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Before We Were Yours notes
Terms in this set (124)
three facts to add about Georgia Tann's upbringing, before she worked for the Tennessee Children's Home Society.
1.She got a degree in piano performance, and also studied social work and law
2.Her first job was at the Mississippi Children's Home Society; she was fired from this position for questionable child placing methods
3. She adopted one child herself, a daughter early in her career.
List at least three ways that the children came to the home? (5)
1. She took children from hospitals at birth, from married/unwed mothers; parents were told that the newborns required medical care/had died
2. She took children born to inmates at Tennessee mental institutions/prisons
3. She took children from nursery schools/playgrounds/babysitters
4.Took children from orphanages that had been temporarily placed there due to a family illness/death/sudden legal and financial issues
5.The rules in Tennessee prevented parents from paying more than $7 to complete an adoption; however, outside of Tennessee, Tann charged outrageous fees for transportation, medical bills, legal fees, etc., and kept most of the money she charged
What happened to the children after they came?
1. She preferred clients who were wealthy/who were from states other than Tennessee, because then she could get more money from adoptions
2. Changed names, birth dates, and birth records of children were altered/destroyed to prevent biological families from finding their children
How financially successful was Georgia Tann?
She illegally gained at least 1 million dollars while employed by the Tennessee Children's Home
Why was she never prosecuted?
She died right when she was about to be exposed after her practices were uncovered
she died of uterine cancer in her own home in 1950
The setting of Before We Were Yours (prelude)(2)
1.Baltimore, Maryland August 3,1939
2.A hospital/ private suite, the best of everything
What event is being described? (prelude)
Christine is the mom: A birth : a baby girl that has died
The woman's father is in the hospital, looks wealthy and powerful, was to become a grandfather that day (he mentions the sadness of his wife when she learns of it and his son-in-law who is overseas (war?)
What was suggested to make things better? (prelude)
Doctor secretly suggests, "I know of a woman in Memphis"
The setting? (chapter 1)
Aiken, SC/ present day
Give name, age, and career of the narrator. (chapter 1)
Avery Stafford, 30, lawyer, works in US attorney's office in DC
Who is her father? (chapter 1)
Senator Wells Stafford, 57 years old (he is sick, possible seriously)
Who is Lesile (chapter 1) (3)
Wells Stafford's press secretary--keeps his schedule, gives advice, protects him
What is the matter with Grandma Judy? (chapter 1)
She is having memory loss problems
What event is being celebrated at a nursing home? (chapter 1)
The 100th birthday of a resident (married since WWII--they met in France--he had been shot down) (Luci and Frank)
Who is May? (chapter 1)
A resident of that nursing home. She grabs on to Avery's arm and says the name Fern
Who narrates Chapter 2?
May Crandall/ Rill Foss
Where is the place and when is the time of this flashback? (chapter 2)
A Mississippi River bank when she was a child (12 years old) living on a houseboat with her family (Briny built it from his family home wood before the bank took it)
Who are these characters?
Also, give ages of them. (chapter 2)
Rill: 12 year old daughter
Camellia: 10 (dark hair)
Fern: almost 4
What is happening that day on their houseboat? (chapter 2)
mom is giving birth, there is a storm outside.
Who narrates Chapter 3?
. What specific kind of cancer does Avery's father have?
Why did Avery move back to South Carolina from her Washington, D.C. job? (2) (chapter 2)
1. to help the family and especially her father at his job. 2.If things go badly with her dad, she might be in line to run in an election for his job, but she needs to live in the state (establish residency)
The meeting today is for a PAC (a political action committee). What is the topic? (chapter 2)
Nursing home care (the poor, good, and best)
What did May Crandall take from Avery? (chapter 2)
her bracelet--it has dragonflies on it, it was her grandmother's
What recently happened to May? (chapter 2)
her sister died and they found May living in their home with dead cats and the sister who died--has been at this home for about 2 weeks
Who narrates chapter 4
When and where it is (chapter 4)
On the houseboat with her family
What is the weather like? (chapter 4)
What is Rill worried about? (chapter 4)
She is worried about Quennie
What plan does Briny and Zede have? (chapter 4)
To take Quennie to the hospital
Who narrates chapter 5?
Why does Avery go back to the nursing home? (chapter 5)
To retrieve her bracelet
Describe the photo that Avery sees in May's room? (chapter 5)
It is a woman with long curly blonde hair, pregnant and a man with dark hair and a fishing pole
Does Avery's mother remember the name May Crandall? (chapter 5)
Who are the characters of Elliot and Bitsy? (chapter 5)
Elliot: Avery's fiancé
Bitsy: Elliot's mother, a southern lady hoping for a glamorous wedding
When Zede returns to the houseboat, whom does he bring? (chapter 6)
Silas, a teenage boy
What does Zede tell the children about their parents? (chapter 6)
That they are in the hospital while Queenie recovers
Zede brings someone to take care of the children temporarily. Who is it?
