Chapter 24

  1. Addie Ann says, “This isn’t just about us Picketts. This is about all of us. Who we are. What our future holds.” What does she mean? Do you agree or disagree with this claim? Why?
  2. A metaphor is when an author compares two different things without using the words “like” or “as.” When Addie Ann orders Cool Breeze to get Mrs. Jacks, she says, “Tell her this is the big test. The final exam!” When Addie Ann says this, what two different things is she comparing? (Note: This is a tricky question because Addie Ann doesn’t come right out and tell you what she means by the word “this.”) How does the use of metaphor help Addie Ann communicate the importance of the moment?
  3. Earlier in the story, the sheriff pulled out his shotgun after the reading of the will. That sent Elmira, Addie Ann, and Uncle Bump running. This time, however, when the sheriff waves his shotgun, Addie Ann stays put. What is the difference now?
  4. Why would residents of nearby towns put their own lives in danger to surround the jail in hopes of sparing Uncle Bump’s life?
  5. Addie Ann says, “The truth burns inside me. And I wonder if sometimes it’s better not to know.” Do you agree that sometimes it’s better not to know? Explain your answer using examples from the world or from your own life.


Going Deeper:

Addie Ann was only twelve years old, yet she was clearly a leader in her town. Throughout the civil rights movement, young people played a pivotal role. Click here to read an interview with Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old girl who refused to give up her bus seat to a white person back in 1955.  What personality traits do you think these young leaders have in common?

Free the Children was started by a 12-year-old boy named Craig Kielburger. It is a movement of young people who are banding together to help children around the world. Click here to read more. Would you ever want to join a movement like this? Why or why not?


March for civil rights.


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