was going.) "And George
Packard replied, `The only excuse for nonattendance is quadruple amputation." I could
feel the audience holding their breath. "'In which case, they can still bring you in a
basket.' So I thought I'd better show up." A huge laugh and applause. I'd made it.
The rest was easy. I introduced Juice as Glenn Miller, talked about how much I'd missed
everyone at TCC, talked about Robin and his accomplishments, then brought him up
onstage. For the next twenty minutes he and I bounced off each other. He took the curse
off the wheelchair, going around behind it and pretending to adjust all the controls,
referring to my breathing tube as a stylish new necktie, and suggesting that I use the
chair for a tractor pull. He told the audience that I had to be careful with the sip-andpuff control; if I blew too hard into the tube, I might pop a wheelie and blast off into the
audience. The evening was transformed into a celebration of friendship and endurance.
A large group of people, many of whom were strangers, were suddenly drawn together
into a unit that felt almost like family.
1. Why is Reeve's trip to the Hotel Pierre such a challenge?
2. What is the meaning of the title Still Me?
Think About:
Reeve's disability
Reeve's attitude toward his disability
3. Christopher Reeve and other people with disabilities prefer to be described as disabled
rather than handicapped. Look up the word handicap in a dictionary. Do you agree that
handicapped is not an appropriate description of Reeve's condition? Why?
Over the last few years, we've heard a lot about something called family values. And like
many of you, I've struggled to figure out what that means. But since my accident, I've
found a definition that seems to make sense. I think it means that we're all family, that
we all have value. And if that's true, if America really is a family, then we have to
recognize that many members of our family are hurting.
Just to take one aspect of it, one in five of us has some kind of disability. You may have an
aunt with Parkinson's disease. A neighbor with a spinal cord injury. A brother with
AIDS. And if we're really committed to this idea of family, we've got to do something
about it.
First of all, our nation cannot tolerate discrimination of any kind. That's why the Americans
with Disabilities Act1 is so important and must be honored everywhere. It is a civil
rights law that is tearing down barriers both in architecture and in attitude.
Its purpose is to give the disabled access not only to buildings but to every opportunity in
society. I strongly believe our nation must give its full support to the caregivers who are
helping people with disabilities live independent lives.
Sure, we've got to balance the budget. And we will.
We have to be extremely careful with every dollar that we spend. But we've also got to take
care of our family—and not slash programs people need. We should be enabling,
healing, curing.
One of the smartest things we can do about disability is invest in research that will protect us
from disease and lead to cures. This country already has a long history of doing just
that. When we put our minds to a problem, we can usually find solutions. But our
scientists can do more. And we've got to give them the chance.
That means more funding for research. Right now, for example, about a quarter million
Americans have a spinal cord injury. Our government spends about $8.7 billion a year
just maintaining these members of our family. But we spend only $40 million a year on
research that would actually improve the quality of their lives; get them off public
assistance, or even cure them.
We've got to be smarter, do better. Because the money we invest in research today is going
to determine the quality of life of members of our family tomorrow.
During my rehabilitation, I met a young man named Gregory Patterson. When he was
innocently driving through Newark, New Jersey, a stray bullet from a gang shooting
went through his car window . . . right into his neck . . . and severed his spinal cord.
Five years ago, he might have died. Today, because of research, he's alive.
But merely being alive is not enough.
1. Americans with Disabilities Act: A federal civil rights law enacted in 1990 that protects
citizens with mental or physical disabilities from discrimination in employment or in
accessing public accommodations.
rehabilitation (rē'hə-bĭl'ĭ-tā'shən) n. the process of being restored to good health or useful
life through training or therapy
sever (sĕv'ōr) v. to become separated; to be cut off from the whole
We have a moral and an economic responsibility to ease his suffering and prevent others
from experiencing such pain. And to do that we don't need to raise taxes. We just need
to raise our expectations.
America has a tradition many nations probably envy: We frequently achieve the impossible.
That's part of our national character. That's what got us from one coast to another.
That's what got us the largest economy in the world. That's what got us to the moon.
On the wall of my room when I was in rehab was a picture of the space shuttle blasting off,
autographed by every astronaut now at NASA. On the top of the picture it says, "We
found nothing is impossible." That should be our motto. Not a Democratic motto, not a
Republican motto. But an American motto. Because this is not something one party can
do alone. It's something that we as a nation must do together.
So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable and then, when
we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. If we can conquer outer space, we
should be able to conquer inner space, too: the frontier of the brain, the central nervous
system, and all the afflictions of the body that destroy so many lives and rob our
country of so much potential.
Research can provide hope for people who suffer from Alzheimer's. We've already
discovered the gene that causes it. Research can provide hope for people like
Muhammad Ali and the Reverend Billy Graham who suffer from Parkinson's. Research
can provide hope for the millions of Americans like Kirk Douglas who suffer from
stroke. We can ease the pain of people like Barbara Jordan, who battled multiple
sclerosis. We can find treatments for people like Elizabeth Glaser, whom we lost to
AIDS. And now that we know that nerves in the spinal cord can regenerate, we are on
the way to getting millions of people around the world like me up and out of our
Fifty-six years ago, FDR2 dedicated new buildings for the National Institutes of Health. He
said that "the defense this nation seeks involves a great deal more than building
airplanes, ships, guns, and bombs. We cannot be a strong nation unless we are a healthy
nation." He could have said that today.
