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Ava has a secret. She is tired of her ultracool attitude, ultra-radical politics, and ultrablack clothing. She's ready to try something new—she's even ready to be someone new. Someone who fits in, someone with a gorgeous boyfriend, someone who wears pink.

Transferring to Billy Hughes School for Academic Excellence is the perfect chance to try on a new identity. But just in case things don't work out, Ava is hiding her new interests from her parents, and especially from her old girlfriend.

Secrets have a way of being hard to keep, though, and Ava finds that changing herself is more complicated than changing her wardrobe. Even getting involved in the school musical raises issues she never imagined. As she faces surprising choices and unforeseen consequences, Ava wonders if she will ever figure out who she really wants to be.

Humor, heart, and the joys of drama—on- and offstage—combine in Ava's delight-fully colorful journey of self-discovery.

Curriculet Details
60 Questions
50 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This 9th and 10th grade curriculum includes annotations that expand on concepts of postmodernism and gender theory, connections to other literary references, and highlight elements of structure and diction within the text. Videos focus on character development, internal and external conflicts, and thematic issues as well as connections to modern relevant art. Common Core aligned questions have been written to address the themes of acceptance, postmodern cynicism, and discovering one's true identity. Both annotations and questions in this free curriculum will increase student engagement and understanding of a powerful coming of age tale told in a postmodern setting. Note: this book contains mature elements of sexuality, including an ongoing dialogue about sexual preference, and some profanity.

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Chapter One

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? 
Which of the following would a cadet most likely do? 
Fascism is a political ideology that began in Europe in the early 1900s. Fascists promote complete reverence for the nation state, its leaders, and its position that all authority be vested in the national government. The reference here by Chloe indicates that she feels the national government has too much control over the way students are educated. Chloe demonstrates her intelligence and how well-read she is when she uses these phrases.  
What does the pink cashmere sweater seem to represent?  
This reference is to the Wizard of Oz's main character, Dorothy, who also struggled with her identity and what she wanted out of life. In opposition to the demands of adults in her life, she set out on her own, only to find herself in the Land of Oz, where she grew up into a young woman through a series of trials and tribulations. This conflict highlights an important theme of this novel and many other coming-of-age stories in which the protagonist searches for his or her true self. The video below explains how a novel that is structured this way will contribute to the character development of Ava, the main character in Pink. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter Two

Ava emphasizes her words to express her _____ about not getting to know Chloe.  
Chloe's confession represents an important point in Ava's understanding of herself and her life. She does not identify herself as being gay, yet Chloe's willingness to step-out seems to clarify a few of her own feelings. Most coming-of-age stories have a strong supporting cast of characters who draw out qualities of the main character. Harry Potter, for example, had the honest Hermione and the faithful Ron to always bring out the qualities that he was unaware of.  

Chapter Three

Watch the video below of a famous literary character and his first encounter with his new school. In what ways do Ava's feelings parallel those of Harry Potter's?  (This annotation contains a video)
Notice that here Ava uses a metaphor to compare her old homeroom to "a cross between a dance party and a wildlife documentary." Watch the video below to learn the difference between simile and metaphor.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which word best describes the students at Billy Hughes?  
What literary device is used in this sentence?  
The stage crew seems to be the outcasts of the school. In what ways does the author fill us in on this fact? Use evidence to support your conclusion.  
Jane Austen is known for her coming-of-age novels about love, romance, and identity. She was one of the first female novelists to have her work widely published and read. Chloe and her feminist mentality rejects these novels because she feels they subjugate women; however, Ava ironically is following in the path of Jane Austen's characters--searching for her true self within the confines of popular culture. Watch the following trailer for Pride and Prejudice. In what ways does Ava identify with the main character portrayed in this trailer?  (This annotation contains a video)
As Ava makes a decision to join the musical, she ironically begins to think about an experience she had with her girlfriend and a Jane Austen novel. What does the novel Pride and Prejudice represent to Ava? Cite evidence from the text to support your response.  

