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Authors often write about places they know well. Judy Blume grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey and makes it the setting of this novel. Have you read any of her other popular books like Fudge or Blubber?
Judy Blume writes the novel in ________ point of view so that you will be able to make a strong connection to Deenie by knowing exactly what she is thinking and feeling.
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 statement most accurately describes the attitudes of Deenie and her mother?
Which set of words most effectively communicates the overall meaning and tone of the conversation between Deenie and her mother after the interview?
You will often need to use textual evidence to answer questions in a text. Watch this video to learn about different types of textual evidence. (This annotation contains a video)
Deenie feels uncomfortable around Gena because of her handicap. What advice would you give Deenie to make her feel more relaxed around someone who has a disability?
When food is described as kosher, it has been prepared following the laws of the Jewish religion.
Think about ways you can identify with Deenie. Do you have similar likes and dislikes? Are any of your family members and friends similar to Deenie's?
How does Deenie feel during cheerleading tryouts?
This story is written in 1973, before cell phones were invented. In order to make a call outside the home, people had to use a coin operated telephone in a phone booth like the one pictured here. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Deenie run to her father for comfort instead of her mother?
Authors use irony to make the audience stop and think about what has just been said or to emphasize an idea. Watch this brief video to learn more about situational irony. (This annotation contains a video)
What is ironic about Deenie not wanting to miss French class?
Foreshadowing is a literary device in which the author hints at events to come. These hints may come as dialogue between characters, or subtle events or actions. Did you notice that Deenie's awkward walking has been mentioned three times already? As you continue reading, note any further mentions of Deenie's funny walk.
Which statement best summarizes Deenie's feelings about not making the cheerleading squad?
Eczema is a medical condition that causes the skin to become irritated, swollen, and itchy. The condition is not contagious and may be controlled by topical ointments or antibiotics.
Which of the following figures of speech is being used in this sentence?
Words that have the same spelling and pronunciation are called homonyms. Using the context of the highlighted sentence, what is the meaning for the word sore?
One of the major themes of this novel is family relationships, specifically parental expectations. Mrs. Fenner has specific expectations for Deenie and Helen. Do you think these expectations are realistic?
Why does Deenie react this way to her mother's accusation?
View this image of a healthy spine from the side and the back. (This annotation contains an image)
Do you think Deenie is justified in believing her mother blames her for the spine problem?
Cite three pieces of textual evidence that prove how Deena knows her medical condition is serious.
Why does the author choose to list all the things Deenie does in the exam room while waiting for the doctor?
View this video to see an actual Adam's Forward Bend Test. (This annotation contains a video)
View the image comparison of the healthy spine to the one on the right with scoliosis. (This annotation contains an image)
Which statement best compares the reactions of Mr. and Mrs. Fenner after hearing the doctor's diagnosis?
Chapter 1-7 Quiz
List three of Deenie's actions after receiving her diagnosis that lead you to the conclusion that she is handling the news with great maturity.
Janet and Midge promise their "lips are sealed" regarding Deenie's operation. Predict whether or not you think they will keep their promise.
Why does Deenie mention Buddy Brader at this time?
Deenie's friends treat her to a special day to cheer her up and show support for the upcoming surgery. Can you recall a time when a friend of yours did something to try and cheer you up?
What does Deenie mean when she says she "should have worn a clean sweater"?
Why doesn't Midge offer Janet or Deenie a piece of gum?
The author uses imagery to describe Old Lady Murray. Can you visualize her gold tooth, ripped black sweater and apron with a million pockets?
Figurative language makes writing more interesting by evoking meaning, emotion, and imagery. View the video to learn about two types of figurative language: similies and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the function of the highlighted simile?
Why does Deenie's question about the shape of her spine make the doctors laugh?
According to the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons, about 3 of every 100 people have some degree of scoliosis.
Why does Deenie want to keep the brace a secret?
How an author structures a book is very important to the overall meaning. Deenie is organized chronologically, or as the events happened in time with a beginning, middle and end. View this brief video to learn more about text structure. (This annotation contains a video)
Remember to use the Define function to see the definition of unfamiliar words.
