One School, One Read

  • Begin: page 135– “Folding her skinny arms…”

  • End: page 147 – “…in the sane direction.”


Information for this Section:

  • Hospitals had to deal with a wide variety of issues after the storm. Outbreaks of West Nile, mold, and endotoxin levels rising were the biggest concerns. With the flooding came all new types of bacteria from the open water, leaving New Orleans with little to defend itself. The medical centers were either destroyed or in utter disarray and power was lost for quite a while. The concern that people were going to get sick because of contaminated food or water also weighed heavily on people's minds. In addition, the flood waters offered an optimal breeding ground for mosquitoes and the water covered everything making nothing truly safe.
  • Algiers (“al-jeers”) is one of the oldest neighborhoods in New Orleans and the only Orleans Parish community located on the West Bank of the Mississippi River. Algiers is also known as the 15th Ward, one of the 17 Wards of New Orleans.


Discussions Questions

  1. Discuss the luncheon with your students- what did they see? What did they like/dislike?
  2. On page 140, Malvina yells that Toomey has a gun. Why does she lie? What would you have done?
  3. On page 145, worried about Mr. Tru, Zane asks the question “Can you die of a bad foot?” What do you think?
  4. On pages 145-146 no one tries to help Zane and Malvina. Why is that? Have you ever felt helpless in a difficult situation? 




  • A bag of garbage smells for a very simple reason. It contains decaying materials such as meat or vegetables or diapers. As meat decays, it attracts bacteria that feast on the amino acids in the meat's proteins. Vegetables also can rot and slowly liquefy as microbes attack the vegetables' cell structure and the fermenting liquids warm up the garbage bag. As more gasses and liquids are produced, the bag may rupture. It may sound gross, but it is just garbage at work. Check out this information on the smell of garbage.
  • Watch this short video, an aerial showcase of the damage following the storm and the levee breach. Eric Paulsen narrates the video from a helicopter tour of New Orleans, showing the extensive flood damage. 
  • Look at this map of the New Orleans area. How would you get from New Orleans to Algiers?