All the Way Home
It's August 1941, and Brick and Mariel both love the Brooklyn Dodgers. Brick listens to their games on the radio in Windy Hill, in upstate New York, where his family has an apple orchard; Mariel, once a polio patient in the hospital in Windy Hill, lives in Brooklyn near the Dodgers' home, Ebbets Field. She was adopted by Loretta, a nurse at the hospital, and has never known what happened to her own mother. Someday, somehow, she plans to return to Windy Hill and find out. When a fire destroys their orchard, Brick's parents must leave the farm to find work. They send him to live in Brooklyn with their friend Loretta, even though Brick knows that their elderly neighbors need his help to pick what's left of the apples. The only good thing about Brooklyn is seeing the Dodgers playthat, and his friendship with Mariel. Maybe, together, they'll find a way to return to Windy Hill, save the harvest, and learn the truth about Mariel's past.
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Brooklyn, 1941 - Chapter 1: Mariel
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. Is there a word on this page you need to look up? (This annotation contains an image)
Ebbets Field was the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers until 1956. This book takes place during the Golden Age of professional baseball. It was a favorite pastime of all Americans, and its players were household names. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 2: Brick
Based on what you have read in the text, what has happened to Brick on the way home?
Chapter 3: Mariel
Notice that these chapters are alternating between Mariel and Brick. The two characters are living very different lives, but you can expect that their paths will cross at some point in the story.
Why does Loretta yell down that there is plenty of time until dinner?
Like Mariel, President Roosevelt had been stricken with polio. This left him unable to walk without leg braces and crutches. This was kept from the American public because in those days people didn't understand that being unable to walk did not have any impact on your thinking or reasoning ability. Today, people know better! The photo shows President Roosevelt using handrails to walk. You can see his leg braces around his boots. (This annotation contains an image)
How do Mariel and Loretta differ in their feelings about Mariel's polio?
Chapter 4: Brick
Watch this video on plot exposition. As you watch, think of all of the things you have already learned about Mariel. In this chapter, you can expect to learn more about Brick through the exposition. (This annotation contains a video)
How do Brick and Pop view Brick's actions during the fire?
Chapter 5: Brick
Read this sentence from the text:"No one comes to pick."Which of the following sentences uses pick in the same way that it is used in the text?
Claude wants Brick to have his best book. What does this tell you? Small details in a story can give you much insight into the characters. That is why it is important to pay attention to the conversations and actions of each character. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the highlighted section contribute to this chapter?
The quilt that Brick is referring to is a crazy quilt. All quilts used to be sewn by hand, and a crazy quilt was a favorite pattern. Its pieces appear to be sewn in no particular order. The photo shows a handmade crazy quilt. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Brick feel that he has "saved Claude's apples for nothing"?
Chapter 6: Brick
Based on what you have read about Brick, you can conclude that he has always lived in rural, or country, settings. He has never seen a city. The photo shows Brooklyn as it would have looked when Brick arrived there. (This annotation contains an image)
Why doesn't Brick see the police car?
Chapter 7: Mariel
This quote is one of the most famous given in American history. President Roosevelt delivered this during a speech he gave as the newly elected president. At that time, America was facing the worst economic disaster in history. Here is a clip of President Roosevelt delivering his speech. (This annotation contains a video)
Think about how Mrs. Warnicki differs in her interaction with Mariel as compared to the other students. Why does Mrs. Warnicki ask Mariel to help and not the other students?
Do you think that you have to do something big and splashy like this to be considered brave? Or are there smaller things that demonstrate courage? (This annotation contains an image)
What do Mariel and Brick have in common?
Chapter 8: Brick
What has Brick revealed about himself with this comment to Ambrose? (This annotation contains an image)
What plan is Brick afraid of ruining?
Chapter 9: Mariel
How does this highlighted section contribute to the structure of the story?
Before television became commonplace, people listened to the radio for entertainment. There were programs on the radio that were similar to the programs watched on TV. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 10: : Brick
What does "fiddled with" mean here?
Have you ever been homesick? One small reminder is all that it takes to make it even worse!
Chapter 11: Mariel
Consider Mariel's point of view. Why is she hesitant to be friends with Brick? Make sure you use evidence from the text as you write your response.
In 1941, it was fairly common for young girls to only wear dresses. Mariel is being bold by wearing the overalls to hide her legs. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 12: Brick
You may have realized that you are reading historical fiction. Watch this video, and think of all of the proof that you have that All the Way Home is historical fiction. (This annotation contains a video)
What does the description that the girls were "talking lin little tight knots" mean?
