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THE ROAD TO MEMPHIS

A Fine New Car & Friendships


VOCABULARY
Condemnation (4)
Surmised (5)
Dissuade (6)
Whetted (8)
Baffled (12)
Admonishment (14)
Obliged (20)
Scoffed (24)
Repercussions (27)
Inclination (32)
Monosyllabic (37)
Accentuated (42)
Disparagingly (49)
Chided (54)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1. Do you think Cassie makes the right decision about not going into the Wallace store?
2. How do Statler Aames and his friends show Harris disrespect in the Wallce store?
3. What do you think Statlers comments to Jeremy about Cassie imply?
4. What is the main difference between Jeremy and his dad, Mr. Simms?
5. What is one thing Stacey, Moe, Clarence, Little Man, and Jeremy have in common?
6. Why does Papa disapprove of Staceys friendship with Jeremy?
7. Why do you think Cassie tells Sissy to let Harris speak for himself?
8. What reason do you think Cassie and her family have for not ironing on Sunday?
9. Why is Cassie exasperated by her mothers persistence to talk about Moe and his
feelings for Cassie?
10. Record all of the geographical information provided in these two chapters. Using a map
of Mississippi, verify how many of these are actual places.
11. Choose a character from the novel. As you read, keep a journal of the characters
thoughts and actions from that characters point of view. Share your journal entries with
classmates periodically.

The Hunt & Down Home Farewell

VOCABULARY

Pondering (64)

Foliaged (72)

Amiably (72)

Loomed (82)

Marred (86)

Despondent (88)

Tumultuous (88)

Rendered (98)

Utmost (100)

Contemptuous (103)

Retort (103)

Compelling (105)

Relented (107)

Chagrined (109)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. How do you think Harris and Cassie feel when Statler Aames and his friends are harassing
them?
2. Why does Harris agree to be the raccoon for the hunt?
3. What do you notice about Statlers behavior after Harris falls from the tree and breaks his
leg?
4. Why do you think Cassie considers the falling out with Jeremy a good thing?
5. Why do you think Little Man is so happy to be the bearer of the news of Sissys
pregnancy?
6. What clues does Cassie have that something is bothering Moe?
7. Why does Little Man feel like the war will become the problem of African Americans as
well as white people?
8. Do you think its likely that Moe could become an officer in the Army? Explain your
answer.
9. Why is Moe so interested in joining the Army?
10. Why do you think Statlers smile makes Cassie nervous?
11. Do you think Cassie made the right decision to tell Clarence the truth about Sissys
pregnancy? Is Sissy justified in her anger toward Cassie? Why or why not?
12. Write about a time when you felt discriminated against. Remember, discrimination is not
only racial, but can be due to age, culture, or even physical appearance.

Incident in Strawberry & Escape from Jackson

VOCABULARY
Desolate (112)
Slackened (123)
Tarpaulin (125)
Conferring (128)
Scowling (141)
Emanating (143)
Segregation (143)
Assumption (144)
Vigorously (148)
Meticulously (154)
Domestics (155)
Speculation (158)
Snidely (162)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1. Why is Stacey so proud as he speaks to Mrs. Jamison about the car?
2. Why do you think Statler starts an argument with Clarence?
3. Why cant Cassie help Clarence?
4. What clues tell the reader Moe is less likely than his friends to submit to the request of
Statler?
5. Why do you think Stacey is against asking Mr. Jamison for help after the incident in
Strawberry?
6. What do you think Stacey is thinking about when he asks Jeremy Simms to take Moe to
Jackson?
7. Why does Solomon share the information about the Gaines case with Cassie?
8. Why do you think Jeremys eyes were empty as he spoke to Stacey after bringing Moe
to Jackson?
9. Why doesnt Stacey think Moe should meet with Mr. Jamison in person?
10. Why do you think Cassie is so intent on accompanying Moe to Memphis?
11. Locate Memphis, Tennessee, and Jackson, Mississippi, on a map. Calculate the mileage
between the two cities. If a person were traveling by car at 60 mph, how long might the
trip take?
12. Use the Internet to learn more about the B.C. Powder Clarence took for his headaches.
What modern medications are similar? Create a chart that lists these medications along
with their potential side effects.
13. What would you do if you witnessed a violent crime committed in self-defense by a
friend? Would you obey the law or protect your friend at all costs? Write a brief
paragraph explaining your choice.
The Road to Memphis
VOCABULARY
Generously (169)
Exasperation (170)
Chastising (171)
Vexed (173)
Defy (177)
Expounded (179)
Cured (188)
Adamant (191)
Pessimism (201)
Apprehensively (202)
Concurred (211)
Revelry (216)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1. Why does the attendant refuse to fill Staceys tire completely, even when its obviously
flat?
2. Why do you think Stacey hesitates to move his car?
3. Why do you think the attendant is so quick to want trouble for Cassie when she tries to
sneak into the bathroom?
4. Why do Orley and his friends question Stacey repeatedly about how he got his car?
5. Why do you think Cassie is so interested to know whether the men followed them into
the woods?
6. What is the underlying reason for Cassies fear?
7. Why does Stacey refuse to talk about having the car repainted after it was keyed at the
gas station?
8. Do you think Cassie appreciates the reasons Moe gives for why he hit the boys?
9. Why does Willie continue to question the reason the white men from the woods helped
Moe get a new belt for the car?
10. Why does Stacey think the white people might let Clarence into their hospital?
11. What is significant about the conversation between Ma Dessie, Stacey, and the old
man?
12. How do Cassie and Willie know Clarence is feeling better?
13. How do you think Stacey and the others feel when they arrive at the train station and
see so many uniformed Army men?
14. Write a brief essay about the ways in which World War II benefitted African Americans
and their freedom.
15. Think about a road trip you have taken. Where did you go? What did you do when you
got there? How long did the tri take? What kinds of snacks did you take in the car?
Where did you stop along the way? Write about the road trip, citing as many details as
you can?

