Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Reading Program: Rodzina

Book Introduction:
One of a group of orphans, 12-year-old Rodzina boards a train on a cold day in March 1881. She's reluctant to leave Chicago, the only home she can remember, and she knows there's no substitute for the family she has lost. She expects to be adopted and turned into a slave or worse, not to be adopted at all. As the train rattles westward, Rodzina unwittingly begins to develop attachments to her fellow travelers, even the frosty orphan guardian, and to accept the idea that there might be good homes for orphans maybe even for a big, combative Polish girl.

Interest Level: Grades 4-5

Genre: Historical Fiction

1.  What are some examples of prejudice in the story? Why do you think the author chooses to include them?

2. The adults in the story claim that they have the orphans' best interests in mind. When is this true? When is it not true?

3. How is Rodzina's ethnicity important to her? How does she let other people know this?

4. What emotions does Rodzina keep to herself? Why?

5. Rodzina doesn't always follow the rules. Do you think she is justified in doing this? In what instances does this behavior help her to survive?

6. Why do you think people say Lacey is "slow"? Do you agree? What examples support your opinion?

7. Despite their differences, how are Rodzina and Miss Doctor alike? Do you think they will be able to get along in the future?

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