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LITERARY FOCUS: CHARACTER TRAITS
What’s your best friend like? funny? a little impatient? a neat freak? The
words you choose to describe your friend also describe his or her charac-
ter traits. Character traits are the qualities that are revealed by a charac-
ter’s appearance, spoken words, actions, and thoughts. Character traits
are also revealed by how a character affects other characters in the story.
Use the space below to list some character traits of your favorite book
or television character.
READING SKILLS: MAKING INFERENCES
Imagine that you are eating lunch in your backyard. You leave your
sandwich on the picnic table and go to the house for a glass of water.
When you return to your lunch, your sandwich is gone and your dog
has peanut butter on his nose. What do you think happened? You can
use the evidence you have to make an inference, or educated guess,
that your dog swiped your sandwich. In the same way you can use story
details to make inferences about characters in a story.
As you read “Mother and Daughter,” collect story details to help you
make inferences about the characters.
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Mother and Daughter
by Gary Soto
Literary Skills
Understand
character traits.
Reading Skills
Make inferences.
Vocabulary
Skills
Understand
word origins.
Character Traits
Book or Television Character
Mother and Daughter 61
matinees (mat≈n·†z√) n.: afternoon
performances of a play or a movie.
Yollie and her mother got along well enough
to go to matinees together at the local theater
almost every Saturday afternoon.
antics (an√tiks) n.: playful or silly acts.
People who witnessed Mrs. Moreno’s antics
couldnt help laughing.
meager (m≤√g¥r) adj.: slight; small amount.
Mrs. Moreno remembers that her parents
worked hard for their meager salaries.
sophisticated (·fis√t¥·k†t≈id) adj.: worldly;
elegant and refined.
Yollie admired the way sophisticated people in
New York dressed.
tirade (t¢√r†d≈) n.: long, scolding speech.
Yollie felt bad about her angry tirade against
her mom.
UNDERSTANDING WORD ORIGINS
A word’s etymology (et≈¥·mäl√¥·j≤) tells you what language the word
comes from and how the word has developed through different lan-
guages over many years. An etymology is usually listed in brackets or
parentheses after the word itself in a dictionary. Definitions of symbols
and abbreviations in the front or back of the dictionary will help you
read the etymology. For example, this common symbol, “<,” means
“comes from” or “derived from.”
Take a look at the etymology of student to understand the word’s
history. As you read the story that follows, look for sidenotes that
help explain the etymology of words.
PREVIEW SELECTION VOCABULARY
Take a few minutes to preview these words before you begin to read
“Mother and Daughter.”
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Etymology Meaning
student < L studere, to study Student comes from the Latin
word studere, which means
“to study.”
Yo llie’s mother, Mrs. Moreno, was a large woman who wore
a muumuu and butterfly-shaped glasses. She liked to water
her lawn in the evening and wave at low-riders, who would
stare at her behind their smoky sunglasses and laugh. Now
and then a low-rider from Belmont Avenue would make his
car jump and shout “Mamacita!” But most of the time they
just stared and wondered how she got so large.
Mrs. Moreno had a strange sense of humor. Once,
Yo llie and her mother were watching a late-night movie
called They Came to Look. It was about creatures from the
underworld who had climbed through molten lava to walk
the earth. But Yollie, who had played soccer all day with the
kids next door, was too tired to be scared. Her eyes closed
but sprang open when her mother screamed, “Look, Yollie!
Oh, you missed a scary part. The guy’s face was all ugly!”
10
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Collection 2 / Characters: Living Many Lives
Part 1
Gary Soto
“Mother and Daughter” from Baseball in April and Other Stories by Gary Soto. Copyright © 1990 by
Gary Soto. Reproduced by permission of Harcourt, Inc.
Orion Press/Black Sheep.
Pause at line 7. Why would
the low-riders laugh and
shout “Mamacita!” when
they saw Mrs. Moreno in her
yard?
A muumuu (line 2) is a full,
long, loose-fitting dress.
Originally worn in Hawaii,
muumuus are usually bright-
ly colored with bold patterns.
Circle the detail in lines 8–15
that is an example of direct
characterization, in which
the author directly describes
a character for you. Then,
underline the details that are
examples of indirect charac-
terization, which you can use
to infer Mrs. Moreno’s per-
sonality traits.
But Yollie couldn’t keep her eyes open. They fell shut
again and stayed shut, even when her mother screamed and
slammed a heavy palm on the arm of her chair.
