"That the wielded blade could give life as well as take it." (Page 37)
The Rich People's School
"You will go to university and have so many choices & not have to sell your life away like your silly stupid mother." (Page 48)
The Kettle on the Boat
"There is only one goose." (Page 91)
Juan lives in a town where conflicts are resolved through machete fights since machetes are common and every man cuts cane. After watching his father and another man kill each other, Juan has now experienced both the good and bad of using a machete and has now become a man.
The Kettle on the Boat
"It fills the room with a big cloud, a warm cloud, & the window gets covered in giant's breath." (Page 72)
Sylvia's mother is struggling to support her family and resorts to marrying a rich american white man who she will move to america with. She wants her daughter Sylvia to experience more out of life by enrolling her in a nearby school so that Sylvia does not end up like her mother.
"It was as if a boy no different than himself had just been birthed into existence." (Page 168)
Once Qissunguaq and her family find out there is only one goose to hunt, her father realizes they cannot keep going on this journey any longer when there is so little food. The father also realizes he can not support everyone in the family and later on gives Qissunguaq to another family.
Maryanne Clouds Today
"She took time out, but always came back with loads of paintings under each arm." (Page 90)
Qissunguaq and her family are experiencing famine and have set out on their boat to find a new home with more animals to hunt. Qissunguaq is describing her family's journey as well as the kettle they brought to keep them warm which fuels her imagination.
So far, Tommy's experience with third-world countries was through american depictions of them on television. Once Tommy sends a letter to a boy in India as an assignment and gets a response, he is amazed at the response he gets because it is something that he never expected.
Despite being in the hospital due to her declining health, Maryanne is making the best of her experience by showcasing her creativity and imagination through paintings. She eventually must be put on a machine, but she enjoys the appreciation she gets from people who like her artwork.