- Why does Turtle name the wisteria vines “bean trees”?
- What astonishes Taylor at the Lee Sing Market?
- In Mattie’s living room, what characterizes the children’s drawings and why?
- What are the two meanings of “esperanza” in Spanish?
- How does Taylor try to console Esperanza or to encourage her to go on?
- What advice does Taylor have for Lou Ann at the end of the chapter?
Idioms, Slang, and Difficult Words
Cultural and Historical Allusions
- “La Bamba”
- beef shingles
- Elvis Presley’s movies
- evil eye
- Tom Selleck
- mosaic tile
- Guatemela death squads
- convenience store
Medical, Natural, and Geographic Allusions
- bird sounds
- wisteria vines
- wisteria pods
- San Diego
- “The Big One,” a severe earthquake in California
- white cane
- “Even a spotted pig looks black at night. This is another thing Mama used to tell me quite often. It means that things always look different, and usually better, in the morning.” (141)
- “I stood for a minute staring, trying to reorganize things in my mind the way you would a roomful of furniture.” (145)
- “I noticed that practically all the kid’s drawings had guns in them somewhere, and huge bullets suspended in the air, hanging on the dotted lines that flowed like waterfalls out of the gun barrels. There were many men in turtle-shaped army helmets. One picture showed a helicopter streaming blood.” (146)