7. Beatrice is leaving in the morning for New Mexico, but she worries about Josie. Hollis whispers, "I'll take care of her" (p. 58). Why do you think Hollis is willing to reverse their roles, with her taking care of Josie?
Josie accepted Hollis, respected her, and was there when she needed her so now Hollis is willing to reverse the roles. Also she knows what happens when a person gets stuck in the system and wants to avoid that for Josie.
8. Is it a good or a bad thing that Steven teaches Hollis how to drive the truck (6th picture)?
Although not the safest thing for someone who barely knows how to drive to teach someone else how to drive, I do think it was a great way to help Hollis feel accepted and to know that she was learning something useful.
9. The mustard woman said, "I think, Mrs. Cahill, that we need to talk about another place for Hollis" (p. 66). The mustard woman is actually a nice person, telling Hollis, "They're not so far from here. You and Mrs. Cahill will be able to visit sometimes, Hollis" (p. 67). Still, Hollis doesn't want the social agency to take her from Josie. When the mustard woman calls to say she'll pick up Hollis on Saturday to go visit the new mother, Hollis has a puzzle:
I couldn't leave Josie.I couldn't stay.It was a puzzle. (p. 74).So she plans a winter escape ... and then wonders:
How could I do it?How could I not? (p. 75)What does Hollis do?
She realizes that she has to move quickly and does.
10.What did you think of Hollis's reasoning, with Steven saying in her mind, "Why not?" Have you ever made decisions partly based on what you think another person would say to you? Tell us about it.
I liked the confidence Steven in Hollis' mind gave her. I can't think of a time of making decisions based on what someone else would say to me.
11. Was is right or wrong for Hollis to break into a house owned by someone else? And why does she keep asking the Old Man, "Is it still mine?" What's beneath her thinking about being at Branches?
Aha! Situational ethics. It is not right to break into someone else's house. However, given the circumstances and available options, Hollis made a good choice. She even planned to repay Izzy for the things they ate. The Branches was the only place she'd ever felt at home so it is appropriate to go "home" with Josie.
12. After a few days with Josie, Hollis realized that she had never been needed before ... or wanted. What is the difference between being needed and being wanted? How do both contribute to belonging? How do you know that Hollis really wants to belong to the Regan family? Do you think Hollis’s attitude toward school is a result of her feeling that she does not belong?
Being needed is when someone needs you for something; being wanted is being accepted for who you are. If you are needed, you belong because you can help others; if you are wanted, you belong because at least someone feels that you are worthy. Hollis thinks constantly of the Regan family and the summer with them at Branches was the happinest time of her life--she wanted to holler from the top of the mountain that she was finally a part of a family.
I think that Hollis's attitude toward school is a combination that she does not belong as she does not fit in with the other students and because she is much more mature than the others in school.