What was Bud's trick to falling asleep?

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One thing that Bud does before going to sleep every night is to check his belongings to make sure that everything is still there. He does this repeatedly throughout the book, once saying:

I checked out the other things in my suitcase and they seemed OK. I felt a lot...

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One thing that Bud does before going to sleep every night is to check his belongings to make sure that everything is still there. He does this repeatedly throughout the book, once saying:

I checked out the other things in my suitcase and they seemed OK. I felt a lot better.

Early in the book, he says:

The way there’re more and more kids coming into the Home every day, I had to make sure no one had run off with any of my things.

This becomes such a part of his bedtime routine that he does it even when he thinks he doesn’t need to:

I opened my suitcase to get my blanket. Even though I trusted the woman who’d guarded it for me I checked to make sure everything was OK.

After checking his belongings, he looks at a picture of his mother, “the only picture of Momma in the world.” Next he looks at rocks and flyers, one which has a picture his mother hadn’t liked, which Bud thinks is his father. He says:

The paper was starting to wear out from me looking at it too much but I liked checking to see if there was anything I hadn’t noticed before.

Finally, he would recall the times his mother would read to him:

I pulled my blanket tight up over my head and breathed in the smell real deep. After doing this three times the smell of the shack and Hooverville were gone and only the smell of the blanket was in my nose. And that smell always reminded me of Momma and how she used to read to me every night.

He does this again later, at Herman E. Calloway’s house:

I took in a deep, deep breath and it felt like I was sleeping with my own blanket wrapped around my head. I took in a couple more deep breaths and I could hear Momma starting to read another story to me.

At the end of the book, Bud unpacks everything; the blanket, the picture, the flyers, the rocks. He puts the flyers and the rocks in Herman E. Calloway’s room, put up the picture of his mother, and lay the blanket on his bed.

I took my old blanket out and remade my bed with it. I wasn’t going to need to carry it around with me anymore.

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In Chapter 8, Bud and Bugs spend the night at a Hooverville in hopes of catching the morning train to Chicago. When Bud lies down, he does a little trick that helps him fall asleep. Bud takes his blanket out of his suitcase and pulls it all the way over his head. Then Bud takes a deep breath with his head buried underneath his blanket. He breathes deeply and smells three more times until the smells of his surrounding environment are gone, and all he can smell is his blanket. Bud mentions that the smell of his blanket reminds him of how his mother used to read to him before bedtime. As he closes his eyes, he imagines that his mother is reading him bedtime stories until he starts to dream, and gradually falls asleep.

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