President Roosevelt showed us that a man who could barely lift himself out of a wheelchair
could still lift a nation out of despair. And I believe—and so does this administration—
in the most important principle FDR taught us: America does not let its needy citizens
fend for themselves. America is stronger when all of us take care of all of us. Giving
new life to that ideal is the challenge before us tonight.
Thank you very much.3
2. FDR: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) was the 32nd president of the United
States. He was stricken with polio as an adult and eventually was confined to a
wheelchair during his presidency.
3. This speech was delivered by Christopher Reeve on August 26, 1996.
affliction (ə-flĭk'shən) n. a condition of pain or suffering
Connect to the Literature
1. What Do You Think?
Has your attitude about people with disabilities changed after reading these selections? Why
or why not?
Comprehension Check
What is the main idea of Christopher Reeve's speech?
Think Critically
2. When Reeve tells the story about his high school English teacher, the people in the
audience laugh and applaud. Why do you think they laugh? How do you think they are
really feeling?
Go back to the chart that you made in your READER'S NOTEBOOK. How does Reeve
organize the text and the information in Still Me and in his speech? Working with a
partner, compare your examples of text organization. Which type of text organization
do you think is most effective? Explain why.
4. Christopher Reeve starred as the hero Superman in the movies. Who do you think is more
of a hero, Superman or Christopher Reeve? Why?
Think About:
Superman's remarkable powers
Reeve's courage and determination
5. In the speech, Reeve states that nothing is impossible. Do you agree? Explain your
Extend Interpretations
6. What If? What if Reeve did not believe in himself? How might his life be different?
What would his life be like?
7. Connect to Life At the beginning of these selections, you were asked to write down what
you know and want to know about how people cope with paralysis. What did you learn
as a result of reading these selections? Were you surprised? Why or why not?
Literary Analysis
POINT OF VIEW The perspective from which a short story, novel, or work of nonfiction
is told is called the point of view. In first-person point of view, the narrator is a
character in the literary work and uses first- person pronouns such as I, me, we, and us.
Christopher Reeve's speech and the excerpt from Still Me both use first-person point of
view. This point of view allows Reeve to tell you in his own voice what he is thinking
and feeling, as in this sentence:
For a split second I wished a genie could make me disappear.
Group Activity First-person point of view gives the reader a window into the thoughts and
feelings of the narrator. In a small group, go back through the excerpt from Still Me and
look for details that might have been omitted if Still Me had been written by someone
other than Reeve. What would the excerpt be like without these details?
Summary Report Write a summary of Christopher Reeve's speech, using his general
pattern of organization. When you are finished, make sure you have identified the main
ideas and included the most important supporting details. Place your summary in your
Working Portfolio.
Speaking & Listening
Persuasive Speech Choose a cause that you feel is worthy of funding and research, such as
a program to help the homeless. Write a shortspeech aimed at convincing your
community to support your cause. Include a well- defined thesis and support your
arguments with detailed evidence, examples, and reasoning. Anticipate and answer
counterarguments through the arrangement of your supporting details, and maintain a
reasonable tone.
Speaking and Listening Handbook See p. R109: Persuasive Presentations.
Research & Technology
Causes and Solutions
Research the major causes of spinal-cord injuries in the United States. How many people are
affected by spinal- cord injuries every year? What age groups are most likely to suffer
such injuries? What is being done to assist people with these injuries? Report your
findings to the class. Be sure to note your sources.
As part of your research, read "Careers That Care" on p. 386.
EXERCISE A: WORD MEANING Review the Words to Know and answer the following
questions on your paper.
1. Christopher Reeve has access to the media. Does this mean that he easily communicates
with reporters or that he is never able to reach them?
2. Many people helped Reeve with the logistics of his public appearance. Did these people
manage his transportation to the hotel, or did they provide news coverage of the event?
3. People often need rehabilitation after they've been in an accident. Does this mean that
they need to be placed on a stretcher or restored to health through training and therapy?
4. If you sever your spinal cord, is it cut completely through or just slightly torn?
5. Christopher Reeve's affliction has greatly changed his life. Does the word affliction refer
to his opinion about helping the disabled or to the suffering he has endured?
EXERCISE B Complete a word web like the one shown for each of the Words to Know.
Vocabulary Handbook See p. R20: Context Clues.
Grammar in Context: Participles
In the following sentence from Still Me, the word overwhelming is a participle, a verb that
acts as an adjective.
Driving into the city at fifty-five mph was an overwhelming experience.
There are two kinds of participles—the present participle (formed by adding -ing to the
present tense of a verb: overwhelm, overwhelming) and the past participle (formed by
adding -d or -ed to the present tense of regular verbs: overwhelm, overwhelmed).
Apply to Your Writing Use participles as a way of adding information to your sentences or
to vary sentence beginnings.
Punctuation Tip: Use commas after participles that begin sentences.
WRITING EXERCISE On your paper, write the correct participial form of the verb in
Example: Original He was only able to see the ____ lines on the road. (paint)
Rewritten He was only able to see the painted lines on the road.
1. ____, Christopher Reeve accepted the invitation. (smile)
2. From the van, he watched the people in the ____ streets. (crowd)
3. ____, the audience gave him a standing ovation. (applaud)
4. After the dinner there was a party for many of the____ guests. (invite)
5. ____ but happy, he returned home. (exhaust)
Grammar Handbook See p. R84: Using Verbs Correctly.