“Mom, wake me up when the movie’s over so I can go
to bed, mumbled Yollie.
OK, Yollie, I wake you, said her mother through a
mouthful of popcorn.
But after the movie ended, instead of waking her
daughter, Mrs. Moreno laughed under her breath, turned
the TV and lights off, and tiptoed to bed. Yollie woke up in
the middle of the night and didn’t know where she was. For
a moment she thought she was dead. Maybe something
from the underworld had lifted her from her house and
carried her into the earths belly. She blinked her sleepy
eyes, looked around at the darkness, and called, “Mom?
Mom, where are you?” But there was no answer, just the
throbbing hum of the refrigerator.
Finally, Yollie’s grogginess cleared and she realized her
mother had gone to bed, leaving her on the couch. Another
of her little jokes.
But Yollie wasn’t laughing. She tiptoed into her moth-
er’s bedroom with a glass of water and set it on the night-
stand next to the alarm clock. The next morning, Yollie
woke to screams. When her mother reached to turn off the
alarm, she had overturned the glass of water.
Yo llie burned her mother’s morning toast and gloated.
“Ha! Ha! I got you back. Why did you leave me on the
couch when I told you to wake me up?”
Despite their jokes, mother and daughter usually got
along. They watched bargain matinees together, and played
croquet in the summer and checkers in the winter. Mrs.
Moreno encouraged Yollie to study hard because she want-
ed her daughter to be a doctor. She bought Yollie a desk, a
20
30
40
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Mother and Daughter 63
Re-read lines 21–22. What
can you learn about Mrs.
Moreno from the way she
speaks?
Pause at line 43. Think about
Yollie’s response to her moth-
er’s practical joke. What char-
acter trait do Yollie and Mrs.
Moreno have in common?
Re-read lines 23–32. What
has happened to Yollie?
matinees (mat≈n·†z√) n.:
afternoon performances
of a play or a movie.
Matinee is from the French
matin, meaning “morning.”
typewriter, and a lamp that cut glare so her eyes would not
grow tired from hours of studying.
Yo l lie was slender as a tulip, pretty, and one of the
smartest kids at Saint Theresas. She was captain of crossing
guards, an altar girl, and a whiz in the school’s monthly
spelling bees.
“Tienes que estudiar mucho,Mrs. Moreno said every
time she propped her work-weary feet on the hassock. “You
have to study a lot, then you can get a good job and take
care of me.
“Yes, Mama, Yollie would respond, her face buried in
a book. If she gave her mother any sympathy, she would
begin her stories about how she had come with her family
from Mexico with nothing on her back but a sack with
three skirts, all of which were too large by the time she
crossed the border because she had lost weight from not
having enough to eat.
Everyone thought Yollie’s mother was a riot. Even the
nuns laughed at her antics. Her brother Raul, a nightclub
owner, thought she was funny enough to go into show
business.
50
60
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Pause at line 54. In what
ways are Yollie and her
mother alike and different?
Re-read lines 55–58. Circle
the English words that Mrs.
Moreno uses that give you
a clue to the meaning of
estudiar mucho.
antics (an√tiks) n.: playful or
silly acts.
But there was nothing funny about Yollie needing a
new outfit for the eighth-grade fall dance. They couldn’t
afford one. It was late October, with Christmas around the
corner, and their dented Chevy Nova had gobbled up
almost one hundred dollars in repairs.
“We don’t have the money, said her mother, genuinely
sad because they couldn’t buy the outfit, even though there
was a little money stashed away for college. Mrs. Moreno
remembered her teenage years and her hardworking par-
ents, who picked grapes and oranges, and chopped beets
and cotton for meager pay around Kerman. Those were the
days when new clothes” meant limp and out-of-style
dresses from Saint Vincent de Paul.
The best Mrs. Moreno could do was buy Yollie a pair
of black shoes with velvet bows and fabric dye to color her
white summer dress black.
“We can color your dress so it will look brand-new,
her mother said brightly, shaking the bottle of dye as she
ran hot water into a plastic dish tub. She poured the black
liquid into the tub and stirred it with a pencil. Then, slowly
and carefully, she lowered the dress into the tub.
Yo l lie couldn’t stand to watch. She knew it wouldnt
work.It would be like the time her mother stirred up a
batch of molasses for candy apples on Yollie’s birthday.
