Essay 2: Writing the draft

April 13, 2019


If you’re stuck in how to get started writing Essay 2, look at page 2 of the essay assignment.

There are some tips and ideas on how to brainstorm your introduction.

The introduction paragraph of a rhetorical analysis essay like Essay 2 should provide information about what you will be writing about.

Make sure that you introduce Stevenson and his book. (This is one of the criteria for evaluation I mention on the first page of the assignment.)

You could begin your introduction by starting with a discussion about why and how writers use rhetorical appeals to achieve their purpose.

That you could lead you into your discussion of Stevenson’s book and his purpose and his use of rhetorical appeals.

What is his purpose in writing the book, and how do appeals connect to that purpose?

Think of your introduction as an upside-down triangle:

The wider base at the beginning is your discussion of writers and why/how they use rhetorical appeals; and the tip of your triangle is your thesis about how Stevenson uses appeals in his book to achieve his purpose.

You should also mention in your introduction which appeals you will be discussing, and how successful Stevenson is in using those appeals to achieve his purpose (this is your thesis).

• Body paragraphs

Let’s review body paragraphs in Essay 2.

Write one paragraph on each of the rhetorical strategies and appeals that you mention in your introduction.

Keep this formula in mind:

1 appeal or means of persuasion=1paragraph

The assignment requires you to include at least three examples from the book, so you will need to write at least three body paragraphs with an analysis of how each passage displays that rhetorical appeal.

(Note: You can use the phrases “rhetorical appeal” or “means of persuasion” or “appeal to ethos” or “appeal to logos” or “appeal to pathos” in your essay.)

Keep this point in mind: All of your body paragraphs need to explain how Stevenson uses that appeal to the reader, and how these appeals connect back to his purpose in writing the book.

Remember our formula for effective body paragraphs – the word TEST:

Topic Sentence
Summary Statement

Topic Sentence: Unifies your paragraph

Remember, each paragraph in the body should have its own topic sentence.

For the topic sentence for this assignment, make sure that you explain the definition of the rhetorical strategy or appeal you are writing about.

You should write one paragraph on each of the rhetorical strategies and appeals that you mention in your introduction.

Use the questions I have provided to you in the essay assignment hand-out to help you focus your body paragraphs:

What is the definition of the rhetorical strategy or appeal you are writing about?

Writers use the appeal to pathos in order to …

The appeal to pathos is used by writers to …

What is your evaluation of Stevenson’s use of that appeal in regard to his purpose?

Stevenson’s appeal to ethos is effective in this chapter because …

How does the example in this paragraph illustrate the use of that strategy?

This moment in Chapter 2 illustrates how Stevenson appeals to …

How does this example contribute to Stevenson’s purpose?

In order to achieve this purpose, Stevenson uses the appeal to … in order to …

Evidence: Supports your paragraph’s topic sentence (an example of the appeal you are writing about)

You need to find concrete examples of Stevenson using this appeal in his book.

As I say in the criteria for evaluation, I’m looking for clear and specific evidence that he does use these means of persuasion.

How does the example in your body paragraph illustrate the use of that appeal?

Summary statement: (explaining why Stevenson uses that appeal)

How does this example contribute to his purpose? (Use the summary statement to link back to your thesis)

Transitions: (so you lead your reader smoothly from one example to the next)

In addition to using the appeal to emotions, Stevenson also uses the appeal to …

Another example of how Stevenson appeals to the emotions occurs in the first chapter …

• Do a close reading of each of your examples

Remember also that a rhetorical analysis assignment like Essay 2 requires you to do a close reading of the book – in other words, you must discuss the words and phrases that Stevenson uses to achieve his effects.

Find the definitions and stats that you are talking about and include them in your body paragraphs. This is the evidence I’m looking for.

You have to show how and why Stevenson uses the appeal and how that appeal connects to your topic sentence (and your thesis).

Or let’s say you wanted to discuss why Stevenson included the moment where Henry suddenly starts singing in the beginning of the book.

You could write something like: “Another example of Stevenson using the appeal to pathos occurs with the moment of Henry’s singing a hymn in the beginning of the book. This passage portrays Henry as a sad and lost man locked behind bars.”

But this wouldn’t be sufficient in terms of a rhetorical analysis of that page. This is more of a summary of that passage than an analysis of how the passage works.

What, exactly, does Stevenson say here about Henry and himself? What words or phrases does he use to convey the emotions of this scene?

How does the language Stevenson uses help him convey the emotions he wants his readers to feel?

