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    Janie's parents move to the suburbs so she can go to a better school, but when she discovers that all the other students are richer than she is, she feels out of place -- until she realizes that there are more important things than money.
    School stories; Family life; Friendship; Determination
    € How does your school compare to the two grade schools Janie goes to?
    € Do clothes tell what a person is like? If so, what? If not, why not?
    € Would you be willing to offer a coat to someone who obviously needs one? How would you go about doing it?
    € Why did the specialty shop owner give Janie's mother back the sweaters? Is it fair to do business in this way? Who actually benefits from this practice?
    € How are the classmates in the two schools portrayed?
    € Find someone who knows how to knit and have the class learn basic knit and purl stitches.
    € Find out how much a winter coat that you want costs. How many hours would someone have to work for that coat if they earned minimum wage; a dollar more; two times more than minimum wage, etc.?
    € What countries do stores such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Dillard's, or JC Penney's buy their clothes from? How much is someone in those countries paid to make these clothes?
    This reading group guide is for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
    Prepared by Julie Tomlianovich
    © William Allen White Children's Book Award
    Please visit for more information about the awards and to see curriculum guides for other master list titles.

More Books From This Author

The Summer of Broken Things
In Over Their Heads
Children of Exile
Children of Refuge

About the Author

Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Backstage Studio

Margaret Peterson Haddix

Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at