General themes: Adapting, Self-discovery
What do you think of Lucy's mother's decision to move the family to California? Do you agree or disagree with Lucy's reaction? Why?
How does the author portray the rough-and-tumble atmosphere of 1880s California? Why do you think she included Butte's death?
What do Lucy's letters tell you about her? Why do you think she sometimes expresses different feelings in her letters from those in her narrative?
How does Lucy react to instances of prejudice and injustice?
How do the adults in the story sometimes act like children? How do the children in the story sometimes take on adult roles?
Compare and contrast Lucy's feelings about California at the beginning of the story and at the end. Why do her feelings change?