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- What makes Bud so self-conscious and protective of his name? What is special about his name?
- What was your impression of the Amos family, through Bud's description? What impression did they have on Bud?
- Describe the relationship between Bugs and Bud. Why do you think Bugs was so important to Bud? What made the two alike, and why?
- Talk about the significance of Bud's experiences at Hooverville. What did Bud remember most about that stop, and why? What do you think the Hooverville community resembled to Bud?
- How do you think Bud felt when he missed the train? What were his feelings toward the situation regarding Bugs?
- Describe Bud and Deza Malone's relationship, and its significance. What did he remember most about her, and their romantic night?
- Read "Shenandoah", the song the mouth organ man was playing. What does this song signify? Do you think Bud will ever see her again?
- How does Bud feel towards "Herman E. Calloway" in his first encounter with him? How does he feel towards him after the alarming news? Do his feeelings change?
- Who is Bud's favorite band member, and why do you think that is?
- Bud seems to really like Miss Thomas, as he refers to her as "the most beautiful woman in the world". Who do you think Miss Thomas resembles?
If you liked this book try
- Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine
- Lena by Jacquline Woodson
- Searching for Candlestick Park by Peg Kehret
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
- A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Discuss another band name for Bud. Explain your reasoning. Draw a picture of the Dusky Devastators of The Depression, including Bud.
Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.