Christopher Reeve
born 1952
"At night I am always whole. I've never had a dream in which I am in a wheelchair."
Always an Actor Raised in Princeton, New Jersey, Christopher Reeve began acting in
school and local plays at the age of eight. By the time he was sixteen, he had an agent.
All through his college years at Cornell, he performed in theatrical productions. After
college, he studied performing arts at the Juilliard School in New York City. In 1978,
he got the lead role in the movie Superman.
Forever Changed In addition to acting, Reeve studied and composed music and was a
dedicated athlete who loved to sail, ride horses, scuba-dive, ski, and pilot planes. Then,
in 1995, his life changed forever when a horse he was riding refused to jump and Reeve
was hurled from the saddle. The resulting paralysis slowed Reeve, but it did not stop
him. Today he focuses his talents on helping others with spinal-cord injuries and on a
career as a movie director.
What Is a Hero? When the first Superman movie came out, Reeve was frequently asked
the question "What is a hero?" Reeve answers this question in Chapter 11 of Still Me.
Find a copy of the book in the library and read Chapter 11 . Do you agree with Reeve's
definition of a hero? Why or why not?
Real World Link to Still Me
For individuals who are disabled either by disease or as a result of an accident, there are many
different professionals who are trained to help them manage, and in some cases, overcome
their disabilities. These professionals may help an accident victim to learn to walk again, design
the controls for a specially equipped car, or help a patient with simple tasks such as eating or
getting dressed. Although these jobs are very different, those who perform them all share
something in common—the desire to care for others.
For some patients, the time after surgery is a long and difficult time of recovery. When Christopher
Reeve entered a rehabilitation facility, he had to learn to cope with the effects of his injuries,
which had left him paralyzed.
He worked with therapists who helped him learn how to make use of his limited mobility and learn
how to breathe with the assistance of special equipment. Other patients need similar help to
become more independent.
There is increasing demand for careers similar to those noted in the following article. As advances in
technology and medical and surgical procedures allow more individuals to survive accidents
and disabling diseases, the need for rehabilitation continues to grow. Similarly, as the number
of elderly in the population expands, the need for assisted living services will expand as well.
There are many professions from which to choose, when it comes to careers that care.
Erica Drain, M.P.T.
In working with people with physical disabilities [I accept that] I had nothing to do with the
disease or injury that caused their loss, but I have everything to do with their moving on
with their lives. I can't imagine a more satisfying job or one where you feel so
appreciated each and every day.
Reading for Information
Have you ever heard a news report on television or on the radio that leaves you with
unanswered questions or that raises new questions in your mind? Doing independent
research is one way to find the answers to these questions.
Forming, Revising, and Raising New Research Questions
Asking and forming thoughtful questions about a specific topic is a part of the research
process. After choosing a topic, you might begin researching a specific question to
answer. For example, your original research question might be "What is life like for
people who are disabled?" As you learn more about the topic, new research questions
will emerge. Regardless of how carefully you frame your original question, you may
need to revise it as you gather additional information. Sometimes the focus of your
research question needs to be narrowed. Your research may change the question to
"What technical devices are available to assist people who are quadriplegic?" Ask
questions that can be researched by gathering information and facts about the topic.
YOUR TURN Use this article and the questions and activities that follow to help you learn
how to form, revise, and raise new research questions.
How do you go about selecting a research topic? Consider topics and subjects you want to
learn more about. Before you read this article, scan the title, photographs, quotations,
and first paragraph. What questions come to mind? List two or three questions you
would like to have answered.
Read the information about Erica Druin carefully. Raise one or two research questions about
her job and training that go beyond the simple who or what.
Q: What does a physical therapist do?
A: A physical therapist teaches patients ways to move and use their bodies and muscles to
relieve pain, restore movement, or prevent permanent disability. Individualized exercise
regimens that take into account the injury or disability of a patient are often created by a
physical therapist.
Q: What training and education is required?
A: A four-year college degree in physical therapy will teach you about the body and how it
works. You will also train, for a time, in a hospital or other medical setting. A physical
therapist must pass a national exam before he or she can begin treating patients. Many
states also require a physical therapy license in order to practice.
Q: Where could you work?
A: Hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing homes, sports facilities, schools, and rehabilitation
centers are all places that employ physical therapists.
Sue Eberle, OTR
I became interested in occupational therapy when I worked in the hospital and had the
opportunity to observe patients receiving therapy. . . . The most difficult part of my job
is saying goodbye to patients when they leave the facility because you develop a special
relationship with them.
Q: What does an occupational therapist do?
A: If an illness or disease prevents a patient from performing everyday tasks, an
occupational therapist can help him or her learn new ways to live as normally as
possible. Through activities or with the use of assistive technology and devices, an
occupational therapist helps the patient rebuild independence and self-esteem.
Q: What training and education is required?
A: You must obtain a degree in occupational therapy from a four-year college program.
You can also get a degree in a related field of study, such as biology, and then earn a
certificate in occupational therapy. In either case you must pass a national exam and, in
most states, you will need to obtain a license to practice.
Q: Where could you work?
A: Occupational therapists work in many different settings: rehabilitation facilities, nursing
homes, hospitals, long-term care centers, or in a patient's home.