Shed dipped the apples into the goo and swirled them and
seemed to taunt Yollie by singing “Las Mañanitasto her.
When she was through, she set the apples on wax paper.
They were hard as rocks and hurt the kids’ teeth. Finally,
they had a contest to see who could break the apples open
by throwing them against the side of the house. The apples
shattered like grenades, sending the kids scurrying for
cover, and in an odd way the birthday party turned out to
be a success. At least everyone went home happy.
70
80
90
100
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Mother and Daughter 65
meager (m≤√g¥r) adj.: slight;
small amount.
Meager is derived from the
Latin macer, meaning “lean”
or “thin.”
Pause at line 82. Why do you
think Mrs. Moreno is gen-
uinely sad that she cannot
afford a new dress for Yollie?
What does Mrs. Moreno do
to give Yollie a “new” dress
(lines 86–90)?
Pause at line 102. What hap-
pened at the birthday party
that Yollie is remembering?
To Yo llie’s surprise, the dress came out shiny black. It
looked brand-new and sophisticated, like what people in
New York wear. She beamed at her mother, who hugged
Yo l lie and said, “See, what did I tell you?”
The dance was important to Yollie because she was in
love with Ernie Castillo, the third-best speller in the class.
She bathed, dressed, did her hair and nails, and primped
until her mother yelled, All right already. Yollie sprayed
her neck and wrists with Mrs. Morenos Avon perfume and
bounced into the car.
Mrs. Moreno let Yollie out in front of the school. She
waved and told her to have a good time but behave herself,
then roared off, blue smoke trailing from the tail pipe of
the old Nova.
Yo l lie ran into her best friend, Janice. They didn’t say
it, but each thought the other was the most beautiful girl at
the dance; the boys would fall over themselves asking them
to dance.
The evening was warm but thick with clouds. Gusts of
wind picked up the paper lanterns hanging in the trees and
swung them, blurring the night with reds and yellows. The
lanterns made the evening seem romantic, like a scene from
a movie. Everyone danced, sipped punch, and stood in
knots of threes and fours, talking. Sister Kelly got up and
110
120
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sophisticated (s¥·fis√t¥·k†t≈id)
adj.: worldly; elegant and
refined.
This word is derived from the
Greek sophistes, meaning
“wise man.”
Pause at line 112. Why is the
dance so important to Yollie?
Underline the details in lines
121–128 that bring the scene
to life.
Re-read lines 125–128. Circle
the context clues that help
you understand the word
jitterbugged. Based on
those clues, what do you
think the jitterbug is?
jitterbugged with some kid’s father. When the record
ended, students broke into applause.
Janice had her eye on Frankie Ledesma, and Yollie,
who kept smoothing her dress down when the wind picked
up, had her eye on Ernie. It turned out that Ernie had his
mind on Yollie, too. He ate a handful of cookies nervously,
then asked her for a dance.
“Sure, she said, nearly throwing herself into his arms.
They danced two fast ones before they got a slow one. As
they circled under the lanterns, rain began falling, lightly at
first. Yollie loved the sound of the raindrops ticking against
the leaves. She leaned her head on Ernie’s shoulder, though
his sweater was scratchy. He felt warm and tender. Yollie could
tell that he was in love, and with her, of course. The dance
continued successfully, romantically, until it began to pour.
“Everyone, let’s go inside—and, boys, carry in the table
and the record player, Sister Kelly commanded.
The girls and boys raced into the cafeteria. Inside, the
girls, drenched to the bone, hurried to the restrooms to
brush their hair and dry themselves. One girl cried because
her velvet dress was ruined. Yollie felt sorry for her and
helped her dry the dress off with paper towels, but it was
no use. The dress was ruined.
Yo llie went to a mirror. She looked a little gray now that
her mother’s makeup had washed away but not as bad as
some of the other girls. She combed her damp hair, careful
not to pull too hard. She couldn’t wait to get back to Ernie.
Yo llie bent over to pick up a bobby pin, and shame
spread across her face. A black puddle was forming at her
feet. Drip, black drip. Drip, black drip. The dye was falling
from her dress like black tears. Yollie stood up. Her dress
was now the color of ash. She looked around the room.
The other girls, unaware of Yollie’s problem, were busy
130
140
150
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Mother and Daughter 67
Pause at line 141. How might
the rain affect Yollie’s
evening?
Re-read lines 147–149.
