by Cynthia Rylant
Vocabulary List.

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."
What does that mean? Is it true?
"If I had any regrets, it's what I didn't do, rather than what I did..."
Why do people often choose not to pursue what they want?
Why is the anticipation of something often better than the actual thing/event we were anticipating?

Think as we read:
Why does the author not name any of the characters?


Reading/Listening Check

  1. The author's repeated use of the phrase "...moved her to Cincinnati" is supposed to have the effect of...a) emphasizing how much she hates the move.  b) emphasizing how little control she has over her own life.  c) emphasizing how much she hates the big city of Cincinnati.  d) emphasizing how much her parents dislike her.
  2. After the move, she stays in her room looking at old photos. This is probably because... a) she is bored in Cincinnati.  b) she has such a large photo collection.  c) she is reliving happy memories. d) she is trying to make her parents feel guilty.
  3. Why does the girl finally "emerge from the house"? a) She gets bored with looking at old photos.  b) She just really wants to go to the supermarket.  c) She needed some sun.  d) Suffering is hard work, and she didn't have the energy for it any more.
  4. (quote) Why does the girl offer to go to the supermarket?

  5. Why is the boy so depressed after he drops the mayonnaise? a) He thinks he might lose his new job.  b) He hates having to clean it up.  c) He thinks he looked like a fool in her eyes.  d) All of the above.
  6. What do the girl's parents say about the fact that she does not want to move? a) They tell her the decision has already been made. b) They tell her she'll make friends fast. c) They tell her she'll be lonely at first. d) all of the above.
  7. The title "Checkouts" probably refers to... a) The girl checking out her new environment. b) the checkout in the supermarket.  c) The girl and boy checking out each other.  d) All of the above.
  8. This story is told from what point of view? a) first person.  b) second person.  c) third person. d) fourth person.
  9. The bag boy left his job because...a) he got fired. b) it was too tedious.  c) it kept reminding him of the red-haired girl. d) he kept dropping things thinking about her.
  10. On page 26, the word dishevelment (last word, third paragraph), most nearly means...  a) good looks  b) untidiness  c) coolness  d) stupidity  e) fun
  11. On page 26, last paragraph, column one, the word ecstasy most nearly means...a) torture.  b) great happiness.  c) sadness.  d) hope.

After...Pick one, and answer in complete sentences. 50+ words. Separate sheet. Due EOP tomorrow.

  1. Why is there an "s" at the end of the title?
  2. How does the bag boy help the girl even though he never speaks to her?
  3. Suppose the girl and the boy had actually talked to each other the first time they met. Would they have liked each other? Explain why you think so/not.
  4. Why is the main character never named?