Chapter Four

What is Ava's biggest struggle so far at her new school? 
Watch the video below about themes. One theme that is emerging in this story is that of acceptance and finding one's place in the world. There are many other ways to state this theme. What does this highlighted line tell you about the theme? (This annotation contains a video)
Which person does not seem to mind that Ava is changing into a different person?  
This is an example of a pun--an intentional or sometimes unintentional play on words. Alexis says she wants to be play the character of Faith. Her pun is in her use of the word faith in the next line where she says she must have faith. Alexis' use of a pun reflects that she is good with words and intelligent.  
Watch the video below to learn more about hyperbole.  (This annotation contains a video)
This is an example of hyperbole, or exaggeration. It is physically impossible for someone's heart to be this fast; however, Ava wants to emphasize just how anxious she felt. These kinds of lines give depth to the characters and help present different dimensions of who they are.  
This phrase is a figure of speech. It's meaning is suggested in the context of the story, where Ava feels like anything she wants is within her power to possess. This feeling, as the audience knows, is only situational. However, it is important to note that the author again is using figurative language to give depth to the reader's understanding of this story's characters. Look for other instances of figures of speech throughout the story.  
Alexis' questions are most likely making Ava question which part of herself? 

Chapter Five

Ava's concept of what her future will hold for her is shallow. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Cite evidence from the text to support your response.  
Ava's question to herself is an example of irony. She has yet to find out who she really is, so for her to say that being herself is tiring, proves to be ultimately meaningless. In what ways has Ava actually been herself? 
What seems to be the most appealing thing to Ava about the stage crew group? 

Chapter Six

What is the primary hindrance Ava has with making decisions for herself? 
Although Ava is trying very hard not to like the stage crew, she can't help from taking an interest in their way of being. They have a genuine camaraderie about them that her other friends seem to lack. She feels scared of not being accepted by everybody...but the stage crew seems to be sending a different message. How does the behavior of the stage crew interplay with the theme of this story?  

Chapter Seven

The word choice that Ava uses most likely indicates that she is feeling 
Listen to the song "Bang Bang" by Nancy Sinatra. Contrast it with the improvised song you hear Jules sing here. In what ways do the lyrics of this song resonate with Ava's desire to fit in?  (This annotation contains a video)
In what way does Jules identify himself as a unique homosexual?  
What does this conversation reveal about Ava's understanding of herself? 
Through her interactions with the stage crew, Ava begins to challenge (or have challenged) many of the assumptions she had made about herself. By having distance from those most influential to her, she is able to dissect and evaluate the influence of others. In most coming-of-age tales, the main character does this--deconstructs what he or she has always known to be true.  

Chapter Eight

Why is Ava's remark an example of irony?  
Jules' relationship with Dennis, and the way he talks to him, reveal an important aspect of this novel that is underlying most of what these kids experience--the adults around them are hardly authoritative and are mistrusted. In fact, most adults in this novel are spoken about pejoratively. Whether this is Ava's (and the other youth's) perspective, or just the way these adults are, is yet to be seen. Many coming-of-age tales, view adults, in general, as an obstacle. What role, if any, do you think the adults will play in our main character trying to figure out who she is?  
What is the most important lesson Ava learns from her failed attempt to work on the platform? 
"Ranga" is an offensive word for someone with red hair. Think about why this would be insulting to Sam.  
What does Ava most likely mean by this phrase, "And then we had a Moment"?   
An appetizer that looks similar to hummus, but is made from very different ingredients--roe (fish eggs), garlic, and oil. It serves a symbolic point in the plot as its color segues into a conversation about femininity and the color pink.  (This annotation contains an image)
Pluto was dethroned from the group of nine planets because of its inconsistent orbital around the Sun. It's dethronement came as a shock to many and started a small revolution in the science community who wanted to hold on to its cherished belief that it still was a planet.  
In a postmodern novel, like this one, everything is seen with skepticism and deconstructed, or picked apart. What is really being deconstructed here as it relates to Ava's main conflict? 