Underline the details that
help reveal one of Yollie’s
character traits. What trait
do Yollie’s feelings and
actions reveal?
Pause at line 156. What
causes the black puddle
to form at Yollie’s feet?
grooming themselves. What could she do? Everyone would
laugh. They would know she dyed an old dress because she
couldn’t afford a new one. She hurried from the restroom
with her head down, across the cafeteria floor and out the
door. She raced through the storm, crying as the rain mixed
with her tears and ran into twig-choked gutters.
When she arrived home, her mother was on the couch
eating cookies and watching TV.
“How was the dance, m’ija? Come watch the show with
me. Its really good.
Yo llie stomped, head down, to her bedroom. She
undressed and threw the dress on the floor.
Her mother came into the room. “What’s going on?
What’s all the racket, baby?”
“The dress. It’s cheap! Its no good!” Yollie kicked the
dress at her mother and watched it land in her hands. Mrs.
Moreno studied it closely but couldn’t see what was wrong.
“Whats the matter? Its just a bit wet.
“The dye came out, that’s what.
Mrs. Moreno looked at her hands and saw the grayish
dye puddling in the shallow lines of her palms. Poor baby,
she thought, her brow darkening as she made a sad face.
160
170
180
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Pause at line 165. Does Yollie
have good reason to be
ashamed of her dress? If this
happened to you, would you
be embarrassed or just laugh
it off?
M’ija (line 168) is Spanish for
“my daughter.”
Re-read the boxed passage
several times, and try to
“hear” the characters’ voices.
Then, read the passage
aloud. Vary the tone and vol-
ume of your voice to distin-
guish the narrator from
Yollie and her mother.
She wanted to tell her daughter how sorry she was, but she
knew it wouldn’t help. She walked back to the living room
and cried.
The next morning, mother and daughter stayed away
from each other. Yollie sat in her room turning the pages of
an old Seventeen, while her mother watered her plants with
a Pepsi bottle.
“Drink, my children, she said loud enough for Yollie
to hear. She let the water slurp into pots of coleus and cacti.
“Water is all you need. My daughter needs clothes, but I
don’t have no money.
Yo llie tossed her Seventeen on her bed. She was embar-
rassed at last night’s tirade. It wasnt her mother’s fault that
they were poor.
When they sat down together for lunch, they felt awk-
ward about the night before. But Mrs. Moreno had made a
fresh stack of tortillas and cooked up a pan of chile verde,
and that broke the ice. She licked her thumb and smacked
her lips.
“You know, honey, we gotta figure a way to make
money, Yollie’s mother said. “You and me. We don’t have
to be poor. Remember the Garcias. They made this stupid
little tool that fixes cars. They moved away because they’re
rich. That’s why we don’t see them no more.
“What can we make?” asked Yollie. She took another
tortilla and tore it in half.
“Maybe a screwdriver that works on both ends?
Something like that. The mother looked around the room
for ideas, but then shrugged. “Lets forget it. Its better to get
an education. If you get a good job and have spare time then
maybe you can invent something. She rolled her tongue
over her lips and cleared her throat. “The county fair hires
people. We can get a job there. It will be here next week.
190
200
210
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Mother and Daughter 69
Pause at line 190. A coleus is
a type of plant in the mint
family. The word coleus
comes from the Greek word
koleos, which means “a
sheath.” Part of the coleus
plant’s flower looks like it has
a sheath, or covering, around
it. Cacti is the plural form of
cactus, a desert plant.
Pause at the end of line 184.
Underline the words that tell
you what Mrs. Moreno is
thinking, what she looks like,
and what she is doing. What
character traits do these
details reveal?
tirade (t¢√r†d≈) n.: long,
scolding speech.
Tirade comes from the Italian
word tirare, meaning “to
draw or shoot.”
Re-read lines 201–214. What
do Mrs. Moreno’s words
reveal about her personality
and her outlook on life?
Yo llie hated the idea. What would Ernie say if he saw
her pitching hay at the cows? How could she go to school
smelling like an armful of chickens? “No, they wouldn’t hire
us, she said.
The phone rang. Yollie lurched from her chair to
answer it, thinking it would be Janice wanting to know why
she had left. But it was Ernie wondering the same thing.
When he found out she wasn’t mad at him, he asked if she
would like to go to a movie.
