1. Examine the front cover of Hope In The Holler. What captures your attention? What are you curious about?
a. Can you predict what this book might be about?
b. What from the illustration and title of the book supports your prediction?
2. Read the text on the back cover. What do you learn about the book from this summary? What words or phrases stand out to you?
3. Study the design elements of the entire book cover: the colors, text, cover illustration, and word choice. What adjectives would you use to describe it?
4. Write one paragraph describing your thoughts about the book, and include one question you have that you hope to learn the answer to when you read.
1. The novel opens with Wavie’s mother, Ronelda, being “face to face with death’s door.” In your own words, explain what it means to be face to face with death’s door?
2. Wavie’s mom makes up a game to help pass the time in the hospital. Think about times in your life when you played games (without technology) to pass the time. What kind of games did you play?
3. What details does the author include that inform the reader about Wavie’s life in Ando with her mom?
4. Based on the author’s description of Samantha Rose, make a prediction about whether she will be a hero or a villain in the story? What information in the story supports your prediction?
5. Using the authors descriptions: a. Draw a picture of the car that arrives at the cemetery. b. Draw a picture of Samantha Rose. c. Do you think that the author intended for the car and Samantha Rose to be similar? d. Write a paragraph that compares Samantha Rose to the car. e. What questions do you have about Samantha Rose?
6. Why do you think Wavie’s mother didn’t tell her about her Aunt Samantha Rose?
7. How does Wavie feel about Samantha Rose? How do you know? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
8. Samantha Rose calls Wavie’s neighbors scavengers. a. Define scavenger. b. How are Samantha Rose’s actions like a scavenger? Be sure to include evidence from the text to support your answer.
9. The author begins Wavie’s story at a point of conflict and great change in her life. What are the changes in Wavie’s life?
10. Hope In The Holler is set in Kentucky in a region commonly known as The Appalachian Mountains. Conduct a brief Internet search for photographs and information about Kentucky and the Appalachians. List at least three adjectives to describe the novel’s setting. Share your list with the class.
11. What does Hoyt mean when he says, “Welcome to the Hillbilly Horror Show”? What evidence from the text supports his description?
12. When Wavie arrives at her new home and sees the conditions there, she is at what could be the bleakest moment in her life. a. What new character arrives at this point in the story? b. Why do you think the author chose this point in the story to introduce this character?
13. Gilbert warns Wavie about Samantha Rose. Why do you think Samantha Rose brought Wavie to live with her?
14. Despite the conditions inside the house, where is the one place that Wavie “wouldn’t have traded for a golden feather bed.”?
1. What are conditions like inside Samantha Rose’s house? Do you think that the conditions inside the house are because Samantha Rose is poor or is there another reason? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
2. Gilbert says that Frank and Beans are “backwards” and Angel Davis eats pets. Do you think he knows these things to be true or is he repeating rumors?
3. What short cut do Wavie and Gilbert take on the way to Angel Davis’ house?
4. Gilbert says, “…Everybody in the Holler is connected in some way, even if it ain’t blood.” Explain in your own words what he might mean by this.
5. How does Gilbert say that Alma Savage died? What does he say happened to her husband?
6. Whose grave is the only one that looks well cared for?
7. Wavie grins when Gilbert teases her about being afraid and running fast. When she realized that she was grinning, she stops. a. Why does Waive think that she shouldn’t smile? b. Do you think Wavie’s mom would want her to smile?
8. When Wavie lays in bed thinking about her mom, Wavie feels “the not of her was overwhelming.” In your own words, explain what she means?
9. Hoyt tells Wavie why Samantha Rose brought her to live with them. a. According to Hoyt, why does Samantha Rose want to be Wavie’s guardian? b. Hoyt calls Wavie a “cash cow”, what do you think it means to be a cash cow? c. Imagine you are Wavie, how would Hoyt’s revelation make you feel.
10. Part of Wavie’s adjustment to her new life is going to a new school. Write about a time that you were the new student in school or met a new student in your school.
11. Camille says that no one should be ashamed to be on the Share-A-Lot food program because it’s not their fault. Do you agree with her? Why or why not?
12. After seeing the Bowman entries in the checkbook, what does Wavie think that her mother may have lied about?
13. What does Wavie know about her father?
14. Wavie says “Hope had burned me blacker than Mrs. F biscuits.” When do you think that hope had burned her before?
15. Do you think Camille is right about Wavie’s dad?
1. Samantha Rose reveals that Wavie’s mother planned to put her up for adoption to give Wavie a better life. a. Imagine you are Wavie, how would you feel about this news? b. How long does Samantha Rose say that Wavie’s “almost adoption” lasted? c. Why do you think Samantha Rose take so much pleasure in the adoption falling through?
2. Sister’s sometimes argue and disagree, but Samantha Rose has such negative feelings toward Ronelda. a. Why do you think Samantha Rose feels this way about Ronelda? b. Is Samantha Rose a sister you would want for yourself? Why or why not?
3. How does Wavie feels by the “almost adoption”? How do you know? Use words from the text to support your answer.
4. Do you think Wavie’s mom should have told her about the adoption? Why or why not?
5. When Wavie goes to the store for Samantha Rose, she picks the right medicine for Mrs. Barnes. a. Why do you think Mrs. Barnes picked out the wrong medicine? b. How does this help to explain why Frank and Bailey have trouble learning in school?
