General themes: Adapting, Self-discovery
• What do you think of Lucy’s mother’s decision to move the family to California? Do you agree or disagree with Lucy’s reaction? Why?
• How does the author portray the rough-and-tumble atmosphere of 1880s California? Why do you think she included Butte’s death?
• What do Lucy’s letters tell you about her? Why do you think she sometimes expresses different feelings in her letters from those in her narrative?
• How does Lucy react to instances of prejudice and injustice?
• How do the adults in the story sometimes act like children? How do the children in the story sometimes take on adult roles?
• Compare and contrast Lucy’s feelings about California at the beginning of the story and at the end. Why do her feelings change?