“I’ll ask, Yollie said, smiling. She covered the phone with
her hand and counted to ten. She uncovered the receiver and
said, “My mom says it’s OK. What are we going to see?”
After Yollie hung up, her mother climbed, grunting,
onto a chair to reach the top shelf in the hall closet. She
wondered why she hadn’t done it earlier. She reached
behind a stack of towels and pushed her chubby hand into
the cigar box where she kept her secret stash of money.
“I’ve been saving a little money every month, said
Mrs. Moreno. “For you, m’ija.”Her mother held up five
twenties, a blossom of green that smelled sweeter than
flowers on that Saturday. They drove to Macy’s and bought
a blouse, shoes, and a skirt that would not bleed in rain or
any other kind of weather.
220
230
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Characters’ actions reveal a
lot about what they are like.
Re-read lines 219–237. What
does Ernie do that reveals he
is a nice boy who likes Yollie?
What does Mrs. Moreno do
to show her love for Yollie?
Mother and Daughter 71
Mother and Daughter
Character Traits Chart
Writers bring characters to life by describing
how the characters look, talk, act, and think. Sometimes a writer directly
describes a character’s traits. For example, a writer might tell you that so-
and-so is kind, sympathetic, or tough. Often, however, you have to make
inferences about the characters based on details the writer provides.
Select one of the characters from “Mother and Daughter, and complete
this chart with details you find in the story. Then, review those details and
list the character’s traits in the box.
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Literary
Focus
Analyze
character traits.
Character:
Character Traits
Appearance
Actions
Thoughts and Feelings Other Characters’ Reactions
Speech
Skills Review
Skills Review
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Part 1
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ved.
Vocabulary
Skills
Understand
word origins.
Mother and Daughter
VOCABULARY AND COMPREHENSION
A. Word Origins The partial etymologies given below tell the story of
three of the Word Bank words. Select the vocabulary word that matches
each etymology, and write the word in the blank provided.
1. < G sophistes, meaning “wise man”
2. < Fr matin, “morning”
3. < L macer, “lean; thin”
B. Reading Comprehension Answer each question below.
1. What is Mrs. Moreno’s personality like?
2. Why is Yollie upset about the upcoming dance?
3. Why does Yollie leave the dance early?
4. What does Mrs. Moreno do to cheer Yollie up after the dance?
matinees
antics
meager
sophisticated
tirade
Wo r d B a n k
Wo r d B a n k
8 The Holt Reader: Teacher’s Manual
4. The crocodile’s conscience led him to tell the
monkey about his wife’s plan. That inner
voice, the voice that told the crocodile right
from wrong, saved the life of his monkey
friend.
B. 1. The characters include a monkey, a crocodile,
and the crocodile’s wife.
2. The crocodiles wife wants to eat the monkey’s
heart, but the crocodile doesn’t want her to
because the monkey is his friend.
3. The monkey does not get killed. The monkey
tricks the crocodile into taking him back to
his tree.
Mother and Daughter, page 60
Page 62
INFER
Possible responses: They thought she looked funny.
They yelled Mamacita! meaning “little mama, as if
they found her attractive. They were showing
friendly respect.
IDENTIFY
The detail that shows direct characterization is “Mrs.
Moreno had a strange sense of humor. Details that
show indirect characterization are . . . Yollie and her
mother were watching a late-night movie called
They Came to Look. It was about creatures from the
underworld” and “her mother screamed, ‘Look,
Yollie! Oh, you missed a scary part.
Page 63
INFER
Possible response: English is probably not her first
language. She is probably not well educated.
RETELL
She has woken up in the living room in the middle
of the night, and she is confused about where she is.
COMPARE & CONTRAST
Yollie and her mother both have a good sense of
humor.
Page 64
COMPARE & CONTRAST
How Yollie and her mother are alike: They both like
movies and games. How Yollie and her mother are
different: Yollie is slender; her mother is not. Yollie is
smart in school; her mother probably was not.
WORD STUDY
Students should circle “study a lot.
Page 65
INFER
Possible response: It reminds her of her own teenage
years when she did not have new clothes.
IDENTIFY
To give Yollie a “new” dress, Mrs. Moreno dyes an
old white dress black.
RETELL
The candy apples Yollie’s mother made were too
hard to eat, so the kids had a contest to see who
could break them open by throwing them against
the house.
Page 66
IDENTIFY
The dance is important because Yollie is in love with
Ernie Castillo.
