1944 Meggie Dillon's life has been turned upside down by World War II. Her older brother Eddie enlisted and was shipped off to fight in Europe. And people say that anywhere else Grandpa would be turned in because he's German, and people might think he's a spy. Is it true? Could Grandpa be taken away? Meggie's father has announced that they must help the war effort and move to Willow Run, Michigan, where he'll work nights in a factory building important war planes that will help fight the enemy in Europe. Willow Run will be the greatest adventure ever, Meggie thinks. There she meets Patches and Harlan, other kids like her whose parents have come here to do their part in the war. And there she faces questions about courage, and what it takes to go into battle, like Eddie, and how to keep hope alive on the home front.
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A swastika is a symbol that was used by the Nazis to symbolize antisemitism (or hatred of Jews). (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think Meggie is so upset, even though she finds her grandfather irritating?
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?
What will Meggie's dad be doing at the new factory?
Think about the kind of relationship that Meggie has with her grandfather. They share pastimes such as fishing together, but she also finds him aggravating.
Use specific examples from the text to describe Meggie's feelings about her German heritage during the war. Is she proud or ashamed or both?
Spam is a canned meat product that was often sent to feed the troops. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is something that worries Meggie about moving to Willow Run?
The author uses a lot of figurative language, particularly similes and metaphors, throughout the book. Be on the look out for examples. (This annotation contains a video)
What sort of prediction can you make about Grandpa?
Take note of this simile. Why do you think the author uses similes to describe characters in the text?
Based on what you've read, which of the following is not a good word to describe Meggie?
Considering this letter has just arrived today, how has Meggie already memorized it? What does this say about letters she receives from Eddie?
Using details from the text, describe Grandpa's character and why he plays an important role in the book.
Why do you think Grandpa chooses to say goodbye this way?
Describe at least three ways that the war has changed life in America. Use specific examples from the text.
Heil Hitler was the greeting of Nazi Germany. (This annotation contains an image)
A Victrola is a kind of phonograph, which was used to play music during this time period. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on Meggie's behavior towards the new boys, what kind of personality do you think she has?
Consider the significance of this lyric. What do you think it means and how does it fit in with the story?
In what way is Meggie comparing herself to Grandpa?
Compare and contrast Meggie's summer experiences with those that may be Eddie's. How do you think that makes Meggie feel?
Use the define function and identify which of the following definitions best describes how rickety is being used in the text.
Consider why Meggie might not want to think about this.
What do we learn about Meggie by her role as narrator of the story? How might the story had differed if it was told by another character, such as Grandpa?
Which of her senses does Meggie use to describe her old room? How does that help you to visualize it?
Which of the following is probably not a reason why Meggie is nervous about spies?
Why do you think Meggie thinks about the negative things about Grandpa to comfort herself when she misses him?
Using detail, describe Willow Run. How does it differ from what Meggie had expected?
What hints does the author give to show that Meggie is excited to meet her new neighbor?
Meggie doesn't think she could be as brave as Patches was when getting stitches. In what situations does Meggie show bravery?
Why do you think Meggie feels this way after taking the pop?
Which of the following is a good indicator that times are rough during the war?
Think about how this might make Meggie feel closer to Ronnelle.
Explain why Meggie might feel this way. How does her narration help us to understand her point of view?
What kind of relationship has developed between Meggie and Patches?
Using the define function, identify the meaning of the word sooty. Which of the following is the best example of an antonym?
Meggie seems to really enjoy entering advertisement contests, a pastime she shares with her grandfather. Why does she seem embarrassed to share this hobby with her friends?
Identify the simile from this page.
Why does Meggie's comparison of the paper boy to a sparrow make her think of Eddie?
Describe a theme that you have noticed developing and include supporting details from the text.
By now you should be noticing some themes that are developing in the text. Think about what they are. (This annotation contains a video)
How do you think Meggie is feeling about the news that her brother is missing in action?
Which of the following is probably not a reason that Meggie regrets taking the ice cream?
Think about all of the details Meggie has used to describe Eddie. What kind of a character is he?
Think about why Meggie's dad takes her to this spot. How do you think it makes her feel?
How has Willow Run been changed by the war?
Think about how Meggie differs from Harlan and Kennis.
Meggie writes to Virginia to keep her updated. Which of the following does not accurately describe this action?
Pay attention to the use of description and how it helps create an image in your mind as you read.
Why does Meggie smile when thinking about the times that Eddie got in trouble?
Make a prediction of what will happen next.
How does Meggie's narration change the way we read the story? How do you think it would be different if there was a third-person narrator?
How might being alone in Willow Run differ from being alone in Rockaway?
Even though Meggie, Harlan and Patches all come from different towns, what do they have in common?
Meggie is quite often reminded of her Grandpa. What does that reveal about her feelings towards him?
Based on this piece of text, what do we know about Eddie?
Without reading exactly how she's feeling, we are able to make an inference based on the hints from Meggie. Pay attention to the clues that Meggie gives us as a narrator. (This annotation contains a video)
Why do you think Terry feels it is important to contribute to the war effort? Use details to explain.
Consider how each character is looking forward to life after the war. What does this say about how the war affects those even not fighting abroad?
Which type of language is this an example of?
Think about what sort of emotions Meggie's parents are feeling about Eddie. They are proud of him for his honorable commitment to the army, but how else do you think they feel?
Which theme is being illustrated by Grandpa's thoughtful package?
What did Grandpa see? How do you think he feels knowing what Meggie did to protect him?
Compare and contrast Meggie and Patches' lives. They come from very different backgrounds but have developed a close relationship over shared experiences.
Think about the importance of Patches sharing this secret with Meggie. What makes it so special?
Why is so important to Meggie that her seeds begin to grow?
Think about what Harlan is giving up when he decides to pay back Arnold with his special dollar bill. What sort of adjectives can you use to describe him?
Why is Meggie so nervous about talking with Arnold?
Make an inference about why Meggie doesn't think Arnold is smart enough to be a spy.
Make a prediction about what is in the package and how this might change the story.
Sometimes difficult times help bring people closer together. Think about how the horror of the war, and the disappearance of Eddie in particular, has helped bring Rockaway closer.
What does Meggie first think about when she reads the letter?
Why do you think Meggie is starting to feel more hopeful?
Compare and contrast school in Rockaway to school in Willow Run.
Think about how Meggie is feeling upon hearing this news. How does Arnold's explanation change how she thinks about him?
How does Meggie show that she respects and cares for her grandfather in this conversation?
Make a prediction for Ronnelle's great news.
Given the foreshadowing, make a prediction of what Meggie has done about Grandpa. Use examples from the text to explain.
There is quite a bit of foreshadowing that helps you make a good prediction of what will happen next. (This annotation contains a video)
Although we don't know that Eddie definitely comes home, the book has a hopeful ending. Why do you think the author chose to leave it this way?