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He couldn’t listen to music or talk on the phone without her jumping all over him about what they listened to up in Maine, or how they talked up in Maine, or how he better not go up to Maine and start acting ghetto.


Anthony’s mother didn’t even know where it was until he’d shown it to her on a map, but that still didn’t stop her from acting like she was born there.

Anthony “Ant” Jones has never been outside his rough East Cleveland neighborhood when he’s given a scholarship to Belton Academy, an elite prep school in Maine.But at Belton things are far from perfect. Everyone calls him “Tony,” assumes he’s from Brooklyn, expects him to play basketball, and yet acts shocked when he fights back.

As Anthony tries to adapt to a world that will never fully accept him, he’s in for a rude awakening: Home is becoming a place where he no longer belongs.

In debut author Brian F. Walker’s hard-hitting novel about staying true to yourself, Anthony might find a way to survive at Belton, but what will it cost him?

Curriculet Details
62 Questions
63 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for ninth and tenth grade students contains interactive videos exploring definitions of applicable literary terms and explaining historical and cultural allusions relevant to the novel, as well as annotations describing the real-life settings and pointing out important thematic ideals. Students will explore the themes of the formation of identity and the effects of racism. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library


Characterization refers to the way that an author brings a character to life. As you read, keep an eye out for how Anthony speaks, what he thinks about different subjects, and how he interacts with others. All of these details will give us a more complete picture of his personality. 
From the context, we can infer that Anthony's mother is ________ about Belton Academy, while Anthony himself feels ________ it. 
Although it is widely considered to be an offensive word, some people in the African-American community freely use "the n-word" when addressing one another. Keep an eye out for which characters use this language and which do not. 
Anthony is surrounded by which of the following in his East Cleveland community? 
"The Stand" is one of Stephen King's earliest books, published in 1978. The novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic world which has been ravaged by disease. What can we infer about Anthony from the fact that he loves to read and aspires to be a writer? (This annotation contains an image)
From these statements, what can we infer about Anthony's father? 
Malcolm X was a civil rights activist in the 1960s. Unlike some other activists, Malcolm X did not accept the idea that change would be accomplished through peaceful protest. Instead, he believed that violence was occasionally necessary, and was an incredibly controversial figure as a result. (This annotation contains an image)
Describe the environment in which Anthony currently lives, using specific examples from the first chapter. 


Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" is a short story in which the narrator, Montresor, seeks revenge against his rival, Fortunato. In the climax of the story, Montresor traps Fortunato in his catacombs by building a wall in front of him, ensuring no one will ever find him again. (This annotation contains an image)
In this line, the narrator compares the conversation to a roller coaster. This is an example of 
Watch the video below for a definition of internal conflict. What is Anthony's internal conflict? Why is he so emotionally conflicted? (This annotation contains a video)
What attitude does Anthony adopt about Belton Academy while in front of his friends? 
In the description of Anthony's mother, what type of imagery is used? 
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
In what other ways has Anthony demonstrated that he is different from his friends? 
Despite the danger, Mookie doesn't take the safer path because of his 
Notice that the narrator makes a point of saying that the reporters are white. Why do you think the author does this? 
Please describe how racism plays a role in the novel up to this point. 
Although it is early in the novel, Anthony is already beginning to show some development as a character. Watch the video below for more information about character development. How does Anthony's decision to go to Belton demonstrate growth? (This annotation contains a video)


What do you think Anthony is most afraid of? Why? 
Which of the following is the best explanation of why Anthony's mother is so excited about Belton Academy? 
Before he even speaks to him, what assumption does Anthony make about John? 
Tony Soprano is the main character on the television series "The Sopranos." Tony is an Italian mob boss, played by actor James Gandolfini. (This annotation contains an image)
For the first few years of his impressive basketball career, Lebron James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In a controversial decision, he left the team and joined the Miami Heat- a move which left many Cleveland fans very bitter. (This annotation contains an image)
In what way is Belton fulfilling Anthony's preconceived expectations? 
This line contains an example of a metaphor. Watch the video below for a definition of metaphor. What does the author mean by using this comparison? (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Anthony feel out of place? 
Rangeley, Maine is located in western Maine, about 30 miles from the New Hampshire border. (This annotation has embedded rich content)
Which of the following is revealed through the context and Anthony's use of the word "ambushed"? 
Keep an eye out for other ways characters try to reach out to Anthony, and how he responds to these efforts. 
Why isn't Anthony ready to share Mookie's story with the "rich white kids"? 


