1.  How would you explain Lizzie’s relationship with Mookie and Shu Shu?  Is it similar to the relationship you have with your cousins, siblings, or friends? How is your relationship different?  What does Lizzie mean in chapter 3 when she says, “Even though I was the youngest…” RL4.1, RL5.3, RL 5.6


2.  Grandmommy pumps cod liver oil into Lizzie at the beginning of the story because as Lizzie states, “A cold was trying to catch me.”  Describe this event and at least two others to explain how Grandmommy takes care of Lizzie and the other neighborhood children. RL 4.3, RL5.3


3.  Leaving Newark, New Jersey to go to South Philadelphia is not something that Lizzie is sure she wants to do. Why is she so uncertain about going to meet her father’s relatives?  What are some of the things she believes will be missed when she leaves?  Have you ever been faced with a similar situation?  If so, write about it. RL4.1, RL5.1, RL5.6, W4.3, W5.3


4.  At different times in the story, Lizzie daydreams and acts in ways that make her the center of attention.  What do these actions reveal about her character and how she deals with situations?                              RL 4.1, RL4.3, RL5.1, RL 5.2


5.  How does Lizzie feel about her Daddy? Find three instances in the book that explain her feelings.

RL 4.1, RL 5.1

6.  Although Lizzie doesn’t live with her Mommy, do they have a close relationship? Find three instances in the book to explain their relationship. RL 4.1, RL 5.1


7.  The themes of perseverance and love run throughout the book.    Write about two examples of perseverance and two examples of love to express the author’s message.  RL4.2, RL 5.2


8.  Rumors are often harmful and can have devastating results.  Explain how the rumors Lizzie and her friends overhear about trouble brewing in the neighborhood affect her? RL 4.1, RL 5.6

9.  What is the meaning of the word “churned” on page 18?  Select one of the words below to determine the best meaning of how “churned” is used in the sentence. Be prepared to explain your choice.

   A. move

   B. spin

   C. nervous

   D. mixed

Context clues often help you determine the meaning of unknown words.  Create a personal word bank of the unfamiliar words and their meanings.  Dictionaries, thesauruses, and digital resources will help you understand words and develop an interest in language. RL 4.4, RL 5.4, L 4.4, L 5.4



10.  What are some of the messages of racial inequality from the 1960s revealed in the story?  How did Daddy respond to some of the messages on the trip to Philadelphia? RI 4.1, RL 5.6, RL 6.1

11.  When Lizzie gets to South Philadelphia, she meets her Daddy’s relatives.  She finds out there are some similarities between her relatives in Newark and Philadelphia.  How does she compare Granddaddy and Papa Vick?  How does she compare Grandmommy and Mama Vick? RL 4.1, RL 5.3


12.  While Lizzie and Cousin JoJo play in Nana Vick’s back yard, Lizzie trips and falls. How does Cousin JoJo figure out a secret Lizzie has been keeping?  What is Cousin JoJo’s advice to Lizzie? Does Lizzie follow Cousin JoJo’s advice? RL 4.1, RL 4.3, RL 5.1, RL 5.2





1.  Aunt Pricilla took Lizzie and Cousin JoJo to an amusement park.  Allow students to pick a favorite place to visit.  It can be a place that they would like to visit in the future. Complete the following activities.  Gather information from a travel agency, the library and/or the internet about the best way to travel to the destination. 

2.  Create a travel brochure using pictures and/or original illustrations to convince others to visit the destination. W4.7, W5.7, CCRW.7, CCRW.9, SL4.5, SL5.5

3.  Provide magazine/newspaper articles or reliable internet sources about civil rights, voting rights, and/or human rights issues in America today.  Guide students in discussions about the similarities and differences between today’s issues and the issues from the 1960’s that are described in the book.  Put students in groups to conduct further research about one of the issues.   Students will create and share a multimedia presentation about the research. RI 4.3, SL

4.1, W4.7, W5.7, CCRA.R7


4.  Ask students to interview someone who may be old enough to remember the Civil Rights issues in the United States during the 1960s.  Have readers take notes to describe the issues as seen through the eyes of the individual and be prepared to share their notes. SL4.4, SL 4.4


5.  In the story, Cousin Shu Shu wrote a letter to Lizzie to explain her perspective of the events that led up to the riots and how the riots began. Have students compare Shu Shu’s letter to actual historical events.  Students will use the BOOK NOTES in the back of the book as a guide as they research the actual events.  RI5.6, RI 5.9, W5.2

6.  Examining a timeline is one way to learn about a certain period in history.  Have readers research the time period starting at 1960 and ending in 1970.  Students will select a topic such as politics, music, fashion, important news events, or a topic of their choice to create a digital or pictorial timeline of this period in history.  Readers may use original drawings. RI 4.7, RI 5.5, SL 4.5, SL 5.5

7. Music from the 1960's and 1970's was lively, thought provoking and soulful.  Have fun listening to the playlist. 

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