Glenn "Juice" Miller
The biggest challenge is learning how to help them [patients] through their pain, their fears,
their frustrations, anger and heartbreak. As I go about my work, I spend a great deal of
time talking with patients and their families. I try to instill in them the strength and
confidence to meet the challenges they face. . . . I believe that to do this job you have to
have a lot of love in your heart—and be willing to share it with others.
Q: What does a home health aide do?
A: A home health aide makes home visits to the elderly, the disabled, or those who are
recovering from an injury or illness. An aide helps with tasks, such as bathing and
preparing meals, as well as administering medication and checking vital signs (like
blood pressure and heart rate). A home health aide oversees a patient's daily progress
and reports any changes to a nurse or doctor.
Q: Is a career as a home health aide for you?
A: If you are caring and compassionate, interested in helping patients in basic but important
ways, enjoy having a flexible work schedule, and are willing to travel to different work
sites each day, becoming a home health aide is a career you should explore.
Q: What training and education is required?
A: You can train to become a home health aide through the Visiting Nurses Association,
the American Red Cross, or at a vocational school. Once classroom studies and a
supervised training are completed, you must take a test to earn a certificate as a home
health aide.
Q: Where could you work?
A: A home health aide travels to patients' homes. Depending on a patient's needs, a visit
may last from 1 to 24 hours. An aide may visit up to six patients a day.
Note: A rehabilitation assistant performs many of the same patient care tasks as a Home
Health Aide but works in a rehabilitation facility and not in a patient's home.
Reading for Information continued
After reading this section, how would you revise your original question from "What are all
of the latest high-tech devices?" to a question that is more focused and specific?
Read this section on rehabilitation assistant/home health aide. What questions would you
like to research about this career?
Creating a Graphic A chart like the one shown can help you frame or refocus a research
Research & Technology
Activity Link: from Still Me, p. 384
Review this article and the excerpt from Still Me by Christopher Reeve. Think about the
team of dedicated professionals who helped Reeve. What conclusions can you draw
about people who work with victims of spinal-cord injury? What are some different
ways to help people with disabilities? Research the topic and present your findings in a
series of questions and answers.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Connect to Your Life
Let It Snow What words and phrases come to mind when you hear the word snow? Create a
word web to explore your associations. Then, as a class, compare and contrast your
webs. What does snow mean to different people in your class?
Build Background
Robert Frost is famous for his poetry about New England. New England is a region in the
northeast section of the United States. The region includes six states—Maine, Vermont,
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
New England, one of the oldest and most historic parts of the country, is famous for its
picturesque villages, thick forests, rugged landscape, and cold, snowy winters. Frost
loved the sights and sounds of the New England countryside, which he described with
grace and precision.
FocusYour Reading
The way a poem looks, or is arranged, on a page is its poetic form. The words of a poem are
written in lines, which can vary in length. In some poems, lines are grouped together in
In poems that have a traditional form, each line has the same number of syllables, and each
stanza has the same number of lines. For example, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy
Evening" has eight syllables in each line, and four lines in each stanza. It also has a
regular pattern of rhyme, which reinforces the form. As you read the poem, pay
attention to the lines and their end rhymes. Which lines have the same end rhyme?
One way to understand a poem's meaning is to ask yourself questions about the poem. For
example, what is the setting of the poem? Who is the speaker? What is being described
in the poem?
READER'S NOTEBOOK As you read, list your questions in the form used by newspaper
reporters. Answer each question in a chart like the one shown. Don't worry if you do not
have a precise answer to every question. Instead, use the questions to help you think
about the overall meaning of the poem.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Connect to the Literature
1. What Do You Think? What words or phrases from this poem linger in your mind? How
do these words and phrases make you feel?
Comprehension Check
Where does the speaker stop?
What does the speaker decide to do?
Think Critically
2. Refer back to the questions and answers you wrote in your it READER'S NOTEBOOK.
Use your answers to complete the following sentence: This poem is about
3. Many critics think this poem is about more than "stopping by woods on a snowy evening!'
What deeper meaning can you find in the poem?
Think About:
the time of day and the season
who might own the woods
the phrase "and miles to go before I sleep"
Extend Interpretations
4. Critic's Corner Poet and critic Louis Untermeyer said, "Such a poem as 'Stopping by
Woods on a Snowy Evening' once in the mind of a reader will never leave it." What do
you think Untermeyer means? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
5. Connect to Life If you had been walking in these snowy woods, would you have stopped
or would you have hurried home? Explain your response.
Literary Analysis
POETIC FORM "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" has a traditional form; that
is, each line has the same number of syllables and each stanza has the same number of
Another important part of the poem's form is its rhyme and rhythm. Rhyme is a likeness of
sounds at the ends of words. Rhythm is the pattern of sound created by the arrangement
of stressed and unstressed syllables.
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" has a regular rhythm, as the pattern of stressed ()
and unstressed () syllables in these lines shows:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
Paired Activity Working with a partner, copy the poem on a sheet of paper and underline
all the words that rhyme. Then mark the stressed and unstressed syllables. Take turns
reading the poem aloud, exaggerating the rhyme and rhythm. Discuss your answers to
the following questions:
Why do you think Frost repeats the last line?
What is the effect of making the rhyme pattern of the last stanza different?
Regional Poem Write a poem describing a natural setting that is typical of your region.
Make sure the poem has a distinctive form and pattern of rhythm and rhyme. Be sure to
include sensory details. You may wish to do the Research & Technology activity first.