Watch the video below for a definition of the different types of point of view a story can use. Which point of view is used in this story? Whose thoughts are represented in these highlighted lines? (This annotation contains a video)
Anthony seeks to associate with people who are __________ similar to him. 
Which of the following statements best describes Anthony and Brody's current relationship? 
Most private schools requires students to wear a uniform, like these ones. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Anthony run straight over to George? 
Brooklyn is one of the five New York boroughs, located across the East River from Manhattan. Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) are two neighborhoods in northeast Brooklyn. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is the best statement of why doesn't Anthony participate very much in school? 
In theology, Judgment Day is said to be the day in which all souls, dead and living, will receive their final judgment from God, and be granted admittance to either heaven or hell. How might this passage be symbolic in the story Anthony is reading? (This annotation contains an image)
What does Anthony's question demonstrate? 
Hazing is a manner of initiating someone into a group, oftentimes by making them do something humiliating or dangerous. Hazing is illegal in many states, but is still practiced widely in colleges and on sports teams. 
Chapters 1-4 Quiz 


Although the video below is made for college, it gives a good, brief summary of what a work-study job is, and how it applies toward financial aid. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the main source of George's anger? 
This line contains both 
How does Anthony seem to feel about these contradictions? 
Brody gets very defensive about his father. Look out for other clues that Brody's life is not quite what Anthony thinks. 
Which word best describes the version of his experience Anthony gives to his mother? 
Click the link below to read "We Wear the Mask," a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Use the poem to answer the next question. (This annotation contains a link)
Compare the poem "We Wear the Mask" to this book. How are the themes from the poem similar to Anthony's experiences? 


What do you think Anthony is planning to do? 
Compare and contrast the world of East Cleveland with the world of Belton Academy. How are the two settings parallel? How are they different? 
Which of the following statements is most accurate regarding Anthony's experience at Belton? 
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" is a novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, often credited as the book that "started" the Civil War. To call someone an "Uncle Tom" is an insult, meaning that the person is going out of his or her way to be submissive to another person and not stir up any trouble. What does this reveal about George's public persona? (This annotation contains an image)
This line is an allusion to a parable Jesus tells in the Bible. The complete line reads, "If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." How does this apply to Anthony and Gloria? 
In this analogy, the "battle" most likely stands for ________, while the war stands for ________. 
Rembrandt is one of the most famous painters of all times, creating masterpieces like "Christ in the Storm," below. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following statements is most accurate about a key difference between Anthony and Brody? 
Why do you think Anthony eggs on Khalik like this, when he is ultimately on Khalik's side? 
Which word best describes Anthony's tone during his conversation with McCarthy? 
This line contain an example of a simile. What does this simile reveal about the students' reactions? 
Which of the following statements is most accurate about Anthony's confrontation with McCarthy? 


What was Anthony's mistake? 
Think back to Gloria's comment that George is a politician. Where do we see evidence that this is true? 
The Jim Crow laws were in place in the United States from the 1870s to the 1950s. The laws maintained segregation between black and white Americans by legally imposing restrictions on African-Americans' access to education, public places, and a host of other things. The video below comes from a documentary about the laws and their effect. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does George draw comparisons between African-Americans and Native Americans? 
Explain how George and Gloria are similar, as Anthony expresses in this line. 
Pink Floyd was an English rock band, known for their philosophical lyrics. Click below to listen to one of their hits, "Wish You Were Here." (This annotation contains a video)
Keep this comment in mind. What are we learning about Brody? 
Which of the following situations meets the definition of "mob mentality" given in the text? 
As a result of the Somali Civil War, thousands of displaced Somalians have relocated to the United States. In the 2000s, Maine became a popular place for displaced Somalians to settle due to its low crime rate and high educational quality. (This annotation contains an image)
The idea of bringing Anthony home for Thanksgiving makes Brody feel 
How is Brody different at home than he is at school? 
What new revelation about Brody does Anthony have while staying with his family for Thanksgiving? 