What emotions is he trying to rouse in his reader?

And remember to finish this paragraph by explaining how it connects to Stevenson’s overall purpose:

If your thesis is that Stevenson uses the appeal to pathos to give a human dimension to the problems in the criminal justice system, you need to explain:

Why is that human dimension important for Stevenson’s purpose?

Review: The means of persuasion

April 13, 2019

As we’ve discussed, writers of argument use three means of persuasion – logos, pathos and ethos – to appeal to readers.

The degree to which a writer uses each of these appeals depends on the rhetorical situation (the writer, the writer’s purpose, the audience, the topic).

Let’s review the means of persuasion or rhetorical appeals you are writing about for Essay 2.


To appeal to your reader’s mind, you give reasons. If your reasons make sense and your examples and details are specific and clear, your logos will be convincing.

Logos is a Greek word for word, by which the Greeks meant “divine words,” meaning reason or the word of God. From logos comes our word logic. So an appeal to logos is an appeal to reason.

If you are writing about logos, here a questions to ask yourself as you read the book:

Where does Stevenson use reasons that make sense?

Is Stevenson’s argument reasonable and worth considering? How so?

Is his supporting evidence clear, specific and convincing?

Does he use accurate facts, statistics, examples, and details?


Pathos comes from the Greek word for “suffering”; we use it to mean appealing to the emotions. From pathos comes the word sympathy: to have appropriate feelings for another person’s emotions.

If you are writing about Stevenson’s use of pathos, here are some questions to consider:

What clues are in the book that Stevenson is appealing to your emotions? What words or phrases does he use to move readers?

What emotions do you think Stevenson is trying to rouse in his readers: sadness, fear, guilt, hope?

Is the pathos appropriate and used with restraint – not faked or exaggerated in order to manipulate the readers?


Ethos is the Greek word for “character.” From it we have the word ethics. When you say that a writer has good character, you imply that you approve of his or her morals or his or her sense of right and wrong; you share the values of the writer.

If you are writing about ethos, here are a few questions to consider:

What clues in the book make you believe that Stevenson is trustworthy, fair-minded and credible?

What authority does Stevenson have on this subject?

What is Stevenson’s attitude toward his topic (the American criminal justice system)? Serious? Sincere?

Remember: When writing about the appeal to ethos, don’t confuse the appeal with how characters behave in the book; the essay assignment is asking you how the author – Stevenson – uses the appeal to ethos to establish his credibility in the minds of his readers.

Essay 2: The rhetorical situation

April 8, 2019

As you read Just Mercy, think about these questions:

The writer: How does the writer’s background influence the content of the argument?

This background is important for Stevenson’s book. At several points in the book, he talks about his own background and experiences.

Those experiences have an impact on how he sees a situation or how he interacts with the men in prison and on death row.

The writer’s purpose: What do you think Stevenson hopes to achieve by writing the book? Does he state this purpose directly? Or is the purpose implied?

The writer’s audience: Does Stevenson see his audience as hostile, friendly, or neutral about his subject? What values does he think his readers hold?

The context: This is the social, political and cultural events that set the stage for this book.

All of these elements make up the rhetorical situation.

Essay 2: Rhetorical Analysis

April 8, 2019

The purpose of a rhetorical analysis is not to summarize a piece of writing (as you did in the first assignment), but to

explore how the rhetoric in a piece of writing works;

explore how ideas are presented and argued;

and analyze how these strategies work (or do not work) to help the writer achieve his or her purpose.

First, think about the Rhetorical Situation:

The rhetorical situation consists of the following elements, all of which you should think about as you write your analysis:

The writer
The writer’s purpose
The writer’s audience
The topic

Second, to analyze a writer’s rhetoric, you need to investigate how the writer composed the writing to achieve his or her goal.

To do this analysis, you need to explore how the writer uses means of persuasion (also known as appeals).

The word appeal means how the author is trying to persuade or move or convince the reader.

The Means of Persuasion: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos

Writers use three means of persuasion – logos, pathos, and ethos – to appeal to readers.

These terms can be traced back to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, in his Rhetoric, where he identified these three primary modes of persuasion.

Effective arguments combine two or more of these appeals. The most effective arguments, like Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” for example, uses all three.

Logos – The Appeal to Logic

The logical appeal is the most widely used appeal in arguments. The logical writer relies on evidence provided for claims and on sound reasoning.