Place your poem in your Working Portfolio.
Writing Workshop See p. 252: Basics in a Box.
Speaking & Listening
Music Review Composer Randall Thompson set several of Frost's poems (including
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening") to music in a piece called "Frostiana." If
possible, find a recording and listen to it. In what ways does Thompson's recording
enhance Frost's poetry? Write a brief oral report summarizing your thoughts. Play the
recording for the class, and present your ideas.
Research & Technology
Home Sweet Home In what region of the country do you live? Using the library, Internet,
and local resources, find out about your region's geography. For example, what is the
climate of the region? What landforms does it have? Prepare a report to share with the
class. Illustrate the report with drawings, photographs, or charts. Be sure to note your
Robert Frost
"I believe that poetry should be enjoyed by everyone . . ."
A Difficult Start Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California. However, following
the death of his father in 1885, he moved with his mother and sister back to New
England, the original family home. Frost was a top student in high school but attended
college only briefly. In 1895 he married high school classmate Elinor White. Frost
struggled to make a living by farming, teaching, and writing poetry.
Success at Last By age 40, Frost had yet to achieve success as a writer. In a courageous
move, he and Elinor sold their New Hampshire farm and moved to England. Their
gamble paid off Frost's work was well received in England, and when the Frosts moved
back to New England in 1915, they found that his work had become famous in the
United States. In 1923, his collection New Hampshire received the Pulitzer Prize, the
first of four such awards for Frost.
Frost and Solitude In "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," Frost writes about the
experience of being alone. His poem "Acquainted with the Night" also focuses on
solitude. Find a copy of this poem and read it. Based on these two poems, do you think
Frost viewed solitude as a positive or negative experience? Explain your answer.
Building Vocabulary
Analyzing Word Parts—Affixes
When you encounter an unfamiliar word, you can break it down into parts. Thinking about
the meaning of each part will help you figure out the meaning of the word as a whole.
The word malodorous has two affixes—word parts that can be attached to base words to
make new words. Affixes added to the beginning of words are prefixes; those added to
the end are called suffixes.
He wore a dark, malodorous suit.
—Amy Tan, "Rules of the Game"
Prefix mal- means"bad" or "badly."
Suffix -ous means "possessing" or "full of."
Base word odor means "a smell."
Knowing the parts of the word, you can figure out that malodorous means "possessing a bad
Strategies for Building Vocabulary
Here are other strategies to help you analyze words that contain prefixes and suffixes.
1 Look for Familiar Affixes and Study the Context When you see a word you don't know,
look for base words and affixes that you recognize. Using your knowledge, think about
the word in context. Read the following excerpt.
My grandmother, Emma Louvenia Watson, was famous in family circles for getting
into the bathtub without her soap. This is a woman who helped organize resistance
to segregation in Knoxville, Tennessee.
—Nikki Giovanni, Grand Mothers
The word segregation is made up of the word segregate, which means "to separate," and the
suffix -ion, which means "an action or process!' You can tell from the sentence structure
that segregation must be a noun. From the context, you also know that it is something
that Watson resisted or fought against. You can conclude that segregation means "the
act or process of being separated from others or a main group."
2 Learn the Meanings of Affixes Study the following tables. Notice that some affixes have
similar meanings.
reverse, remove from
outside, beyond
im-, in-
again, back
below, under, beneath
not, opposite of
condition, action
-ant, -ent
one who, one that
act, condition
in a certain way, like,
one who, one that
possessing, full of
EXERCISE Find the meaning of each word, using the affix charts and a dictionary if
1. tentatively
2. unfamiliar
3. reformation
4. variably
5. affliction
The Moustache
by Robert Cormier
At the last minute Annie couldn't go. She was invaded by one of those twenty-four-hour flu
bugs that sent her to bed with a fever, moaning about the fact that she'd also have to
break her date with Handsome Harry Arnold that night. We call him Handsome Harry
because he's actually handsome, but he's also a nice guy, cool, and he doesn't treat me
like Annie's kid brother, which I am, but like a regular person. Anyway, I had to go to
Lawnrest alone that afternoon. But first of all I had to stand inspection.
My mother lined me up against the wall. She stood there like a one-man firing squad, which
is kind of funny because she's not like a man at all, she's very feminine, and we have
this great relationship—I mean, I feel as if she really likes me. I realize that sounds
strange, but I know guys whose mothers love them and cook special stuff for them and
worry about them and all, but there's something missing in their relationship.
Anyway. She frowned and started the routine. "That hair," she said. Then admitted: "Well,
at least you combed it."
I sighed. I have discovered that it's better to sigh than argue.
"And that moustache." She shook her head. "I still say a seventeen-year-old has no business
wearing a moustache."
"It's an experiment," I said. "I just wanted to see if I could grow one." To tell the truth, I had
proved my point about being able to grow a decent moustache, but I also had learned to
like it.
"It's costing you money, Mike," she said. "I know, I know."
The money was a reference to the movies. The Downtown Cinema has a special Friday
night offer—half-price admission for high school couples seventeen or younger. But the
woman in the box office took one look at my moustache and charged me full price.
Even when I showed her my driver's license. She charged full admission for Cindy's
ticket, too, which left me practically broke and unable to take Cindy out for a
hamburger with the crowd afterward. That didn't help matters, because Cindy has been
getting impatient recently about things like the fact that I don't own my own car and
have to concentrate on my studies if I want to win that college scholarship, for instance.