The Great Depression hit America in 1929. It would last until the early 1940s. It was a terrible time of struggle for all of the nation. MIllions of Americans lost their homes and hit the road in search of work. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 13: Mariel
In 1941, polio was very frightening to the public. Medical science was not advanced enough to determine its cause. In 1952, Jonas Salk developed a vaccine that would prevent polio from occurring. It was a tremendous breakthrough! The photo is of a newspaper headline celebrating the news. (This annotation contains an image)
Think about Mariel's point of view. Why does she feel that Brick is going to be a friend? Make sure you use evidence from the text in your answer.
Chapter 14: Brick
Until recent years, people had to rely on their map reading skills in order to travel. Today, most people use GPS devices. The photo is of a 1941 map of Brooklyn. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Brick feel "a weight come off his chest"?
Chapter 15: Mariel
Mariel feels as if she has never had a friend before Brick. Yet, she is encouraging him to return to Windy Hill. What does this reveal to you about Mariel's character?
How does Mariel's polio contribute to this part of the story?
Chapter 16: Brick
The Brooklyn Bridge is a landmark in New York CIty. It was finished in 1883 and crosses the East River, connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Brick say that he doesn't "have weeks"?
Chapter 17: Mariel
The machine that Mariel is recalling was an Iron Lung. Polio could make it very difficult to breathe as muscles in the chest became paralyzed. This photo shows a child in an iron lung that has a mirror attached for the child's entertainment. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the framed two-dollars mostly contribute to this scene?
Chapter 18: Mariel
World War I is also known as the Great War. That war was so terrible that people thought there would never be another war. Unfortunately, that dream would end with the start of World War II. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on what you have read in the text, what is Mariel planning?
Chapter 19: Brick
Watch this video on summary. As you watch, think of the most important events in the book so far. Later, you will be asked to answer a question about summary. (This annotation contains a video)
How does the setting of Brooklyn compare to what Brick is accustomed to?
Chapter 20: Mariel
Why does Mariel feel as if she is "running home"?
Why do you think that Loretta pointed out to Mariel that Dumbo did "just fine" in spite of his ears being too large? (This annotation contains an image)
Read the highlighted section of the text. How does these lines mostly contribute to the story?
Chapter 21: Mariel
Orion dominates the winter sky in the northern hemisphere. Its large size and collection of bright stars — such as Betelgeuse at the shoulder, Rigel below the belt, and the three stars in the belt, make it easy to spot! (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Mariel having second thoughts about her journey to Windy Hill?
Chapter 22: Brick
In the 1940s, it was not unusual for children to miss school in order to help out on the farm. In fact, the school calendar that is still used today (summers off) is a carryover from the days when children had to help during the busy summer months on the family farm. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 23: Brick
Why will Claude always remember Mariel waiting for him at the bridge?
A house needs fresh air, and people living in it to feel normal. There is nothing lonelier than an empty home. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 24: Mariel
Based on what you have read in the text, why does Loretta keep repeating what Mariel says?
Many times when people are worried, their "worry" comes out as anger. Do you think that Loretta has good reason to be angry at Mariel?
Do you think that Joseph is being intentionally mean, or is he just not thinking about how Mariel might feel?
What does Joseph mean by "the heart went out of the pickers years ago"?
Chapter 25: Mariel
Betty Boop was a favorite cartoon character in the 1930s and the 1940s. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the nurse telling Mariel "you don't belong here" contribute to the story?
Chapter 27: Brick
From Brick's point of view, why do the rows of trees appear "endless" as the harvest begins?
Harvesting apples requires a certain amount of agility that Mariel may not have because of her polio. The photo shows apple pickers with their ladders and sacks across their chests. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 28: Mariel
Why is it "an effort" for Joseph to speak of the pickers?
Were you hoping that Mariel would find her mother and be reunited with her? How do you feel about this news? When authors write, they create conflicts for their characters to overcome. Mariel has solved the mystery of her missing mother, but now faces another conflict. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 29: Brick
What do Brick and Mariel now have in common?
During the 1930s and 1940s, the economy was very poor. Many men worked picking fruit and vegetables. They would move from place-to-place as the fruit and vegetables would become ready for harvest. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 30: Brick
Why does Claude say that Mariel "needs to find out for herself"?
This is a reference to a very popular song of the 1940s, "Can the Circle Be Unbroken." The song is about the importance of family. You may have even heard it because it is still sung today. Here is a clip of The Carter Family singing the song as it sounded in the 1940s. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter 31: Mariel
How does Mariel realize that the letter is from Ambrose?
Chapter 32: Mariel
Do you notice that Mariel's point of view has changed? Instead of thinking that she can't do anything, she realizes that she doesn't have to do everything. (This annotation contains an image)
Think about the events that occurred when Mariel was at Claude's. Based on what you read in the text, what has changed Mariel's point of view about herself as well as her attitude toward Geraldine and Frankie? Use evidence from the text in your response.
The Brooklyn Dodgers
Red Barber was the announcer for the Dodgers from 1939-1953. Here is a clip of Barber announcing the line-up for the 1941 World Series. (This annotation contains a video)