If you analyze the appeal to logic, you explain how the piece of writing is organized and how logical and reasonable that organization is in its attempt to persuade or move or inform.

Here are some examples of logos that you might find when reading texts of various media:

Statistics: When a writer uses data or statistics within a text, you can assume that he or she is trying to appeal to the logic and reason of the reader.

Causal statements: When you read an “if-then” statement, with credible supporting evidence, the writer is likely trying to appeal to your reason.

Another way of thinking about logos: Think of logos as evidence that doesn’t appeal to your emotions.

Pathos – The Appeal to Emotion

Emotional appeals can be highly effective when used in conjunction with logical appeals.

Aristotle knew that an appeal to the emotions could be very persuasive because it adds a human dimension to an argument.

By appealing to an audience’s sympathies and by helping them to identify with the subject being discussed, emotional appeals can turn abstract concepts into concrete examples that can compel people to take action.

Used honestly and with restraint, emotional appeals arouse the “better self” of the reader by eliciting sympathy, civic pride or feelings based on shared values or beliefs.

Ethos – The Appeal to Authority

Ethical appeals establish the credibility of the writer.

For Aristotle, ethos describes the moral character of the writer or speaker.

Audiences don’t trust a writer who states opinions as fact, distorts evidence, or makes claims that can’t be supported. They trust a writer who is honest, knowledgeable, and fair.

So when you analyze how a writer appeals to ethos, you are explaining how the author establishes his or her credibility and authority in the minds of readers.

A word of caution when writing about the appeal to ethos:

Don’t confuse a writer’s use of the appeal to ethos by how characters behave in the book; if you discuss how Stevenson points out that a judge or a witness acts in an unethical or corrupt way in the book – that would be a description of how a person in the book acts, not an analysis of Stevenson – as the writer – appeals to ethos.

Remember: This essay assignment is asking you how the author – Stevenson – uses the appeal to ethos to establish her credibility.

So if you were writing about Stevenson’s use of the ethos appeal, you would demonstrate how he establishes his knowledge about a topic or his experience with an issue.

Tips and strategies: The Midterm Exam

March 14, 2019

What makes writing in-class essays like the Midterm and the Final difficult comes from the fact that most first draft writing is disorganized and unfocused – you are responding to a question that you’ve haven’t seen before.

That’s why I’m giving you the questions in advance, so you can develop a focused thesis and plan your answer.

I’ve designed the Midterm Exam to build the writing process into the exam itself.

The purpose of this essay exam test is

to test your comprehension of the reading required for this class;


to evaluate your ability to generate ideas, sentences and conclusions in response to that reading.

This exam will allow you to practice what you’ve learned so far in the class: outlining and writing an effective essay with a focused thesis statement, topic sentences, and organization of body paragraphs.

A good Midterm Exam essay exam will be:

focused with a thesis statement
organized around a sequence of connected assertions (topic sentences)
developed by use of examples and evidence (from the book)

So now that I’ve given you possible questions, let’s talk about how to plan and organize an essay response:

Here are some strategies for this essay response:

As you write down notes for your 3X5 cards:

1) Analyze the question by underlining cue or key word(s) to determine exactly what the question asks
2) Rephrase the question into a thesis statement
3) Outline the main points you plan to cover in your essay
4) Use a logical pattern of organization and a strong topic sentence for each paragraph
5) Support generalizations with specifics/evidence
6) Beware of going off topic – respond to the prompt (see number 1)

Checklist for Essay 1 final draft

March 13, 2019

Highlight your thesis statement. Place a checkmark by each example. Does your thesis clearly indicate the generalization about Luma’s personality and character that your examples support?

If not, revise your thesis so that it fits your examples.

Think about the purpose of your essay: To explain Luma’s personality and character through examples from the book.

Cross out any examples that don’t fulfill that purpose. Do you have enough examples left?

If not, brainstorm examples that are more appropriate to your purpose and your thesis. Add some examples or use one extended example.

Reread each example you checked. Is each one relevant to your thesis? Are the examples varied enough to get your point across?

If not, cut the examples that don’t connect to your thesis and brainstorm to find better, more relevant examples. Revise vague or unclear examples with more details.

Underline the topic sentence of each paragraph. Does each paragraph have a topic sentence?

Does each topic sentence clearly make a point that the example(s) in that paragraph illustrate?

If not, add a topic sentence or revise the existing one to make the point each example or group of examples illustrates. Reorganize your essay, grouping examples to the same idea.

Outline your organization. Is your organization clear and effective? If not, add transitions to make your organization clear.

