Questions for consideration and discussion
1. How is “Kanzas” described in Information for Kanzas Immigrants? [You can see the original document at www.territorialkansasonline.org ] How is it different from the town that Lucy and her family find when they arrive in Kansas? Why does Lucy prefer “Kanzas” to the Kansas where she lives?
2. Why does Papa think is it important to go to Kansas? How does Lucy feel about it? What changes Lucy’s feelings about the issue of slavery?
3. Lucy’s blue silk gown is a luxury that reflects her family’s social standing and Lucy’s expectation that she will grow up as a lady of culture. How do her feelings about the dress change in the story? What does the dress represent to her later?
4. What kind of relationship does Lucy have with her brother Joseph? How is it typical of brothers and sisters? How and why does their relationship change?
5. How does Lucy feel about taking things from her family’s store to help the runaway slaves? Why doesn’t she tell her parents? Do you think they would have wanted to help? Would Mamma feel differently about it than Papa?
6. Miss Collins tells Lucy that “Words alone are only noise. To make a difference, they must be proven with actions.” How does Lucy use her words and actions to make a difference? How can you use your own words and actions to help others? Can you think of situations where it takes great courage to make that choice?
7. Lucy and Joseph make a dangerous choice to rescue Phoebe. If the story continued past the book’s ending, do you think Lucy would continue to help slaves? Why or why not?
8. If you had a time machine that could take you to 1855 Lawrence, what do you think life would be like? What would be much more difficult in your everyday life? What would you miss most from the modern world?