Cindy wasn't exactly crazy about the moustache, either.
Now it was my mother's turn to sigh.
"Look," I said, to cheer her up. "I'm thinking about shaving it off." Even though I wasn't.
Another discovery: You can build a way of life on postponement.
"Your grandmother probably won't even recognize you," she said. And I saw the shadow
fall across her face.
Let me tell you what the visit to Lawn- rest was all about. My grandmother is 73 years old.
She is a resident—which is supposed to be a better word than patient—at the Lawnrest
Nursing Home. She used to make the greatest turkey dressing in the world and was a
nut about baseball and could even quote batting averages, for crying out loud. She
always rooted for the losers. She was in love with the Mets until they started to win.
Now she has arteriosclerosis, which the dictionary says is "a chronic disease
characterized by abnormal thickening and hardening of the arterial walls." Which really
means that she can't live at home anymore or even with us, and her memory has
betrayed her as well as her body. She used to wander off and sometimes didn't
recognize people. My mother visits her all the time, driving the thirty miles to Lawnrest
almost every day. Because Annie was home for a semester break from college, we had
decided to make a special Saturday visit. Now Annie was in bed, groaning
theatrically—she's a drama major—but I told my mother I'd go, anyway. I hadn't seen
my grandmother since she'd been admitted to Lawnrest. Besides, the place is located on
the Southwest Turnpike, which meant I could barrel along in my father's new Le Mans.
My ambition was to see the speedometer hit 75. Ordinarily, I used the old station
wagon, which can barely stagger up to 50.
Frankly, I wasn't too crazy about visiting a nursing home. They reminded me of hospitals,
and hospitals turn me off. I mean, the smell of
ether1 makes me nauseous, and I feel faint at the sight of blood. And as I approached
Lawnrest—which is a terrible cemetery kind of name, to begin with—I was sorry I
hadn't avoided the trip. Then I felt guilty about it. I'm loaded with guilt complexes.2
Like driving like a madman after promising my father to be careful. Like sitting in the
parking lot, looking at the nursing home with dread and thinking how I'd rather be with
Cindy. Then I thought of all the Christmas and birthday gifts my grandmother had
given me, and I got out of the car, guilty, as usual.
Inside, I was surprised by the lack of hospital smell, although there was another odor or
maybe the absence of an odor. The air was antiseptic, sterile. As if there was no
atmosphere at all or I'd caught a cold suddenly and couldn't taste or smell.
A nurse at the reception desk gave me directions—my grandmother was in East Three. I
made my way down the tiled corridor and was glad to see that the walls were painted
with cheerful colors like yellow and pink. A wheelchair suddenly shot around a corner,
self-propelled by an old man, white- haired and toothless, who cackled merrily as he
barely missed me. I jumped aside—here I was, almost getting wiped out by a two-milean-hour wheelchair after doing seventy-five on the pike. As I walked through the
corridors seeking East Three, I couldn't help glancing into the rooms, and it was like
some kind of wax museum3—all these figures in various stances and attitudes, sitting in
beds or chairs, standing at windows, as if they were frozen forever in these postures. To
tell the truth, I began to hurry because I was getting depressed. Finally, I saw a beautiful
girl approaching, dressed in white, a nurse or an attendant, and I was so happy to see
someone young, someone walking and acting normally, that I gave her a wide smile and
a big hello and must have looked like a kind of nut. Anyway, she looked right through
me as if I were a window, which is about par for the course whenever I meet beautiful
I finally found the room and saw my grandmother in bed. My grandmother looks like Ethel
Barrymore.4 I never knew who Ethel Barrymore was until I saw a terrific movie, None
But the Lonely Heart, on TV, starring Ethel Barrymore and Cary Grant.5 Both my
grandmother and Ethel Barrymore have these great craggy faces like the side of a
mountain and wonderful voices like syrup being poured. Slowly. She was propped up in
bed, pillows puffed behind her. Her hair had been combed out and fell upon her
shoulders. For some reason, this flowing hair gave her an almost girlish appearance,
despite its whiteness.
She saw me and smiled. Her eyes lit up and her eyebrows arched and she reached out her
hands to me in greeting. "Mike, Mike," she said. And I breathed a sigh of relief. This
was one of her good days. My mother had warned me that she might not know who I
was at first.
I took her hands in mine. They were fragile.
I could actually feel her bones, and it seemed as if they would break if I pressed too hard.
Her skin was smooth, almost slippery, as if the years had worn away all the roughness
the way the wind wears away the surfaces of stones.
"Mike, Mike, I didn't think you'd come," she said, so happy, and she was still Ethel
Barrymore, that voice like a caress. "I've been waiting all this time." Before I could
reply, she
looked away, out the window. "See the birds? I've been watching them at the feeder. I
love to see them come. Even the blue jays. The blue jays are like hawks—they take the
food that the small birds should have. But the small birds, the chickadees, watch the
blue jays and at least learn where the feeder is."
She lapsed into silence, and I looked out the window. There was no feeder. No birds. There
was only the parking lot and the sun glinting on car windshields.
She turned to me again, eyes bright. Radiant, really. Or was it a medicine brightness? "Ah,
Mike. You look so grand, so grand. Is that a new coat?"
