Friday, November 24, 2017

Welcome to our guided reading blog. You can email me by clicking on this link: Dave Budgar



Kimberly Willis Holt maintains a great web site.  You can learn
lots about her life, her influences, her books, her tips for writing,
and much more.  Check it out by clicking on the book cover. 


Dancing in Cadillac Light is set in the fictional town of Moon, Texas, which is
in East Texas. Click on the map to learn a little more about this unique region.


A 1962 (same year as Grandpap's) Cadillac.

Posted by Mr. B. on Sunday, Apr 22nd, 2007.
As a result of the fire episode at the homeplace with the Pickenses, and her subsequent interactions with Mr. Bailey, Betty Jean Kizer, Mrs. Allen, and Lily Belle, in chapters 25 and 26, what do you think Jaynell has learned?  Be sure to skim and then reread the appropriate sections of these chapters before responding.
Posted by Mr. B. on Saturday, Apr 21st, 2007.

Jaynell's daddy keeps wondering what's gotten into her lately.  Try to put yourself in her place. What's going on inside her head right now?  What do you think she should say and/or do? 

Please remember to check back tomorrow (Sunday) to see if another question has been posted.

Posted by Mr. B. on Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2007.
Please note: there are two separate ideas (below) to consider and blog about for these chapters.
Posted by Mr. B. on Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2007.
Now, after what she did in chapter 22 (Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!), what do you think about Aunt Loveda?
Posted by Mr. B. on Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2007.

Maybe you can help me understand...

1. Why does Jaynell seem to harbor so much disdain for Lily Belle Pickens?

2. At the end of chapter 21 (Pirouette), it seemed like Jaynell's parents had made up, but at the beginning of chapter 22 (Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!), Aunt Loveda and Uncle Floyd offer them their trailer as a getaway to help them work out their differences.  That didn't make sense to me.

Posted by Mr. B. on Tuesday, Apr 17th, 2007.

Even though the time Jaynell and Rooster Reuben spent together was relatively short, it seems that some things happened that might begin to explain some of the past and the present, and possibly even foretell the future.  What did you get out of their meeting?  What can you infer?

This definition of a phrase used on page 119 might help you to understand more:

white trash

- noun Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.

1. a member of the class of poor whites, esp. in the southern U.S.
2. poor whites collectively.
Posted by Mr. B. on Sunday, Apr 15th, 2007.
Please note: there are three separate big questions (below) to think about and respond to for these chapters (sorry, but I think there's a lot to consider here).
Posted by Mr. B. on Sunday, Apr 15th, 2007.

Jaynell's parents and her Aunt Loveda and Uncle Floyd seem to have different perspectives on the Pickenses staying in the homeplace.  Aunt Loveda and Uncle Floyd seemed determined to get them out as soon as possible, but Jaynell's parents seem to be taking a softer, more patient, and more accepting approach.

Do you agree?  Do you disagree?  Why?  Please support your response with examples from the text and your own inferences, explaining why you feel the way you do and why the characters are acting the way they are.

Posted by Mr. B. on Sunday, Apr 15th, 2007.

Immediately after Grandpap's death, Jaynell's father seemed to dislike the Cadillac immensely and he virtually ignored it, "like it was invisible" (pp. 100-101).  He did not want anyone to even talk about it.  Then, a few days after Christmas, he carefully washed it with Jaynell, drove it with her to the dealership "to have everything checked out" (p. 103), and told the salesman, "We're not selling this Cadillac.  Couldn't part with it.  Too much sentimental value" (p. 104).

Jaynell was shocked.  "I couldn't believe Daddy.  A couple of weeks ago the Cadillac was his enemy, and now he was talking like it was a part of the family" (pp. 104-105).

Then, in chapter 18 (A Golden Chariot), Momma wants to sell the Cadillac, because "We have the pickup. And we could use the money" (p.109).  Daddy, however, rejected that idea (especially the part about Racine taking dancing lessons).

How do you account for the dramatic change in Daddy's attitude toward the Cadillac?  What do you think the family should do with regard to the Cadillac?

Posted by Mr. B. on Sunday, Apr 15th, 2007.

In chapter 16 (Go Tell It on the Mountain), Mrs. Allen tells Jaynell, "your grandpap was such a changed man these last years."  This prompted Jaynell to wonder what she meant by that.

Then, in the same chapter, at the funeral, Aunt Loveda said, "Some people can't get over how Poppa [Grandpap] used to be."  Jaynell thought that this might somehow be related to what Mrs. Allen had said.

Finally, in chapter 17 (A Christmas Drive), Jaynell had this conversation with her father:

"What did Aunt Loveda mean at the cemetery when she said some people would never forget the way Grandpap used to be?"

"Wouldn't know.  Most people liked your Grandpap. No man's perfect, though."

"What do you mean?"

"Jaynell, you're too nosy for your own good, gal"

Can you connect the dots?  What do you think all this means?

Posted by Mr. B. on Friday, Apr 13th, 2007.
It seems like we've reached a turning point in the story. Please use the blog to reflect on all the changes that have taken place in Jaynell's life lately, what she's learned from them, and how she might respond to them. Please share any thoughts, feelings, inferences, opinions, questions, or predictions that you have for the rest of us to consider.
Posted by Mr. B. on Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2007.

One of the things I'm wondering about is why so many people in his family think Grandpap is crazy. Why do you think that is? Why are they making that judgment? Do you think he's crazy? What evidence do they or you have that he is?

I think Jaynell wonders the same thing. On page 62 she thinks, "I wondered why Aunt Loveda thought it was all right for her to spend her money the way she wanted, but not Grandpap." What are your thoughts on that?

Please remember: this has a spell-checking tool. You are publishing your writing for the whole world to see. Use tools to help you produce final-copy writing.

Posted by Mr. B. on Sunday, Apr 8th, 2007.
Toward the end of chapter 9, in the first major conflict of this story, Jaynell's father questions her about Grandpap, the boat, and the hunters. Why do you think he'd be so angry with her for being with him in the boat? Why would he be so bothered about Granpap having been out on the lake? Why do you think Jaynell didn't tell the truth and defend herself and Grandpap? What do you think the result of this will be?
Posted by Mr. B. on Thursday, Apr 5th, 2007.

These questions pertain to chapter 6 (Return to Caddo Lake).

Why, as Jaynell and Grandpap walked home after their boating excursion, did Jaynell feel that she "couldn't bear to look in his [Grandpap's] face"?

Why, when they arrived home, was Jaynell "relieved that Daddy's truck wasn't parked out front"?

And, why did Jaynell apparently feel that she needed to keep what had happened on the lake that afternoon a secret from her father?

Posted by Dave Budgar on Tuesday, Apr 3rd, 2007.

Why do you think Momma reacted so harshly toward Racine for taking a cookie at the Pickens' house? Based on Momma's words, Jaynell's thoughts, and Sweet Adeline's comments, Momma's actions seemed unusual, as if she weren't acting like herself.

Before responding, be sure to revisit the last few pages of chapter 5, considering the different characters' perspectives, to help you form your opinion.

Posted by Mr. B. on Monday, Apr 2nd, 2007.
Why do you think Jaynell's father asked her to "keep an eye on Grandpap this summer"?
Posted by Mr. B. on Monday, Apr 2nd, 2007.
Considering the two major changes in Jaynell's household -- her grandpap moving in and she having to move into Racine's bedroom -- what sorts of issues or conflicts might you anticipate? Think about how Jaynell and Racine seem different from each other and the way their grandpap was acting.
Posted by Mr. B. on Thursday, Mar 8th, 2007.


After reading the first chapter, what questions do you have? What predictions can you make?