Reread your intro and conclusion Are they effective?

If not, revise to make them more focused and effective, using strategies we’ve discussed in class.

Discussion Questions: Chapters Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two

March 9, 2019


What is the Mayor’s response to St. John’s idea of writing about the Fugees and the effect of refugee resettlement? (188)

St. John refers to as “the common misperception that the refugees were a monolithic group of strangers from faraway lands” (188). What are the consequences of this misperception?

How do the refugees see themselves, according to St. John? (188)

St. John points out that the Mayor isn’t a “bumbling good ol’boy” or a “simpleton” – he’s actually pretty smart in terms of the politics of the refugee issue. (188-189)

On page 190, St. John explains how the mayor’s arguments for banning soccer in Clarkton keeps shifting.

But on the same page, St. John says he find himself developing “a degree of sympathy” for Swaney. Why?

When the two men go to get something to eat, Swaney insists on going to City Burger, a place that serves “traditional American fare,” instead of the growing number of ethnic restaurants in Clarkston.

But how is a little detail about City Burger explain for St. John the “confusion and isolation” that the mayor is living in? (191)

The next section of this chapter explains how Luma goes to City Hall to petition for the Fugees’ use of the field in the town park.

How do the accounts of the Ethiopian woman petitioning for permission to serve beer in her restaurant on Sundays and the man challenging the legality of the sign in Milam Park forbidding even the presence of leashed dogs help St. John make his point about the the people who govern Clarkston? (194-195)

Luma knows she talking to a different audience. How does she change how she usually speaks during her presentation? (193)

What does Swaney say to the council members? How do they vote?

What is the significance of the chapter title?


Luma tries to deal with the gang issue with her players, and asks questions about why they might join a gang. What are some of the reasons they give? (195-196)

What is the purpose of the repetition of “If you keep getting beat up on the same road, take a different road” (197)?

At the end of this scene in the classroom, she tells them that they will be the first players to use the soccer field at Milam Park. And she wants to put the lesson about a “different road” in how she expects the boys to behave. (197)

How does St. John create an image in readers’ minds of the new field at Milam Park? What words, phrases, and passages help him create this image? (198)

There’s a funny comment – “We’re not in Africa anymore” – made by the Sudanese midfielder in response to Hamdu’s suggestion the boys should chase after the herd of deer that appeared at the perimeter of the practice field at Milam park. A little moment that shows how the refugees are adapting to the world of America.

How do you think St. John portrays the old man who appears late one afternoon to object to the Fugees’ practicing on the field?

What does the old man represent?

Are there words or passages can you use to support your interpretation?


St. John begins this chapter by giving us background on Quendrim (pronounced “Chin-Drim”) and his family and the horrible ethnic violence between Albanians and Serbians, so we understand what they have gone through to get to the United States.

What’s interesting is how the freedom and liberty that Xhalal experiences in America is a little “unsettling” because there are no checkpoints and nobody is watching what you’re doing (206).

By the way, what connections can you make between the description of Xhalal, from a small town in southern Kosovo, being introduced to Chinese and Mexican food and the British researcher Steven Vertovec’s “simple three-step process for building connections between members of different culture within a “super-diverse’ society” (184)?

What are some possible meanings of Quendrim’s observation that he thought of the other players on his team as more than just teammates and that “It’s like they’re all from my own country”? (207)

The rest of the chapter talks about how the teams are starting to gel and how Luma starts to figure out how to put the players together on teams.

Many of you have written about Luma’s rigid enforcement of her own rules of conduct. What is her coaching strategy? (209)que

Discussion Questions: Chapters Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen

March 4, 2019


In this chapter the reader is shown another side of the usually stern and calm Coach Luma as she worries about the future of the reconstituted Under 15s.

On game day, Luma watches her less experienced team prevail, under Kanue’s leadership in a hard-fought match over the AFC Lightning.

The game and its outcome elicit from Luma, who is typically sparing in her praise, the comment – she tells them: “you played a beautiful game” (168).

From the way St. John describes the match between the Fugees and the Lightning, what sense do readers get about his feelings?

What specific words or passages can you point to that suggest his feelings?

Describe Kanue’s influence on the team. What specific actions suggest the type of influence he has?


This chapter begins with the shooting of Tito. What is Luma’s response to the shooting?