What is his story? (chapter 6)
Silas--boy in early teens who was beaten and ran away at age of 9 and has been on his own since then. He brings food, seems nice/helpful
Who comes to the Arcadia?
What happens to the children? (chapter 6)
Police (?) to take the children; because they expect to be taken to their parents, they agree to go
-Georgia Tann picks the kids up--already two in the car and she assesses them (most blonde, but dirty/smelly)--already she is mean to them.\/ threatens them
What is Magnolia Manor?
What did it used to be? (chapter 7)
A nursing home for the wealthy
A country club, but now it has has fences, needs a code to get in
Avery shows Grandma Judy a photo of the picture in May Crandall's room.
What does Grandma Judy say about it? (chapter 7)
She denies knowing May Crandal, but her face tells Avery that she does know her. At the end she calls Avery Rill and then says the Arcadia must be a secret--people might want to dig up trouble.
Where do the children want/expect to go? (chapter 8)
To the hospital the "police" said their parents were fine (no way, Rill thinks) (IS this the hospital?)they are told they need to get cleaned up before going to the hospital
Describe the house where they have been taken? (chapter 8)
At first she says that it is like Sleeping Beauty;s Castle because it is a big white house, lots of magnolia trees, but on further inspection it
Things are really prison-like: a fence, broken baby carriage, smells inside, kids all look unhappy or afraid/are quiet
Who is Mrs. Murphy? (chapter 8)
She takes care of the children
Miss Tann asks the children's names...and then what does she say about them? (chapter 8)
She changes their names.
What explanation do Avery's parents give for not recognizing May's name? (chapter 9)
People know them-they might now know her fame and money)
Honeybee wants to talk about the wedding
In order to find out more information, Avery goes to her grandmother's house. What in particular does she think will help her? (chapter 9)
Her pictures and appointment books
The story of the bracelet--gift to GJ before--1966
Who is Trent Turner?
When Avery calls him, what does she find out? (chapter 9) (2)
name on her last appointment before she was lost/he is a real estate agent in Edisto Island in SC
-nothing--he basically hangs up when she says GJ's name
Where is the Myer's cottage?
Why do the Staffords own it? (chapter 9) (2)
Myers was Grandma Judy's maiden name (chapter 19. The family owns it for a vacation home
How are Rill and her siblings treated on their first night in the home? (2) (chapter 10)
- Smelly cots in the basement
- bathed in dirty water
Who is the visitor that came in the night, and what did he leave for the children (chapter 10)
a man, and he brings candy for the children
By the end of the chapter, what warning about him do they hear? (chapter 10)
-he isn't the kind of friend you want
What punishment does Mrs. Pulnik threaten if the children aren't good? (chapter 10)
She will put them in the closet, if they are not good.
Tell what takes up Avery's life at the beginning of this chapter? (chapter 11)
Her father's work conference
What two things does she decide to do when things settle down? (chapter 11)
See May Crandall, go visit Edisto Island
Avery reads her grandmother's journal entries, considers the photo and tries to guess what it is all about.
What are the possibilities she considers? (chapter 11) (2)
1.Trent wants to blackmail the family with his secret information
2. Her grandmother had a relationship before getting married and then gave the baby up for adoption
Her grandmother was having an affair with Trent I, (Trent's 's grandfather)
Avery visits Trent Turner. What is he willing to tell her? (chapter 11)
What seems to happen to the children at this home?
Why does Rill think it will not happen to them? (chapter 12)
It is Mrs. Murphy's place. They are called "wards" because they have no parents to come for them (or do but they cannot come) and so they might be sent off to a family (might come back, might not). It has happened to Sherry and James' brother, etc.
They are not wards--they have parents!
Give some of the conversation between Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Pulnik. (pp. 122-123) (chapter 12)
Tell Mr. Riggs to put poison in the bushes to kill the rabbits/weed the flower bed because Tann is coming
Some kids are sick, but no doctor will be called
Stevie wets the bed...needs to be punished by tying him to the bed/ he is small so his age can be changed
In particular, what does Rill think might happen to her and her siblings? (chapter 12)
There will be a special viewing (to show the children to prospective parents)
The "5" are being saved
What happens with Mr. Kemp? (chapter 12)
He comes to the house to pick up his son--was told he was adopted--he said he never signed any papers for that to happen--told her he would be back. Mrs. Murphy refuses to help him, he collapses on the porch and she leaves him there. Eventually Riggs takes him out to his truck and he waits and watches all day.
