They said their farewells to everyone. They left in the morning by train to Chicago. They felt weird, having the right to board the train. They were used to being outcasts. Josh dreaded the things that would happen once they reach home. Slowly, as they boarded out of the coach, they saw their mom, dad, and Kitty waiting eagerly for them.
Notes: It is evident in the last chapter that no matter what happens, family will always be there. Despite Josh’s coldness towards his parents, he gave in and went back home because he thought about them once he was able to prove himself.
Compassion - The theme of compassion is seen throughout the book—from the act done by Joey to the cats in the alley, up to Lonnie and his family taking in the boys. Josh and Joey survived a lot of things because of the compassion showed by a lot of people around them. Albeit, Josh wasn’t as compassionate as his brother, he felt a lot of guilt whenever he couldn’t give back the help that was given to him. All in all, Lonnie was one of the most compassionate characters, owing to the fact that he saw his own son whenever he helped the boys.
Pride - Josh and his father, Stefan, are men who wore their pride on their sleeves. It is because of pride that they ended up at odds against each other. It was also the reason why Josh refused to beg on the streets and left the job to Joey and Howie when they first started. He had to swallow his pride a couple of times in the novel just so he and his brother could have something to eat.
Determination - Despite Josh’s pride, he was determined to prove to his parents that he could stand on his own feet. Similarly, Joey was also determined to stick by his brother’s side through thick and thin. Almost everyone in the story was determined to get out of his or her current situation. With Josh, he wasn’t just determined to survive; he was determined to repay everyone who did him good when he and his brother were starving.
1. The book is set during The Great Depression. Do you think kids of the current era would survive if in case it happens again? Justify your answer.
2. Josh was very similar to his father, Stefan. Do you believe that their children inherit some traits of the parents? Explain
3. If you were in Josh’s shoes, what would be the alternative measures that you’ll think in order to keep yourself and your brother fed?
4. Josh felt the pain of falling in love because of Emily. In your own opinion, did Josh have a chance with Emily?
5. In relation to question # 4, Josh moved on and fell in love with Janey. What would you think happened to them once Josh settled things with his family in Chicago? Make short explanation on a possible continuity of the story.