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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 605

1. From what you have learned about Jenna in the first chapter, write a description of her, including her physical, emotional, and character qualities.

2. Jenna has an unpleasant encounter with her drunken father, telling her mother and sister, Faith, about it later. How would you advise Jenna to handle...

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1. From what you have learned about Jenna in the first chapter, write a description of her, including her physical, emotional, and character qualities.

2. Jenna has an unpleasant encounter with her drunken father, telling her mother and sister, Faith, about it later. How would you advise Jenna to handle Faith? Is there a way to shield siblings and still tell them the truth about a painful situation?

3. Jenna's best friend is her Grandma Boiler. Suffering from Alzheimer's disease and needing special care, Jenna's grandmother lives in a nursing home facility. On her regular visits to the nursing home, Jenna uses a memory board with her grandmother. What is a memory board? What is its purpose?

4. Jenna is flabbergasted that Mrs. Gladstone would want her, a newly licensed driver, to become her personal driver. She wants to be a good driver. Compile a list of the qualities a good driver should possess. Which of these qualities does Jenna have?

5. How would you feel taking on Jenna's job and responsibility, driving Mrs. Gladstone in her Cadillac from Chicago, Illinois, to Dallas, Texas? Considering that Jenna has only had a license for six months, compare your feelings to Jenna's feelings.

6. Jenna's preparations for the trip sound like those an adult or parent would make for a six-week absence from the home. Why is Jenna doing these parental things instead of her mother?

7. Jenna does some super sleuthing in the Peoria, Illinois, store and other stores along the way. How is her sleuthing a help to Mrs. Gladstone?

8. How does Harry Bender's advice help Jenna meet Elden Gladstone for the first time? Does she handle the situation well? What are some strategies for dealing with irate people?

9. Alice Lovett and Mrs. Gladstone seem like unlikely friends. Compare their personalities. Why are they friends?

10. When Elden comes to Mrs. Gladstone's home in Dallas, why does Mrs. Gladstone keep Jenna with her as she talks to him? Why does she tell Elden that Jenna is her assistant?

11. Jenna knows her father needs help with his alcoholism but does not know how to find it for him. Where does Harry Bender's help come from? Can Jenna give the same help to her father?

12. Experiences in the past can sometimes affect us in the present. This is true for Jenna. Explain why she can write letters easier than talk on the phone.

13. Jenna knows how to do her homework and goes to the library to find out about Ken Woldman. What did her grandmother mean by the statement, "God made libraries so that people didn't have any excuse to be stupid"? Why did she want to find out about Ken Woldman? How will the information help her?

14. In the novel, Jenna reflects on things Mrs. Gladstone has told her about hope, Harry Bender, work, and grace. What does it mean for Jenna?

15. Explain the irony of Harry's death.

16. When Jenna returns to Chicago, she confronts her father, a very difficult thing to do. Although she has many bad memories of her father, there are good memories that keep her life going. What are they? What steps does Jenna take to rid herself of the burden of her father's life? What are the results of her actions? What has she learned about herself?

17. By the end of the story, Jenna's and Madeline Gladstone's relationship has become more than employee and employer. What is that relationship and how did it develop?

18. By novel's end, Jenna's lack of confidence and her attitude about herself change. What made the changes? Are they lasting?

19. Citing examples, how does the element of humor contribute to the effectiveness of the story?

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