"Not really," I said. I'd been wearing my Uncle Jerry's old army-fatigue jacket for months,
practically living in it, my mother said. But she insisted that I wear my raincoat for the
visit. It was about a year old but looked new because I didn't wear it much. Nobody was
wearing raincoats lately.
"You always loved clothes, didn't you, Mike?" she said.
I was beginning to feel uneasy because she regarded me with such intensity. Those bright
eyes. I wondered—are old people in places like this so lonesome, so abandoned that
they go wild when someone visits? Or was she so happy because she was suddenly
lucid6 and everything was sharp and clear? My mother had described those moments
when my grandmother suddenly emerged from the fog that so often obscured her mind.
I didn't know the answers, but it felt kind of spooky, getting such an emotional welcome
from her.
"I remember the time you bought the new coat—the chesterfield,"7 she said, looking away
again, as if watching the birds that weren't there. "That lovely coat with the velvet
collar. Black, it was. Stylish. Remember that, Mike? It was hard times, but you could
never resist the glitter."
I was about to protest—I had never heard of a chesterfield, for crying out loud. But I
stopped. Be patient with her, my mother had said. Humor her. Be gentle.
We were interrupted by an attendant who pushed a wheeled cart into the room. "Time for
juices, dear," the woman said. She was the standard forty- or fifty-year-old woman:
glasses, nothing hair, plump cheeks. Her manner was cheerful but a businesslike kind of
cheerfulness. I'd hate to be called "dear" by someone getting paid to do it.
"Orange or grape or cranberry, dear?
Cranberry is good for the bones, you know."
My grandmother ignored the interruption. She didn't even bother to answer, having turned
away at the woman's arrival, as if angry about her appearance.
The woman looked at me and winked. A conspiratorial kind of wink. It was kind of horrible.
I didn't think people winked like that anymore. In fact, I hadn't seen a wink in years.
"She doesn't care much for juices," the woman said, talking to me as if my grandmother
weren't even there. "But she loves her coffee.
With lots of cream and two lumps of sugar. But this is juice time, not coffee time."
Addressing my grandmother again, she said, "Orange or grape or cranberry, dear?"
"Tell her I want no juices, Mike," my grandmother commanded regally, her eyes still
watching invisible birds.
The woman smiled, patience like a label on her face. "That's all right, dear. I'll just leave
some cranberry for you. Drink it at your leisure. It's good for the bones."
She wheeled herself out of the room. My grandmother was still absorbed in the view.
Somewhere a toilet flushed. A wheelchair passed the doorway—probably that same old
driver fleeing a hit-run accident. A television set exploded with sound somewhere,
soap- opera voices filling the air. You can always tell soap-opera voices.
I turned back to find my grandmother staring at me. Her hands cupped her face, her index
fingers curled around her cheeks like parenthesis marks.
"But you know, Mike, looking back, I think you were right," she said, continuing our
conversation as if there had been no interruption. "You always said, 'It's the things of
the spirit that count, Meg.' The spirit! And so you bought the baby-grand piano—a baby
grand in the middle of the Depression. A knock came on the door and it was the
deliveryman. It took five of them to get it into the house." She leaned back, closing her
eyes. "How I loved that piano, Mike. I was never that fine a player, but you loved to sit
there in the parlor, on Sunday evenings, Ellie on your lap, listening to me play and
sing." She hummed a bit, a fragment of melody I didn't recognize. Then she drifted into
silence. Maybe she'd fallen asleep. My mother's name is Ellen, but everyone always
calls her Ellie. "Take my hand, Mike," my grandmother said suddenly. Then I
remembered—my grandfather's name was Michael. I had been named for him.
"Ah, Mike," she said, pressing my hands with all her feeble strength. "I thought I'd lost you
forever. And here you are, back with me again. . . ."
Her expression scared me. I don't mean scared as if I were in danger but scared because of
what could happen to her when she realized the mistake she had made. My mother
always said I favored her side of the family. Thinking back to the pictures in the old
family albums, I recalled my grandfather as tall and thin. Like me. But the resemblance
ended there. He was thirty-five when he died, almost forty years ago. And he wore a
moustache. I brought my hand to my face. I also wore a moustache now, of course.
"I sit here these days, Mike," she said, her voice a lullaby, her hand still holding mine, "and I
drift and dream. The days are fuzzy sometimes, merging together. Sometimes it's like
I'm not here at all but somewhere else altogether. And I always think of you. Those
years we had. Not enough years, Mike, not enough. . . ."
Her voice was so sad, so mournful that I made sounds of sympathy, not words exactly but
the kind of soothings that mothers murmur to their children when they awaken from bad
"And I think of that terrible night, Mike, that terrible night. Have you ever really forgiven
me for that night?"
"Listen . . ." I began. I wanted to say: "Nana, this is Mike your grandson, not Mike your
"Sh . . . sh . . ." she whispered, placing a finger as long and cold as a candle against my lips.
"Don't say anything. I've waited so long for this moment. To be here. With you. I
wondered what I would say if suddenly you walked in that door like other people have
done. I've thought and thought about it. And I finally made up my mind—I'd ask you to
forgive me. I was too proud to ask before." Her fingers tried to mask her face. "But I'm
not proud anymore, Mike." That great voice quivered and then grew strong again. "I
hate you to see me this way—you always said I was beautiful. I didn't believe it. The
Charity Ball when we led the grand march and you said I was the most beautiful girl
there. . . ."
