The Night the White Deer Died
An Indian brave stands poised to shoot a white deer drinking from a pool of water in the moonlight. It is only a dream-a recurring nightmare that haunts 15-year-old Janet Carson-but it is a dream that will change her life forever. Janet, one of the few Anglo teens in the New Mexico art colony where she lives with her mother, feels isolated and alone. For some reason, she is drawn to Billy Honcho, an old, alcoholic Indian who begs for money from her. As they get to know each other, the meaning of Janet's nightmare grows clear, and Billy becomes the brave in her dream.
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The image shows how the Indian in Janet's dream may have been dressed. (This annotation contains an image)
Gary James Paulsen is an American writer of young adult literature, best known for coming of age stories about the wilderness.
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Chicano refers to being American but of Mexican descent.
What insight does Janet reveal about herself?
The manner in which a novel is set up is its structure. This novel is set up a bit differently. It begins with a description of Janet's dream which is an integral part of the narrative. (This annotation contains a video)
What does Janet notice first about Billy?
Janet helps her mother prepare her stone figures for the art festival in the plaza though she has no desire to go there. Why has Janet avoided going to the plaza?
Why does Janet ask her mother not to send Billy away?
What does Janet remember most about the festival? (This annotation contains an image)
Why doesn't Janet call out to Billy when he is cleaning the plaza?
Why does Julio flip rocks in the courtyard outside Janet's house?
Explain what Billy means by this statment.
Janet appreciates the beauty of Billy's pueblo. The image of the Southwestern adobe with a red front door similar to Billy's home. (This annotation contains a link)
Janet's dream is a recurring image or motif of the narrative. The video explains how motifs enhance a text. (This annotation contains a video)
Who leaves the kachina at Janet's gate?
Why doesn't Janet like her mother's friends?
Why does Billy deny giving Janet the kachina?
Why does Janet's mother react the way she does when she sees Billy in her kitchen?
What images do you notice in Billy's chant?
Point of view includes the perspective from which a narrative is told. The video explains point of view and cultural perspective. (This annotation contains a video)
What does Janet reveal to Billy?
The main idea of a literary work is its theme. Watch the video to gain a better understanding of theme. (This annotation contains a video)
What is a central idea or theme of this narrative?
What is the effect of Billy's appearance in the courtyard?
Think about the effect Billy's melody has on Janet as you listen to this improvisation on a Navajo native flute. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the meaning of this sentence?
What is the significance of Billy's attire and music?
What elements of this scene give it an ethereal quality? Pull phrases from the text to support your answer.
The narrator uses a(n)________ to describe Janet and Billy's movements.
The narrator uses imagery to create mental picture with his words. The video explains how writers use imagery. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the significance of the story Billy tells Janet?
Billy's story takes Janet back in time. As he talks, she is able to see the events as if she were there.
What insight does Janet gain as she listens to Billy's story?
According to the explanation from the video, why does someone have a recurring dream?
Janet seeks to understand the meaning of her dream. This video explains the significance of dreams. (This annotation contains a video)
Janet sees the white deer in her dream. (This annotation contains an image)
What is different about Janet's dream this time?