What evidence leads Deenie to believe Dr. Hubdu was just learning about the body wrapping process?
In your own words, summarize the process Deenie went through in order to get fitted for a brace.
Conflict is used to create tension in a story and make the story more interesting. Watch this brief video to learn more about two types of conflict. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Deenie act as though she doesn't like Buddy anymore?
Deenie shows that she values honesty when she makes a conscious decision not to lie about the phone call from the doctor's office even though she is very nervous and uncomfortable with all the changes happening.
How has the relationship between Deenie and Helen changed since the start of the novel?
It is ironic that Deenie is able to control her emotions even when she is so distraught on the inside, while her mother cannot. Usually the parent must not lose control in order to help the child deal with the situation.
What does she mean when Deenie describes the conversation with Miss. Harrigan as if they "were talking about the weather"?
In the beginning of the novel, Deenie is very uncomfortable around Old Lady Murray. Now that she understands a bit more about scoliosis and is afflicted with it herself, how do you think Deenie will feel when she sees the old lady again?
How does Deenie react once she realizes the reality of wearing a brace?
Life with a Milwaukee brace will take Deenie some time to get used to. View this brief video of another girl struggling to get used to her brace. (This annotation contains a video)
Janet and Midge feel __________ and _________ when they first see Deenie with her brace.
Once Deenie, Janet and Midge are able to express their feelings about the scoliosis and learn more about the condition, they are all more comfortable with each other.
Why does Aunt Rae's comment about Deenie becoming a model make her so upset?
The internet was not in existence when Judy Blume writes this novel, so Deenie must rely on the encyclopedia and doctors to get information. Today, people can use the internet to find medical information and support from people with similar conditions. View this video made by a teenager who shares her experiences dealing with scoliosis. (This annotation contains a video)
Quiz Chapters 8-14
People are naturally curious about someone who looks different than they do. Deenie does not like all this attention, but seems to expect it and handles it well.
You can infer from the text that Miss Wabash is unfeeling and harsh. Which quote is the best justification for the inference about Miss. Wabash?
Deenie has changed a lot since receiving the scoliosis diagnosis. Authors make stories more interesting and meaningful by including characters who change as a result of their circumstances. Watch this brief video to learn more about how authors develop characters. (This annotation contains a video)
How do you know Buddy Brader still likes Deenie after he finds out about her spine?
Deenie is shocked when she realizes Mrs. Anderson considers her to be handicapped now. She doesn't feel any different inside and doesn't consider herself to be handicapped. Would you consider her scoliosis a handicap?
Why does Deenie feel she needs to explain that she was genuinely interested in Old Lady Murray's family?
Why did Deenie hurry to the locker room?
Deenie feels like the "world's biggest jerk" because she avoids touching Barbara's eczema, but needs Barbara's help to tie her shoes. Do you think Deenie will have a change of heart about Barbara?
Deenie never slept on her _______ before wearing the brace.
Deenie doesn't consider herself handicapped since her condition is not permanent, and she still sees other people with disabilities as unlike herself.
You can infer from Deenie's recounting of this incident that dealing with scoliosis is very costly.
What motivates Barbara to lie about having eczema?
Alley Cat is a song that was popular in the 1960s. You can see the line dance with the song in the video below. Just imagine the ladies as seventh graders! (This annotation contains a video)
In your own words, explain why Deenie leaves Buddy and runs out of the locker room.
You learned previously that eczema is not contageous, so can you predict what is causing Deenie's itchy rash?
What steps does Deenie need to take in order to clear up her rash?
Why does Helen say Mrs. Fenner wouldn't care if Deenie had a boyfriend?
This is a scene full of tension and strong emotions. Do you find yourself reading faster as the tension continues to increase?
Deenie changes her feelings about Barbara and realizes she is wrong to dislike Barbara because of her condition. Have you ever changed and become friends with someone despite a different appearance?
Deenie has changed a lot in her attitude about disabilities since the beginning of the novel. Describe the most significant changes in her since she was diagnosed with scoliosis.
Deenie contemplates disobeying her father because of her strong desire to be normal. Have you ever thought about disobeying to get something you wanted?
Chapter 15-21 Quiz
Which word describes Deenie's character at the party?