One School, One Read

  • Begin: page 49– “Bandy is panting…”

  • End: page 63 – “...sniffing back her tears. "Good dog."


Information for this Section:

Dixieland music or New Orleans jazz, sometimes referred to as hot jazz or early jazz, is a style of jazz music which developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century, and was spread to Chicago and New York City by New Orleans bands in the 1910s. Well-known jazz standard songs from the Dixieland era, such as "Basin Street Blues" and "When the Saints Go Marching In", are known even to non-jazz fans. With its beginnings in riverboat jazz, Dixieland progressed to Chicago-style jazz or hot jazz as developed by Louis Armstrong and others. The latter was also a transition and combination of 2-beat to 4-beat, introducing swing in its earliest form.

Throughout this story characters from New Orleans speak with an accent and as in most places people use slang when speaking. On page 54 Malvina says she “Aint no dawlin’ either!” Explore the local slang in the activity below.

Discussions Questions

    1. Discuss these statements and how they convey the feeling of heat then see the dehydration activity below? “Sun glinting off the water feels like a hot nail pressing into my forehead.”
      “Air feels like molten syrup. Syrup so hot and heavy I can’t move”.
      “Tongue is so dry it feels as crispy as a slice of fried bacon.”

    2. On page 58 Malvina refers to Trudell as family, and he says: “Not blood, but family just the same.” What is the definition of family?

    3. What does Trudell mean on page 53 when he says that Malvina is "a little wasp that keeps on stinging" or on page 54 "The child got ears like a bat"?

    4. On page 58 what does this exchange mean between Zane and Trudell---

       “Dupree? That a local name, but you aint.”
      “No sir, I’m not from around here”
      "Makes no difference,” he says with a shrug. “You one of us now.” 



  • A fantastic background of New Orleans culture and Jazz in spoken words and music. Mention of Hurricane Katrina and spirit of the people of New Orleans. Performed by Wynton Marsalis.


       Listen to some other pieces of Jazz Music:

  • Dehydration can be a serious health risk. Discuss the sttaements below and how they convey the feeling of heat. Look at the symptoms of dehydration provided in the following links, and give a diagnosis to Zane (and Bandy).
  • On page 62, Zane, Zane, Malvina and Mr. Tru see a writhing mass of cockroaches. Read some more facts about The three see a writhing mass of cockroaches. Read some more facts about cockroaches.
  • Try this slang activity. Print the worksheet and ask students if they can guess the meanings of some of the slang words. Then ask students if they know of any slang terms used in New England that someone coming to visit us from New Orleans would be confused about. For instance in Boston soda is referred to as "tonic."