The Memphis Prince & A Final Farewell


VOCABULARY
Brusque (224)
Lynching (226)
Somberly (226)
Interjected (228)
Bemused (232)
Acquiescence (235)
Incredulous (237)
Ensure (255)
Pallor (265)
Bleary (266)
Perplexed (273)
Intervened (274)
Asunder (280)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1. Why do you think Cassie chooses not to tell Stacey and the others the truth about what
happened at the gas station?
2. What has Cassie never considered about African-American involvement in the war?
3. Why does Cassie have such a narrow view of the war?
4. Do you think Solomon is lucky because he settled in Memphis? Explain your answer.
5. Why is Cassie so concerned about Moes feelings after he sees her and Solomon
together?
6. Why does Mag speak to Cassie about Solomon?
7. Why do you think Ma Dessie repeatshe aint got no war to fight now. He got no war
to fight following Clarences death?
8. Of what has Harris been accused? How does Sissy protect her brother?
9. Why do you think Mr. Simms reacts so violently toward Jeremy when he tells about
Moes escape?
10. Why do you think Jeremy chooses to tell the truth even though he must know how his
father will react?
11. What evidence does the reader have that Stacey has forgiven Jeremy for the night on
the Rosa Lee?
12. Why does Cassie think Jeremy has always seemed like a lonely figure.
13. Use the Internet to research the events of December 7, 1941. What makes this date so
significant in American history?
14. Write about a time that you felt helpless or scared. What happened? Did you attempt to
improve the situation? If so, how?

POST-READING DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:


1. Reflecting on the story, do you think The Road to Memphis is the best title for this
novel? Can you think of a better title?
2. Have you ever told a lie to keep another person out of trouble? Did the lie cause you
more trouble? Explain.
3. Think about a time when you had to make a difficult decision. How did you feel after
making the decision? Looking back, how do you feel now?
4. How can having a goal help you become successful?
5. Have you ever done something without thinking and suffered the consequences of your
actions?
6. Relate the story and tell about a better choice you could have made.
7. Do you believe African Americans today receive equal treatment? Explain your answer.
8. Cassie Logan speaks her mind without considering the consequences. Based on events
in the story, do you think this a positive character trait or a character flaw? Explain your
answer.
9. Analyze the interaction between whites and African Americans in this novel. How is this
different today?
10. Think back to the main characters in the book: Cassie, Stacey, Moe, and Jeremy. What, if
anything, do these four characters have in common? Try to list at least three traits.
11. Complete the Sociogram on page 11.
12. Reread the chapters, Incident in Strawberry and Escape from Jackson, pp. 112-165.
Create a list of the conflicts that occur and their resolutions in following chapters. Be
sure to list any conflicts that were not resolved.
13. Complete the Story Map on page 12.
14. Choose a chapter from the beginning, middle, and end of The Road to Memphis. Reread
each chapter and complete a character analysis of Cassie. Then consider this question:
Do you think Cassie would have considered not finishing school and never becoming a
lawyer at this point in the book?