The song Brody is referring to is a showtune from the musical "The King and I." Click below to hear a clip of the song. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Anthony upset by his encounter with the store manager? 
Dreadlocks are a hairstyle in which hair is twisted and matted together into coils. It is a more common hairstyle for African and African-American women than for white women, which is part of what sets Gloria off in this next exchange. (This annotation contains an image)
Which is the following is not an actual example of racism up to this point in the book? 
Click below for a definition of static and dynamic characters. At this point in the novel, are any of the characters dynamic? How so? (This annotation contains a video)
In what way does this moment represent a turning point in Brody and Anthony's relationship? 
Chapters 5-8 Quiz 


Which of the following is most accurate about Anthony's perception of East Cleveland? 
What does this description indicate about how Anthony feels about his return to East Cleveland? 
Author and travel writer Cindy Ross once remarked, "“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” How does this quote apply to Anthony's experience? 
The Tower City Center in in Cleveland is a large complex with a casino, office buildings, a hotel, and a shopping mall. (This annotation contains an image)
This is a key passage which relates to a big theme from the book. Keep it in mind as you continue to read. 
Which scene from earlier in the novel does this encounter most closely parallel? 
If nothing has changed about the setting, then what must have changed? 
The fact that the gun contains no bullets by the time it gets to Anthony could be considered to be 


After he returns to Belton, which word best describes Anthony's attitude? 
Gloria objects to the fundraiser because of its similarity to a slave auction. View the image below, and use it to answer the next question. (This annotation contains an image)
Is the scene described here similar to the image in the previous annotation? Do you feel Gloria's anger is justified? 
What do Anthony's friends say about him? 
Which of the following is most attractive to Anthony about being a proctor? 
Does Dr. Dirk seem genuine in his desire to learn more about how to improve conditions for minority students at Belton? 
Mogadishu is the capital of Somalia, located in the south of the country. (This annotation contains an image)
What has enabled Brody able to break the cycle of racism which his father is a part of? 
What is Mr. Hawley's advice to Anthony? 
What other aspects of Anthony's life are backwards, as he claims here? 
In 2003, Matt Hale, a white supremacist who cites Adolf Hitler as one of his greatest influences, was scheduled to be the keynote speaker and organizer of a protest in Lewiston against the recent Somali immigration movement. Although Hale did not actually end up attending the rally, the events described in this paragraph are otherwise factually true. (This annotation contains an image)


Anthony expects that he will be comforted by the familiarity of home; instead, his home makes him more nervous and isolated than ever. What is this an example of? 
In what ways has Anthony changed since going to Belton? In what ways has he stayed the same? 
Anthony has very complicated feelings about Belton; sometimes he dislikes it, while other times he seems to really like it. Why do you think he has such conflicted feelings about the school? 
A Ouija Board is a popular game board which supposedly allows the player to receive messages from the dead. Floyd is being facetious here, informing Anthony that Shane has died. (This annotation contains an image)
Which word best describes how Floyd feels about Anthony? 
Tyler Perry is a successful actor, screenwriter, and director best known for his string of movies featuring a character names Madea, whom Perry both invented and plays. In 2011, he was named the highest paid man in the entertainment industry. (This annotation contains an image)
How does talking with Floyd make Anthony feel? 


In what way are the themes of the song and Anthony's experience at Belton similar? 
Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell wrote a song called "Big Yellow Taxi," whose lyrics can be found by clicking the link below. Read the lyrics and use them to answer the next question. (This annotation contains a link)
Phat Farm is a clothing line founded by Russell Simmons, a former member of the rap group Run-DMC. Rocawear was founded by rapper Jay-Z. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following expressions or sayings thematically relates to the boys' conversation? 
Anthony's bad feeling and flashback to the scene with Mookie from the beginning of the book are an example of which of the following? 
The Klu Klux Klan is a famously racist, white supremacist group with a long history of violence directed toward African-Americans. The video below comes from an ABC News special story on the Klan. Watch the video to see a ritual similar to the one described here, and to get more of a sense of what the Klan is. (This annotation contains a video)
In 1968, the Civil Rights Movement was still in full swing. It was the year Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. 
Out of all of Anthony's teachers, Mr. Hawley is the most 
In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet states, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Do you think Anthony would agree with this statement? Why or why not? 
Recall the definition of a dynamic character. How does this speech demonstrate Anthony's development? 
Watch the video below for a definition of theme. What themes from the book are touched upon in this conversation with Dr. Milton? (This annotation contains a video)
Why doesn't Anthony want to have a second meeting with Dr. Milton? 


The word "pariah" means outcast. 
How has the year at Belton affected Gloria? 
Think back to the conversation Floyd and Anthony had a few chapters ago. In what way will Anthony be honoring his friend's wishes by not returning home and avenging his death? 
Which of the following themes does this line reinforce? 
Anthony is referring to a popular expression here: "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Besides money, what "price" was attached to coming to Belton? 
In The Scarlet Letter, author Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, "No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true." How does this quote apply to Anthony's situation? 
Mr. Hawley's statement is an example of irony. What did Anthony teach him? 
Which part of his conversation with Floyd is Anthony making a tribute to through writing this on the walls? 
Chapters 9-13 Quiz