Big Butt most likely derives his nickname from his eating habits. Before the group leaves for the toy store, he is "already wasting his peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich like the pig he is.’’ His response to the toys also reflects this rapaciousness. He wants things without knowing what they are.
See Big Butt
Flyboy demonstrates the crafty sophistication of a ghetto child. He knows how to extract pity and financial assistance from whites. In his clear-eyed understanding of how to play the monetary game, he appears older than he really is.
Junebug is relatively quiet at the store. He sees the expensive sailboat, which launches the children on the success and failure of the fifty-cent sailboats they sail in the parks.
Mercedes is unlike the other children because she wants to be like the rich, white Americans. She has her own desk at home for doing her homework. She is at home in F. A. O. Schwarz and wants to come back with her birthday money to buy herself a toy. Mercedes, alone of the children, is unperturbed by the price tags on the toys or what they represent about America.
Miss Moore is a college-educated woman who has come to live in a poor, African-American neighborhood of New York. She takes upon herself the responsibility to teach the neighborhood children about the larger community and the problems that...
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