Is Luma’s ejection of Osman and Tito from the soccer team warranted? Why or why not?
St. John describes in earlier chapters that the refugees face hostility from older white residents in Clarkston. But why, according to St. John, do the refugees also face hostility from poor whites and poor blacks? (170-171)

What does St. John mean when he describes the gang shooting as a “corollary of the more realistic competition over limited resources” (171).

[Vocab: corollary – noun: A direct or natural consequence or result.]

How does the shooting change Luma’s view of the field at Indian Creek?

Do you anticipate that the events discussed in this chapter will help Luma make her case to the City Council for moving practices and games to Armistead Field? Why or why not?

What do you think is the purpose of this chapter?


Why did Thriftown’s business start to go down with the demographic changes in Clarkston?

Using the details presented in the chapter as evidence, describe Bill Mehlinger’s character traits. What kind of person is he?

What challenges does he face in catering to these new populations? (174)

Discuss the extent to which Mehlinger’s statement, “If you don’t change, you’re gone” (175) applies broadly to shifts in demographics across the United States.

How does Bill change Hong Diep Vo’s life? (175)

How is the experience of Pastors Perrin and Kitchen similar to Bill’s?

What challenges do these people face in dealing with a diverse community? (177)

Using the details presented in the chapter as evidence, describe Tony Scipio’s character traits. What kind of person is he? (178)

How is Swaney’s hiring of Scipio an attempt to shake things up in Clarkston? (178)

What changes does Scipio put into place for the police department? (179)

St. John cites one incident on pages 179-180. Describe the incident. How does this situation “encapsulate” the problems between officers and refugees?

How do the white police officers react to Scipio’s changes? (181)

When Scipio learns about the Chike Chime arrest, how does he react? (181)

St. John describes another incident between an Afghan family and drugs dealers on page 182. How does this incident provide an example, for St. John, for the small ways that the community is trying to negotiate differences?

St. John compares the examples of Bill, Perrin, Scipio and even the drug dealers and says they are connected by similar motivations. What are they? (183)

According to St. John, what’s the consequence of these connections between communities? How do these connects affect relationships? (183-184)

In this chapter, St. John introduces to his readers the term “super-diversity” (184-185): the “incredible cultural complexity” evident in places like Clarkston and in “practically every cosmopolitan metropolis in the world”—places like New York, London, Cairo, Mumbai, and Hong Kong.

The term was coined by Steven Vertovec, who argues that “topdown efforts to impose contact and understanding between various groups [are] likely to fail,” according to St. John (184).

Vertovec offers a three-step process for building more organic connections between members of disparate cultural groups:

decategorization: list all identities which an individual claims (ethnic, national, gender,religious, etc): consequence–individual, not just a type.

Explain this?

b. recategorization: individuals recast themselves in terms of commonalities, not differences.

Explain this term?

c. mutual differentiation: acknowledgement of interdependence that takes into account various group identities

What does this term mean?

What does St. John mean when he writes that the “key to making super-diversity work [may] have less to do with embracing it than ignoring it” (185).

How does Clarkston represent an example of “super-diversity” at work, according to St. John? (186)

Discussion Questions: Chapters Fourteen, Fifteen and Sixteen

March 1, 2019


This chapter tells the story of St. John’s dinner as a guest with the Ntwari family  (Generose, Bienvenue, Alex, Ive, and six-month-old Alya).

St. John gives us insight into their difficulties of adjusting to life in America: their poverty, their struggle to learn English, their difficulties with telemarketer scams, and Generose’s inability to find jobs given that she has to care for a 6-month-old daughter.

St. John uses this family to help his readers understand that these obstacles are not only specific to the Ntwari family but are true for most of the refugee population.

According to St. John, refugees eager to meet Americans – because it is a rare situation – the refugees feel cut off and isolated, so they are happy to interact with a “real” American (144).

When St. John visits Bien, Alex, Ive and their mother Generose for the first time, the meeting did it “got off to a rocky start” (144) because Generose had been charged for a subscription to the newspaper that she didn’t ask for.

St. John explains that this story makes a bigger point: telemarketers and other marketers often target refugees and exploit and scam them because the refugees don’t speak English very well.

St. John writes that Generose and her boys “perfectly fit the profile” of refugees in Clarkston, because their English skills were in “inverse proportion to their ages” (146).

St. John gives details on the difficulties that Generose faces as a working mother with a six-month-old child. Her husband is in Canada, and he can’t get to the U.S. He sends the family money, but she has to make ends meet somehow.

But her lack of English skills limits the types of jobs she can find, and her need for child care also is a big problem. So she has to leave the child in the care of her three sons (ages 7, 13 and 15).