Chapter Nine

The author is again using figurative language to push along the plot and develop characters. What impact do you think this phrase has on Ava? Use evidence from the text to support your response.  
Based on Mrs. Gorr's response to Ava and her pejorative comments about Sam's friends, the reader again encounters another authoritative, disapproving adult. It's starting to feel like most of the adults in this story are not going to be a positive supporting cast to Ava and her search for her identity.  
What seems to be the cause of Sam's depressed state?  
Unpredictability is another theme that runs consistently throughout this novel. Both Ava and Sam have learned, in their own ways, that skepticism saves one from heartache. Do you think they will buy in to this philosophy for much longer?  
Based on the context of this phrase, what do you think it means? Use evidence from the text to support your response.  
Quiz #1 

Chapter Ten

What about Pat's comments here are considered postmodern? 
This particular scene should be making you think of what Sam said about the pretentiousness of this clique. He even mentioned how when they are talking to you they will look over your shoulder for the next most interesting person they can find. It happens here to Ava. Is Sam right? Are they really not interested in Ava? 
What does Sam's phrase mean? 
This moment marks a pivotal turning point in the plot and in Ava's development that both tie in with the theme: self-discovery. In trying to be someone different, Ava had to do something that made her immediately feel guilty. Although, the guilt didn't really affect her until after she cheated on Chloe. In many coming of age stories, the main characters don't always make good decisions as they grow and develop. Can she still learn from her mistakes?  
According to Ava's statement, which group does she fit well with?  

Chapter Eleven

Chloe's response to most of Ava's natural decisions and interests seem to be 
The entire conversation with Chloe is important for two reasons: 1. It begins to show the divide that is starting to separate Chloe and Ava and 2. It reveals the struggle on Chloe to impress her postmodern worldview on Ava. Chloe seems skeptical of everything; whereas Ava seems to be searching more for practical experiences. This tension in world views forms another theme that is emerging in this text: How do friendships survive when the other holds to a different set of values?  
Ava's conflict in this chapter indicated that she is struggling most with which aspect of her identity?  

Chapter Twelve

The picture below is from Frank Kafka's Metamorphosis. It is a story about a man who wakes up as a bug and has to try to fit in with society and make new decisions based on his physical change. He experiences rejection at many levels, and the tone of the novel makes us sympathize with the unfortunate changes he has to deal with. Why would this novel be mentioned in this story?  (This annotation contains an image)
Which person is Ava not attracted to as a significant other?  
Below is an image of the color-coded symbols that the Nazis used to categorize prisoners. All this concern about pink, and Ava is told this sobering history about the importance of colors to an infamous group of people.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter Thirteen

In what way does the paint fiasco scene most likely tie into the main theme of this story? 
Emma is a main character in another Jane Austen novel. Although she is not so much of a heroine. Her main goal is to help others, and yet she seems to ignorantly make terrible decisions and suggestions for everyone. The lesson she learns is that it's better to focus on fixing your own life, instead of trying to change others. Ironically, Ava is falling into the same pattern here.  
What is the significance of the lyrics of this song?  
Many theaters and theatre companies have superstitious beliefs that keep bad things from happening. In this theatre it is the globe light.  
In what ways do the Screws show more character than the Pastels? Cite evidence to support your response.  

Chapter Fourteen

Ava's enthusiastic remarks are a clear indication that she is more emotionally satisfied with her shallow relationships with the Pastels. Contrast the difference between the depths of conversations she has with Sam and Ethan? Chloe and Alexis.  
Chloe's subdued response indicates her 
In what ways does Ava not know who she is? Use evidence from the text to support your response.  

Chapter Fifteen

What does Sam's response to Ava about the text most likely indicate? 
Sam's comments cut to the heart of Ava's problems: her friendship with the Pastels is truly shallow. He wants to know how well she really knows these new friends of hers. Even with the Screws, she is not making much of an effort to find out who they really are as indicated by his offense to her matchmaking with Kobe and Jen.  
David is most likely trying to do what to Ava and Chloe? 

Chapter Sixteen

Ava's sense of importance is  
The mission that the Screws are taking highlights a common theme of honor in literature. In Dante's Inferno, The Odyssey, and many other works, the main characters go on special quests to honor their fallen. Although the context here is a bit comical, we still sense the reverence that exists within the circle of those who called themselves friends.  
What does Ava suggest makes the Screws such wholesome people?  
What does this event symbolize? 