6. What does Camille think Wavie should do about the adoption news?
7. On page 94, does Wavie believe that there is hope in the holler?
8. According to Wavie and Hannah, what are backpack parents?
9. When Wavie talks about “shiny people”, she says that the only thing shiny about her was her mom. In your own words, describe what Wavie means by “shiny people”. What evidence from the text supports your answer?
10. Instead of yelling at Samantha Rose to get her frustrations out, Wavie writes a letter to the Bowmans. What do you imagine might happen with this letter?
11. Who was Marely Savage? What does Gilbert think may have happened to Marley Savage?
12. Why does Gilbert want to be in the paper?
13. What important information do Wavie and Gilbert find when they skipped school?
14. What did Samantha Rose do to Waive to make her so enraged that she was ready to get out of Conley Holler?
1. What idea does Camille have to help Wavie find out if it was the Bowman’s idea to stop the adoption?
2. Who was the attorney that handled Wavie’s adoption to the Bowmans?
3. How did Angel Davis get his nickname?
4. What happened to Angel Davis’ son, Delmare?
5. If you were Wavie, would you be afraid to ask Angel about the adoption?
6. When talking to Angel about the adoption, Angel becomes confused. Who does Angel Davis think Wavie is? How do you know? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
7. Angel tells Wavie the reason that the adoption was stopped. What does he say happened during the adoption?
8. What does Wavie decide that Gilbert and Camille must do if she agrees to write a letter to the Bowmans?
9. Why does Samantha Rose suddenly buy Wavie new jeans and sneakers?
10. Why do you think Wavie doesn’t tell Mrs. Chipman that Samantha Rose hit her?
11. Are you hopeful that Mrs. Chipman will be able to help Wavie? Why or why not? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
12. What arrives two days after Mrs. Chipman’s visit?
1. Anita Bowman begins her letter by saying that she hopes Wavie’s mother is in better health. Do you think that the Bowman’s know that Ronelda had cancer?
2. Anita writes “After all of this time, I still have everything.” a. In your own life, do you keep things that remind you of special people or special times in your life? b. How do you think the Bowman’s feel about their time as Wavie’s adoptive parents?
3. In Ronelda’s letter to the Bowmans, she writes that she calls the baby Wavie? Why did she call her Wavie?
4. Gilbert has a lot of negative comments about the Bowmans and “rich people”. Do you think that people are good or bad based on whether they are rich or poor? Use examples from the story to support your answer.
5. What does Uncle Philson tell Wavie about her dad’s family members?
6. On page 161, Wavie should be writing another letter to the Bowman’s, but she is intimidated by the task, so instead she finds herself doing other things to avoid writing the letter. a. Look up the definition for procrastination and write it down. b. How many other words can you make from the word? c. Write about a time that you have put off doing something that you needed to do. How did you finally make yourself complete the task? Were there negative consequences for putting it off?
7. Often things that are said about people are not true. On page 167, what does Mrs. Barnes reveal isn’t true about her?
8. After reading the second letter from the Bowmans and the letter that her mother wrote to her before she was born, what does Waive decide that she is going to do?
9. When it comes to the past and Wavie’s parents, how does Camille think that everything in the Holler is connected?
10. What sentence on page 178 lets the reader know that Wavie understands why her mother was going to give her up for adoption?
11. At the end of Chapter 30, Wavie imagines herself sneaking out at night and running away on the train. Do you think this would have led to a good life for Wavie? What do you imagine might have happened to her if she had run away on the train?
1. On page 180, Wavie thinks that Samantha Rose’s smile is “about as real as her hair color”. In you own words, write what this says to you about Samantha Rose’s smile that day.
2. How long does Wavie have until the hearing?
3. What did Samantha Rose do with Wavie’s last letter to the Bowmans?
4. What “precautions” did Samantha Rose take to try to ensure that the Bowmans would not interfere with her guardianship of Wavie?
5. After she finds out what Samantha Rose has done, she decides that Samantha Rose has won. a. How would you feel about the story if the author has chosen to let Samantha Rose win? b. Write a prediction about how you think the story will end.
6. Explain what Samantha Rose means when she says, “If it weren’t for me, you’d be with those stuck-up people right now.”
7. On page 184, Gilbert admits that a part of him didn’t want Wavie to go, but another part did. Why does part of him want her to stay? Why does he also want her to go?
8. What does the principal, Mrs. Rivers, say is the key to not letting difficulties in life make you a hard, mean person?
9. On page 191, Wavie thinks that grown-ups usually see what they want to see. How do you think that this applies to Mrs. Chipman?
10. Why do you think Gilbert is so nervous and seems so preoccupied at the courthouse?
11. Why was Angel Davis in the courthouse that day?
12. Are you confused about the conversation with Angel Davis on page 193?
13. Just as Wavie’s case is called by the judge, who enters the courtroom? Are you surprised? Why or why not?
14. What did Gilbert do to save the day?
15. Samantha Rose shouts to the judge that he can’t break up a family. Mrs. Chipman has also stated that courts usually favor family members. Do you think that this is a good thing or not?
16. In your own words, summarize the mystery of who Samantha Rose really is.
17. After the hearing, what becomes of Samantha Rose, Philson and Hoyt?
18. What project do the Bowmans and Wavie work on together to help them get to know each other and ease the transition of living together?
19. After the house is fixed and remodeled, what does Wavie decide to do with her family’s house in Conley Holler?
20. Near the end of the story, what dream of Gilbert’s came true?