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The genre of this novel is historical fiction. That means that the author creates a fictional story in a time and a place that is real, and includes historical facts about that period in the story. Below is an image of Coney Island from around this time. (This annotation contains an image)
Who is Celine?
A gingersnap is a type of cookie flavored with ginger as seen below. Ginger also refers to a reddish brown hair color. (This annotation contains an image)
Rationing food was a part of the war effort. Posters such as this one helped people to remember why rationing food was necessary. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Celine mean when she says, "Closed teeth are fences against bad words"?
Why does Jayna ask Rob about their parents? Explain how you think Rob feels when he answers her.
Listen to the song "We'll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn. The video includes images of WWII. (This annotation contains a video)
This photo from "Life Magazine" shows some of the ships approaching the island of Iwo Jima as part of the battle. (This annotation contains an image)
Who is the girl Jayda finds in the house?
Here is a photograph of the Japanese ship "Yamoto" that was sunk on April 7, 1945 just off the coast of Okinawa. (This annotation contains an image)
Harry Truman was the 33rd president of the United States. He took office after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Jayda know the telegram is meant for her?
How does Jayna react when she realizes the telegraph is for her?
The telegram Jayda receives may have been similar to this one. Correspondence about soldiers missing or killed in action was sent by telegram during World War II. (This annotation contains an image)
Where do you think Jayna is going? Why?
This may be something like what Jayda saw in the recipe book. Below is a recipe for meringues written in French. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Jayna think is a coincidence?
How do you think Jayna feels overhearing Celine's conversation on the telephone? Explain your answer.
How does the voice convince Jayna to bring Theresa on the trip?
This image shows a typical kitchen in the 1940's. The icebox is to the right of the woman. Think how your kitchen is different from this one. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jayna keep her plan to leave from Celine?
Why does Jayna feel sorry for Celine as she was leaving the house? Explain using reasons from the story.
View this video to see what Jayna may have seen as she arrived in New York City and Manhattan. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapters 1-8 Quiz
Watch this video about character traits and think about how Jayna is growing as a character. (This annotation contains a video)
Jayna would have entered an old subway entrance like the one below. (This annotation contains an image)
What is missing when Jayna looks back to check on Theresa?
Why does Jayna consider the worst loss from the missing suitcase to be the recipe book? Explain your response considering Jayna's character traits and actions.
Here is a print of the U.S. Army sign that was used during WWII. Consider why images like these were found throughout the country during the war. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jayna come to Gingersnap?
Why is Jayna not afraid of the growling dog?
Why does was the customer complain about the cookies?
This photograph from the 1940s shows a young man playing stickball in the street. Stickball is similar to baseball but played with a thin stick instead of a bat. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you believe Jayna feels that ruining the cake was "so much worse"? Explain your answer.
What does Elise say in response to Jayna's apology and tears about the cake?
The Great War is now known at World War I. This timeline shows how WWI began. (This annotation contains an image)
Kamikaze planes were used by the Japanese as a weapon. The planes would purposely crash into a ship to cause massive damage, killing the pilot. In this photograph, you can see a kamikaze plane about to hit the ship. (This annotation contains an image)
Where does Elise live?
The banister, or handrail, may have been similar to this one seen in this photograph. (This annotation contains an image)
Identity papers are similar to the passports of today. This image shows an example of an identity paper that may have been carried during WWI. (This annotation contains an image)
The ghost crossing her fingers seems to indicate that she hopes Elise lets Jayna stay. Do you think she will after they call Celine?
How does Celine respond when Jayda called her on the telephone?
Why do you think Jayna feels that she has to make Elise love her? Explain your thoughts with details from the story.
A flag, like this, indicates there is a family member in the war zone for each star shown. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Mr. Ohland shake his head when he finds out Jayna had been studying the products of New York State?
Watch this video about setting. Think about how the war is a silent character in this book. (This annotation contains a video)
This photograph shows just a few of the ships that were at Okinawa. (This annotation contains an image)
What do you think Jayna is thinking and feeling when Elise tells her she is not her grandmother? Explain your response.
Listen to the opening of a radio show about the Shadow. This was a popular form of entertainment at during this time period. (This annotation contains a video)
What is it that Jayna has forgotten about the ring?
Jayna may have seen a newspaper headline like this one on another day. Newspapers or radio were the only way to receive news at that time. (This annotation contains an image)
Who is Jayna asking for?
Even though Elise has told Jayna she's not her grandmother, why does Jayna still wonder? Explain your response.
Here is a photograph of a family with all of their belongings on a cart. Can you imagine leaving your home and knowing you could only take what you could carry? (This annotation contains an image)
What does Jayna mean when she thinks, "I was alone"?
What does Jayna want the ghost to do for her?
Watch this silent video of footage from the fall of Okinawa. (This annotation contains a video)
Who is Madeline?
Jayna may have looked out toward the subway at a scene like this just waiting for Rob's return. (This annotation contains an image)
Here is a photograph of the U.S.S. General Hershey ship that brought many servicemen home from the Pacific. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Mr. Ohland decide about the fence?
Explain why Jayna thinks, "If only..."
Celine may have taken a bus like the one in this photograph. They company Greyhound is still in business today, but the buses have changed! (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jayna seem upset when the ghost reappears?
This may be similar to the backyard and pool that Jayna and her friends built for Theresa. Think about how much has changed since Jayna and Theresa arrived in the city. (This annotation contains an image)
What is waiting for Celine when she arrives home?
Parades like this one were very common welcoming soldiers home and celebrating the end of WWII. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jayna cook soup and include the recipes throughout the story? Explain your answer.
How do you think Rob explained the stone being on the edge of the raft?