Chapter Seventeen

Although the Screws are having this comical and superficial conversation about a gorilla who thinks she is human, it strikes a deeper chord in Ava who senses her own conflict. Watch the video below. What kind of conflict is Ava dealing with here?  (This annotation contains a video)
What is the reader supposed to infer about Ava based on her question about Sam? 
Ava's remark about Alexis is an example of   

Chapter Eighteen

Ava's very confident that taking Jen to meet other lesbians will help her. Do you think this is a good idea? State your opinion and use evidence from the text if relevant.  
Watch the video below to get a better understanding of dramatic irony.  (This annotation contains a video)
The dramatic irony in this situation is that Chloe is oblivious to the actual relationship threats that loom over their own. Sam. Ethan. Alexis. We know that Ava is withholding this information, and we can only help but wonder how long it will be before Chloe really finds out. How do you think she will react if she does?  
What does this incident with Chloe and Jen ultimately reveal about Chloe?  
Quiz #2 

Chapter Nineteen

What do the cans symbolize?  
Sam is more boldly flirting and strutting his stuff in front of Ava. First he quotes poetry. Then he compliments her. What is all of this leading up to?  
How is being invisible related to the larger theme of this story?  
What does this tiny voice most represent in the structure of this story? 
Watch the video below to learn more about tension.  (This annotation contains a video)
Chloe's appearance at random times and places creates tension in the plot. At this point, Chloe not only is Ava's girlfriend who is being lied to, but she also represents one of Ava's most difficult hurdles--honesty and integrity. Will Ava come clean at some point or continue her dishonesty?  

Chapter Twenty

What seems to be eating away the most at Ava? 
The tension that we feel through Ava leads us to believe that she can't go on lying the way she has. Consider the following quote by Dorothy Allison: “Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.” How does this apply to Ava's situation?  
In what ways does Ava's recklessness wreck her life? Use evidence from the text to support your response.  

Chapter Twenty-One

The collective failures of everyone and everything during the play is not Ava's fault. However, it adds tension to an already tense moment. The author purposely sets the stage for complete failure, epic failure, as the Screws might suggest.  

Chapter Twenty-Two

Why does Ava refuse Ethan? 

Chapter Twenty-Three

The whole novel explores the theme of identity and self-discovery. Ava's list of what makes life important are starkly different from the values her mother quotes to her here. What values do you see in this list that she already has? 
According to Pat, what is the difference between "common" and "normal"?  
What is Ava's internal conflict mostly about here? 
What contrasts most heavily with Ava's excellent grades?  
This is called affirmation. It is a compliment that strikes a note with our soul. The meaning of such affirmation cannot be mistaken--it makes us feel valued and appreciated in a unique way. How do you think this affirmation will change Ava?  

Chapter Twenty-Four

What is the root cause of Ava and Chloe's tension? 
This is what is referred to as an ultimatum--a polarizing choice that makes you pick one thing or the other. These are Chloe's demands. Many relationships come down to this, though, there are times when compromise is seen as a more favorable approach.  

Chapter Twenty-Five

What do you think Ava is scheming here? Support your conclusion with sound evidence.  
Ava's humor is dry and witty. This humor has provided comic relief through many tense moments in the book, including this one. Sometimes it's what Ava says directly to other characters; other times it's what she says to herself.  
What do Alexis and Ava both have in common? 

Chapter Twenty-Six

What is the main reason Ava chose to bring her friends to the Sci-Fi marathon?  
They say that the opposite of love is not hate--it's indifference. Sam is giving Ava the cold-shoulder here. The purpose is to make someone feel like you have no feelings whatsoever, which may actually feel worse than knowing they hate you.  
What does this statement mean?  
In what way is the Screws' nerdiness related to the larger themes of this novel?  
The deepest conflict of the story comes to the foreground of the action. Ava's internal conflict isn't over just boys or girls, though. It's over what she really wants because of what she feels deeply. She has come face to face with this conflict. What do you think she will do? 

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Watch the following clip from an adaption of Emma. In what way do you think the climactic encounter with Sam and Ava will be similar or different from this?  (This annotation contains a video)
This means the person not welcome. 
Explain how the word closure is used as a pun in this statement.  

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Unconditional acceptance is something that everyone longs for (though some never admit it). The song below by Bruno Mars is a modern pop-culture expression of this theme.  (This annotation contains a video)
What does the word "fail" mean in the highlighted sentence? 
In what ways does this quote summarize Ava's actions throughout the novel?  
Quiz #3