You could also write about the themes of the book. One
theme is the belief that something good can be found even in an
event that's wrong, senseless, or sad. Christy's search for the
meaning of life renews her faith in God, giving her the strength
she needs to be able to rise to the challenges of the future.
Another theme is the characters' search for their own identity.
This teaches them to respect the values and beliefs of people who
are different from themselves. Christy must learn not to stereotype
the people of the Smoky Mountains. A third theme is the need for
people to learn to accept and understand death as a part of life.
Christy is devastated when Fairlight Spencer dies, and she turns to
Alice Henderson, a Quaker missionary.
You could also write about the social issues in the book. The
people who live there are poor and illiterate. The conditions under
which they live are primitive and challenging, and some of them
hate outsiders so much, they threaten violence against Christy.
They are deprived in every way a culture can be, socially,
economically, and educationally. The people are suspicious of
modern medicine and believe in superstitious folk lore.
You don't say whether you have a specific topic for your essay,
but if you do, don't hesitate to ask for help. Good luck!