St. John writes that Generose didn’t think that she would have to choose between work and looking after her children when she came to the U.S. (147)

So St. John uses the experiences of this family to show how the refugees have an America as a land of promise and plenty – but the reality is more “complicated” (148).


This chapter describes Luma’s battles with YMCA officials after her cancellation of the Under 15’s season and Luma’s disappointment with the YMCA’s repeated failure to follow through on their word in terms of securing a field, goal posts, and other equipment.

St. John points out that for Luma, there is “no greater flaw” than this failure to follow through and keep a promise. (151) That tells you a lot about Luma’s beliefs and values.

She volunteers her time in coaching for the YMCA, collecting no salary, and feels taken advantage of and generally exhausted.

But because Kanue had single handedly put together a new team, vetted the players, and made sure they committed to respecting Luma’s rules, she takes on a new and inexperienced Under 15 team for the season.

What do you think motivates Luma to take on this new Under 15 team even though she is exhausted?

There’s an interesting moment on page 153, after Luma has agreed to take on this new team. Even though Luma isn’t an observant Muslim, she observes the daily fast of Ramadan. Why do you think she does this?


This chapter offers an account of Luma’s testing of the new Under 15 team with new players so eagerly recruited by Fornatee.

Through a mixture of pride and adolescent confused decision-making, however, Fornatee decides he need not try out again since he already made the team the first time.

He fails to show for the first two scheduled practices. He appears at a scrimmage Luma has arranged between the much superior Under 17s and the Under 15s, seeking to pick up where he left off, but Luma refuses to let him participate. Even though Luma promises him a chance to explain himself after the game, he hooks up with Prince and other Liberian friends at the playground next to the soccer field and disappears, this time for good, from the team.

During their scrimmage, the Under 15s prove to Luma that they have what it takes to compete.

Luma, frustrated by the field and practice conditions at the elementary school, meets with Mayor Swaney, who passes responsibility for permitting soccer on Armistead Field off to the Clarkston City Council.

As we’ve talked about Mayor Swaney had formerly declared Armistead Field as a “soccer free” zone to keep the Lost Boys’ and other refugee soccer teams from using it.

He now tells Luma the decision will be up to the City Council, which, St. John tells readers, will “likely go along with whatever he recommends,” and thus Mayor Swaney, “would have a fresh chance to let his constituents know what sort of town Clarkston was becoming” (162).

From what you’ve read so far, do you think Mayor Swaney will have a change of heart? Why or why not?

Discussion Questions for Chapters 11, 12, 13

February 27, 2019


Why are Luma’s reasons for the short hair rule? (111)

Why does Fornatee start to trust and depend on Luma for support? (112)

How does Luma demonstrate to him that she cares? (112)

Another good example of St. John’s vivid writing page 113 – look at how he uses concrete details to help the reader visualize what he’s describing.

Why doesn’t the team have soccer goals? (114) What happens to the goals that Luma picks up from the Y?

Luma runs her players hard during practice, but what happens when they finish the day with a scrimmage?

What’s the effect of these scrimmages on the area around the field? (116)

How does Luma respond when she sense she’s being tested as a coach? (117)

When Luma realizes the under13 boys aren’t running complete laps, why doesn’t she call them out as soon as she realized it? (119)

According to St. John, the Liberian refugees are a special case, with their own difficulties. Why? (120-121)

Why are the Liberian boys drawn to gangs? (121)

How are Beatrice’s parenting strategies different in Africa?

Why does she feel at a disadvantage in America when trying to be a parent to her sons? (124)

When Beatrice can’t control or discipline her sons, what does she do? (125-126)


How does the U15s’ first opponent from Lilburn contrast with the Fugees? (127)

Why does St. John hesitate to give Mendela a ride in his car to pick up a few players? (129)

On page 130, St. John does a good job of writing about the game itself – look at how he uses visuals and details to help his reader “see” the action of the game.

When the Fugees are losing, why doesn’t Luma meet her players at midfield during the half time break? (131)

How does the game end? What big decision does Luma announce when she gets back on the team bus?


This chapter explains the family situation of Kanue Biah.

How does the tough situation with his uncle actually help Kanue become a mature person? (135)

How does he deal with getting harassed and picked on at school? (136)

How would you describe Kanue’s relationship with coach Luma and the Fugees? (136-137)

What is Kanue’s idea for playing without a complete roster of players? (139)

Why is Luma concerned about this new plan? (139)