"Nana," I said. I couldn't keep up the pretense any longer, adding one more burden to my
load of guilt, leading her on this way, playing a pathetic8 game of make-believe with an
old woman clinging to memories. She didn't seem to hear me.
"But that other night, Mike. The terrible one. The terrible accusations I made. Even Ellie
woke up and began to cry. I went to her and rocked her in my arms, and you came into
the room and said I was wrong. You were whispering, an awful whisper, not wanting to
upset little Ellie but wanting to make me see the truth. And I didn't answer you, Mike. I
was too proud. I've even forgotten the name of the girl. I sit here wondering now—was
it Laura or Evelyn? I can't remember. Later, I learned that you were telling the truth all
the time, Mike. That I'd been wrong. . . ." Her eyes were brighter than ever as she
looked at me now, but tear-bright, the tears gathering. "It was never the same after that
night, was it, Mike? The glitter was gone. From you. From us. And then the accident . .
. and I never had the chance to ask you to forgive me. . . ."
My grandmother. My poor, poor grandmother. Old people aren't supposed to have those
kinds of memories. You see their pictures in the family albums, and that's what they
are: pictures. They're not supposed to come to life. You drive out in your father's Le
Mans doing seventy-five on the pike, and all you're doing is visiting an old lady in a
nursing home. A duty call. And then you find out that she's a person. She's somebody.
She's my grandmother, all right, but she's also herself. Like my own mother and father.
They exist outside of their relationship to me.
I was scared again. I wanted to get out of there. "Mike, Mike," my grandmother said. "Say
it, Mike."
I felt as if my cheeks would crack if I uttered a word.
"Say you forgive me, Mike. I've waited all these years. . . ."
I was surprised at how strong her fingers were.
"Say, 'I forgive you, Meg.'"
I said it. My voice sounded funny, as if I were talking in a huge tunnel. "I forgive you,
Her eyes studied me. Her hands pressed mine. For the first time in my life, I saw love at
work. Not movie love. Not Cindy's sparkling eyes when I tell her that we're going to the
beach on a Sunday afternoon. But love like something alive and tender, asking nothing
in return. She raised her face, and I knew what she wanted me to do. I bent and brushed
my lips against her cheek. Her flesh was like a leaf in autumn, crisp and dry.
She closed her eyes and I stood up. The sun wasn't glinting on the cars any longer.
Somebody had turned on another television set, and the voices were the show-off voices
of the panel shows. At the same time you could still hear the soap-opera dialogue on the
other television set.
I waited awhile. She seemed to be sleeping, her breathing serene9 and regular. I buttoned my
raincoat. Suddenly she opened her eyes again and looked at me. Her eyes were still
bright, but they merely stared at me. Without recognition or curiosity. Empty eyes. I
smiled at her, but she didn't smile back. She made a kind of moaning sound and turned
away on the bed, pulling the blankets around her.
I counted to twenty-five and then to fifty and did it all over again. I cleared my throat and
coughed tentatively. She didn't move; she didn't respond. I wanted to say, "Nana, it's
me." But I didn't. I thought of saying, "Meg, it's me." But I couldn't.
Finally I left. Just like that. I didn't say good-bye or anything. I stalked through the
corridors, looking neither to the right nor the left, not caring whether that wild old man
with the wheelchair ran me down or not.
On the Southwest Turnpike I did seventy-five—no, eighty—most of the way. I turned the
radio up as loud as it could go. Rock music— anything to fill the air. When I got home,
my mother was vacuuming the living-room rug. She shut off the cleaner, and the silence
was deafening. "Well, how was your grandmother?" she asked.
I told her she was fine. I told her a lot of things. How great Nana looked and how she
seemed happy and had called me Mike. I wanted to ask her— hey, Mom, you and Dad
really love each other, don't you? I mean—there's nothing to forgive between you, is
there? But I didn't.
Instead I went upstairs and took out the electric razor Annie had given me for Christmas and
shaved off my moustache.
---from page 397
1. ether (ē'thər): a chemical formerly used by surgeons as an anesthetic.
2. complexes: exaggerated concerns or preoccupations.
3. wax museum: a museum that displays wax statues of famous people.
4. Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959): U.S. stage and screen actress.
5. Cary Grant (1904-1986): U.S. movie star.
---from page 398
6. lucid: mentally alert; clear-headed.
7. chesterfield: an overcoat, usually with concealed buttons and a velvet collar.
---from page 401
8. pathetic: pitiful.
---from page 402
9. serene: calm.
Robert Cormier
"...I like to call myself a realistic writer . . . . I take real people and put them in
extraordinary situations."
Wishes Come True Growing up in Leominster, Massachusetts, Robert Cormier says he was
a "skinny kid living in a ghetto type of neighborhood wanting the world to know I
existed!" His childhood wish came true. Today, he is one of the country's best-known
writers of adolescent fiction.
Award Winner Cormier's books have won many awards. In 1994, We All Fall Down was
voted by the American Library Association as one of the best books for young adults
written during the last 25 years. It also won a 1993-1994 young adult California Reader
Medal, an award voted by teenagers.
old age sticks
by E. E. Cummings
old age sticks
up Keep
youth yanks them
cries No
youth laughs
old age
scolds Forbid
den Stop
n't Don't
&)youth goes
right on
owing old