What They Found: Love on 145th Street
WALTER DEAN MYERS returns to the world of 145th Street: Short Stories to show how love can be found, and thrive, in the most unlikely places. Curtis finds love in Iraq as he struggles to stay alive in a war he doesn't want to fight, and Letha discovers her own beauty in the love of her child. There is the "good daughter" who realizes that there's only one way to help her brother and her family. Other stories center on the daily drama of the Curl-E-Que beauty shop, or capture the slapstick side of passion.
The curriculet is being added to your library
Chapter 1 - the fashion show, grand opening, and bar-b-que memorial service
The author of this novel, Walter Dean Myers, has written more than 100 books in his lifetime. He has won multiple awards, such as two Newberry Honor awards and six Coretta Scott King awards. He recently passed away in July of 2014. (This annotation contains a link)
Read between the lines. Which is the best explanation for what's happening to the father of this family?
Can you see the funny simile here? Sometimes similes and metaphors can be confused. Watch this video for hints about how to tell these two literary devices apart. (This annotation contains a video)
When Mama describes Daddy by calling him foxy, she is really using
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?
Because people are unsure how to dress for the show, they are
Nina Simone was a famous singer from the '60s whose music is associated with jazz. If you've never heard her music, here is one of her songs. (This annotation contains a video)
In this story, the author explores the theme of the different types of love. What type of love does Curtis feel as he thanks the audience?
Chapter 2 - what would jesus do?
In this novel the author explores the various types of love. What type of love will he explore in this chapter?
Why might Mama Evans ask "but then you were going to have your braids dyed blond"?
As Mama Evans tries to figure out what caused Cheryl and Evelyn to fall out, Mama is sharing her own views of what is right.
How do Mama Evans's views on relationships differ from Cheryl's?
Do you agree that Cheryl had no choice?
What type of love does Cheryl say motivated her actions?
Even though Cheryl says she was only trying to help her friend Evelyn, Cheryl doesn't want Evelyn to know what she'd done.
What is Mama really saying about Cheryl here?
Chapter 3 - mama
Many of the characters in the story do not directly state information. Instead, the author wants you to infer information. See this short video for more details about how to infer from a text. What does the highlighted text really mean? (This annotation contains a video)
What can you infer about the family, based on the fact that they don't have eggs?
Can you tell where Miss Cummings is going next? You'll have to infer it, based on Mikey's sister thoughts about the dot she placed on the calendar.
What type of love does Miss Cummings show when she arrives late to school?
If they are worried about her T-cells, Mama might have AIDS.
Why might Mikey want to watch other kids play, rather than go directly home?
The card must be an EBT (or Electronic Benefit Transfer) card that replaced food stamps. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 4 - the life you need to have
Based on how Gaylee answers Elena, what is the setting of this story?
Elena is implying that Gaylee is just as good as Malcolm.
What kind of love is Gaylee demonstrating when she concentrates on getting into the best college she can, rather than worrying about Malcolm?
Since Gaylee is working on bettering herself, she might win the boy anyway.
Why might Gaylee not want a "Romeo and Juliet kind of a thing" with Malcolm?
Many times, slang can be looked at as a metaphor. Elena uses the image of track shoes to imply that Malcolm would be worth going fast to keep.
What do Gaylee's thoughts about Malcolm say about her personality?
Gaylee imagines a demolished building. The building is a symbol for something. The attached video will help you to answer what the building might symbolize. (This annotation contains a video)
What does the building most likely symbolize?
Do you believe Malcolm? Should Gaylee?
Summarize Gaylee's decision about Malcolm in your own words.
Gaylee's acceptance of the future loss of the dog tells us that she has the strength to give up Malcolm, too.
Chapter 5 - burn
Which word best describes how the narrator feels about herself?
Even in a short story collection, characters can be developed in one of two ways. In direct characterization, the author tells you what to think about a character. The highlighted paragraph is an example of direct characterization.
Why would the narrator feel panic when she sees Burn?
The second type of characterization is indirect characterization, where the author shows us what a character is like based on his actions, his words, and what others say about him. What do Burn's actions say about him?
When he praises Domingo, what does this indirectly reveal about Burn?