IDENTIFY
Students should underline details such as “warm but
thick with clouds. Gusts of wind picked up the paper
lanterns hanging in the trees and swung
them . . . like a scene from a movie”; “Everyone
danced, sipped punch, and stood in knots . . . talk-
ing”; “Sister Kelly got up and jitterbugged with some
kid’s father” and “students broke into applause.
WORD STUDY
Context clues to the meaning of the word jitterbug
are “Everyone danced” and “got up ...with some
kid’s father. When the record ended. The jitterbug is
a kind of dance.
Page 67
PREDICT
Answers will vary. Possible predictions: The rain
might not affect her evening at all; the rain might
ruin her evening by messing up her hair; if her dress
gets wet, the dye might run out of it.
INFER
Yollie’s feelings and actions are described by the
words “felt sorry for her” and “helped her dry.
These details reveal that Yollie is a caring person.
IDENTIFY CAUSE & EFFECT
The rain is washing the dye out of Yollie’s dress,
causing a black puddle of water to form at
Yollie’s feet.
Page 68
CONNECT
Answers will vary. Some students may respond that
Yollie shouldn’t be ashamed of her dress because
clothing is relatively unimportant and being poor is
nothing to be ashamed of. Others may say that it’s
embarrassing because the dress was a makeover and
not new.
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Answer Key 9
Page 69
INFER
Words that describe what Mrs. Moreno is thinking,
what she looks like, and what she is doing include
“Poor baby, she thought, “made a sad face, and
“walked back to the living room and cried. These
details show that Mrs. Moreno is sympathetic, car-
ing, and loving.
INTERPRET
Possible response: Her words reveal that she is hope-
ful, practical, imaginative.
Page 70
IDENTIFY
Ernie shows hes a nice boy by calling Yollie to find
out why she left the dance and to ask if she was mad
at him. Then he asks her to go to a movie. Mrs.
Moreno shows her love for Yollie by using her sav-
ings to buy her daughter some new clothes.
Possible Answers to Skills Practice
Character Traits Chart (page 71)
Answers will vary. Sample answer:
Character: Mrs. Moreno
Character Traits: funny, caring, loving
Appearance: large, wears a muumuu and butterfly-
shaped glasses
Speech: “I’ve been saving a little money every
month ...For you,m’ija.
Actions: She walked back to the living room and
cried.
Thoughts and Feelings: She wanted to tell her
daughter how sorry she was, but she knew it
wouldn’t help.
Other Characters’ Reactions: Everyone thought
Yollie’s mother was a riot. Even the nuns laughed
at her antics.
Possible Answers to Skills Review
Vocabulary and Comprehension (page 72)
A. 1. sophisticated
2. matinees
3. meager
B. 1. Mrs. Moreno is humorous, loving,
down-to-earth.
2. Yollie doesn’t have a new dress to wear.
3. Yollie is embarrassed because the dye is wash-
ing out of her dress, and she doesn’t want her
friends to know she is wearing an old dress.
4. Mrs. Moreno takes Yollie shopping for new
clothes.
A Rice Sandwich, page 73
Page 74
IDENTIFY
Clue words that tell you who the narrator is include
My, I, and me. The narrator is a schoolgirl who lives
close to the school. The narrator is a character in
the story.
Page 75
CLARIFY
Words or phrases that help you understand to whom
the narrator is speaking include “Where is my
favorite daughter you would cry” and “when I came
home finally at 3 p.m., you would appreciate me.
INFER
Possible response: The narrator’s family is poor.
IDENTIFY
Words that identify the kind of school the writer
attends include “nun and “Sister Superior.
Page 76
INFER
Answers will vary. Sample response: I don’t think
Esperanzas mother took her request seriously
because her note sounds insincere and almost
humorous.
INFER
Possible response: She cries because she is disap-
pointed. The canteen is not special, and Esperanza
went to a lot of trouble to get to eat there.
Possible Answers to Skills Practice
Narrator Detector (page 77)
Clue 1: my
Clue 2: I
Clue 3: my
Clue 4: we
The narrator’s name is in the letter from her mother
to Sister Superior.
Possible Answers to Skills Review
Comprehension (page 78)
1. Esperanza, a girl who attends a Catholic school
2. The kids who eat in the canteen live too far from
school to go home, or their mothers aren’t at
home during the day. Esperanza calls them “spe-
cial kids.
Copyright © by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. All rights reser
ved.
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