Although Carol wishes she hadn't commented about it being easier for Burn to talk to children, it appears she is correct. Why might it be easier for Burn to talk to children?
What type of characterization does the author use in the highlighted text?
Personification is the giving of human characteristics to objects. The author uses personification here to describe the rock and it reveals that Carol is uncertain how to feel about Burn.
Describe in your own words what Carol's speech reveals about her character.
Chapter 6 - some men are just funny that way
All of these events represent a change. Which one will help develop the theme of love?
Mama Evans's statement that Keisha must have felt disappointed is an example of which type of characterization?
This sentence reveals that Keisha might feel frustrated when playing with girls who are not serious about playing basketball.
How and why Keisha plays basketball develops love in a new way. What type of love does Keisha feel for basketball
Even if you don't know what this slang means, you can use context clues to determine it is an insult. Watch the video below, and be prepared to apply context clues in the pages that follow. (This annotation contains a video)
Many of the events in this chapter might cause Michael to be angry with Keisha. Which of the following is NOT such an event?
Chapter 7 - jump at the sun
As you read this story about a new kind of love, decide how the narrator's decision about Donald might show her love for her brother.
What can you infer that Donald's parents' reaction says about their feelings?
If Donald had shown up in court, might the judge have reacted differently?
When Brenda describes her brother's actions as tearing "at the fabric of our family" and making it bleed, which literary device is the author employing?
Adding the sense of smell to this story helps the reader to imagine the setting. This type of literary device is sometimes called imagery or sensory details.
Brenda's reaction tells that that she is feeling ____________________ towards Donald's behaviors.
The attitude of the hospital workers reflects Brenda's numb feeling. When a reader can detect the author's feelings towards an idea, this feeling is described as tone.
What is Brenda's motivation for making Donald dinner?
Just when Brenda wants to show Donald all is forgiven, he slides back into old patterns. What will she do next?
How could calling the police be seen as an act of love?
Chapter 8 - law and order
This story is an excellent example of situational irony, which can be defined as when what occurs is the opposite of what is expected.
Use context clues and decide what is a Lucy?
This story, using both direct and indirect characterization, serves to show how tough Angie is.
What does John's reaction to the gang's acceptance of Angie reveal about him?
John may not know gangs, but he does know illegal activity. The phrase "aiding and abetting" means that someone who knows about or helps a crime can be prosecuted, too.
Based on the conversation Rudy has with John and Gates, what does protection probably mean?
At this point, we expect that "the Arab" is involved because he caught Rudy breaking the law, and that Rudy is angry for being caught.
Why is Rudy's story about the police an example of situational irony?
Chapter 9 - the man thing
"The Man Thing" explores what it is to be truly an adult. This video clip explains the difference between static and dynamic characters. As you read the story, decide if the narrator's beliefs about manhood make him dynamic or static. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following best describes how the narrator first views manhood?
Will the narrator be a better dad to Eddie than his father was to him?
What does the narrator, Eddie, say is his reason for wanting the gun?
Every story has conflict. This story has an internal conflict, because Eddie is torn between two decisions: use the gun or walk away. Which will he decide?
When Eddie thinks about fading away into nothing, who might he be comparing himself to?
Will Eddie go forward with this robbery? Does this make him an adult?
Why does Eddie feel he is "a fake man. One of them stick figures that little kids drew"?
The reason Eddie believes he is not a good father is that he has no money to give. Do you think Little Eddie feels this man is a bad father?
As Eddie thinks about the women in his life, he realizes that he and they are the same. This realization makes him
Chapter 10 - society for the preservation of sorry-butt negroes
Just as the last story looks at what it is to be an adult man, so this story looks at what it is to be an adult woman.
How is Harrison different from Eddie in the last story?
As you read this chapter, decide if you think Abeni is dynamic or static.
Because Abeni breaks up with Harrison, which type of character best describes her?
"Game" is slang in the highlighted text. Use your context clues to decide what it means.
What do you think Maxine means when she says Harrison is trying to "game" Abeni?
Why is Harrison acting this way, and why is someone filming their break up?
How does the audience react as Abeni stands up for herself?
Abeni demonstrates not only that she is a dynamic character because she has changed, but also that she has self respect, a type of love.
Chapter 11 - madonna
Why will the new coffee place put the milk behind the counter?
Should Leetha let Billy come up to her place?
What is the difference between what Leetha wanted and what her mother brought?
Saying that his gaze made her feel naked shows just how uncomfortable Leetha feels.
Why might Leetha suddenly wish she had taken more care of her appearance?
Although Leetha feels that Billy has captured Amiri's image perfectly, she cannot accept that she, too, is beautifull.
Which of the following themes is developed in this story?
Chapter 12 - the real deal
This story consists of a flashback, where the narrator lets you know just what John did to cause trouble between Mavis and Calvin.
Based on how John Carroll and Calvin describe "hard," which of the following is the best definition of the word?
Is John really going to help Calvin get a gun?
What do Calvin's questions and John's responses reveal about their characters?
John is obviously friendly with Bubba, as is Bubba with John. Why?
Why is Bubba in prison?
Bubba implies here that Calvin will soon be in prison. What might Chiba want an eighteen year old boy for?
How did John convince Calvin not to get a gun?
Chapter 13 - marisol and skeeter
When we are first introduced to Marisol, she seems tough and unfriendly. Will she be a static character, unfriendly throughout, or will she change?
Why does Skeeter give Marisol money?
Since Marisol can see how she and Skeeter are the same, will they make it as a couple?
What is Marisol's internal conflict?
Will Marisol's hope be enough to help them be successful?
Infer how the community feels about Marisol and Skeeter's relationship, based on how they react to the idea of a "rent party."
Using context clues, it is clear that "smoking" is supposed to mean exciting.
How do Marisol's thoughts about the store worker support the argument that she is a dynamic character?
Marisol has big dreams. Will Skeeter be able to fulfill them?
Unlike the beginning of the story, when Marisol dreams of the future, she must feel
Finally Skeeter feels the same hope as Marisol. He, too, has changed.
Chapter 14 - poets and plumbers
What does Abeni mean when she asks about closing the shop early?
If you've never heard of the Harlem Renaissance, it was a time of cultural renewal for African Americans that began in the 1920s. Watch this brief video clip to see Langston Hughes, one of the poets from this movement, read his poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." (This annotation contains a video)
When Noee describes herself, she says that she doesn't know how to flirt. Which of the following statements best supports her claim about herself?
Burn is a character from another chapter by the same name. If Noee is thinking about Burn and Kyle together, maybe she is attracted to both men.
What type of characterization is revealed when Kyle asks if he can walk with Noee?
Even though this story is told in first person, from Noee's point of view, we can still see indirect characterization here as the author shows Noee's anxiety by having her make a mistake.
What do Noee's thoughts about the candles reveal about her?
Again, the author does not need to tell us that Noee is anxious. He shows us through indirect characterization that she is nervous.
What type of characterization does the author use when describing how Noee and Kyle felt as she fixes the sink? Use at least one piece of textual evidence to support your response.
Because this is written from Noee's perspective, we must decide for ourselves if she is right about Kyle.
Chapter 15 - combat zone
What do we learn in the exposition of "Combat Zone"?
Curtis must be in Afghanistan after 2001, during America's "War on Terror." See this map for some context of the locations mentioned in the story. (This annotation contains an image)
When Marian says she is building bridges, of what material are the bridges constructed?
Sunnis and Shiites are two branches of Islamic faith prevalent in Iraq.
Based on the way Curtis describes Marian, how does he feel about her?
A "green zone" is an international area. It would therefore be safer than other regions.
By revealing the things that Curtis knows in this paragraph, the author shows that Curtis is
Listen to the blues song "I Needs to Be Be'd With" and be prepared to compare Curtis to the singer. (This annotation contains a video)
What connections can you make between the Quincy Jones song and what Curtis is experiencing?
How does Marian demonstrate she is a dynamic character?
In other words, the enemy looks like innocent people.
Before his death, Moffett knew about farming, and he shared his expertise with Curtis. Based on what Curtis remembers, which of the following statements is most likely true?
Who will die?
What effect does the darkness in this paragraph have on the action?
Marian's actions show just how grateful she is to Curtis.