How did James come to the home? (chapter 12)
James is red-head/wants to be Rill's boyfriend. He and his brother were walking to school one day (he was in 4th grade) and they are picked up; he has been there ever since ( no school); brother was adopted.
The bookmobile arrives at the home. What lies does Miss Tann tell? (chapter 12)
The big black truck comes and Georgia Tann in her car and another car with reporter/photographer; she tells him that the children get the best of everything, luxuries they never knew before, poor things--only they care about them; but children who hear this will not say a thing--punishment will come
The plan is to send Rill and her siblings to a viewing party Saturday, except for Camellia.
In the Myer's Cottage in Edisto, Avery calls her Uncle Clifford. What does he remember about his visits to the cottage when he was young? (chapter 13)
Grandma Judy's favorite place to write anonymous stuff. Columns and poems.
What does the typewriter ribbon reveal? (chapter 13)
It revealed something about the Tennessee Children's Home Society.
What job did Trent's grandfather do for people? (chapter 13)
He is a real estate
The viewing party and it's purpose (chapter 14)
It's hosted so that kids can be adopted.
What lies does Miss Tann tell about Gabion? (chapter 14)
She says that Lark, Fern, and Rill are not his siblings. She also said the sibling is an infant girl, and were both up for adoption. She also tells them that Gabion's mother died due to childbirth, and the father abandoned his kids.
Why doesn't Gabion return with the others? (chapter 14)
He was being adopted by a family
Camellia was excluded from the party. How does she behave when the children return?
Later, at bathtime, she is taken away and punished.
What do you think happened? (chapter 14)
She was crying because she fell off the swing.
They took the rope and the blanket, wrapped her up, and put her in the closet.
Whom does Rill think she sees outside the house? (chapter 14)
What does Trent reveal about his grandfather's life?
What was his grandfather's job? (chapter 15)
He was adopted
He is a real estate agency.
Who is Jonah? (chapter 15)
Even though Avery is confused, can you (the reader) explain the documents Avery reads? (chapter 15)
The records are about Trent Turner's grandfather, from the Tennessee Children's Home Society.
What rumor does Danny Boy made to Camellia? (chapter 16)
She is dead
What help does Miss Dodd offer?
Whom does she ask for help from the staff? (chapter 16)
-To help the children after they are taken away.
What happened to Lark?
What happened to Miss Dodd? (chapter 16)
-She got adopted and her name was changed to Bonnie.
-She is fired
What is revealed about the relationship between Mrs. Murphy and Mr. Riggs? (chapter 16)
How is May/Rill punished?
After her punishment is over, what is Rill told in the office? (chapter 16)
- sent to the basement
- her sister doesn't exist
What happened to Fern? (chapter 16)
She was adopted
Who approaches Rill/May while she is outside?
What does he tell her about her parents?
How does he offer to help her? (chapter 16)
- The parents signed the adoption parents
- Decided to rescue Rill/ May
Avery meets Trent in Edisto again. What is the story about Trent and Jonah's mother? (chapter 17)
She and Trent aren't married. She left Jonah and went back to her ex-husband. She also was involved in a car accident, and Jonah was hurt. He had a liver donor from her sister.
What was the original reputation of the Tennessee Children's Home Society? (chapter 17)
an orphanage for children
What was eventually discovered about it? (chapter 17)
It had a very dark side. The workers were mean, no proper food, and some of them died.
Who meets Rill outside the home one night?
What plan do they make?
On her way back in the house, who catches her? (chapter 18)
-They decided to meet outside, in the nighttime
The new worker (hired to replace Miss Dodd) encounters Mr. Riggs that night. Why do you think he hides Rill? (chapter 18)
So that she will not get in trouble
The next morning, what causes a commotion with Mrs. Murphy? (chapter 18)
Someone wants Rill/ May
Where is Rill taken? (chapter 18)
Taken to a hotel room.
In their visit to May Crandall, what do they learn about her life?
She used to live in the Tennessee's Children Home Society, and knows Trent Hurner
What do they learn about Trent's grandfather? (what name was he given in the home?) (chapter 19)
He got separated from his sister at the orphanage, and his name was Stevie.
Why had Georgia Tann changed the first names of the children?
prevent birth families from finding them
With May's help, Avery is able to identify the four women in the picture. Who are they?
What are they all wearing?
How did May meet Grandma Judy originally?
-Judy and May's sisters.
They met on Edisto Island.
Do you think Avery and Elliot's engagement will work out?
Why or why not?
-Elliot will think Avery is cheating on her, since she is getting closer to Trent.
What does Leslie say when she finds Avery? (Chapter 19)
She has been talking to Trent and isn't satisfied.
Describe the family and the house where Rill and Fern now live.
The family is rich and they live in a fancy house
Who are these characters?
Zuma: The maid
Hoy: The maid's husband
Hootsie: The daughter
What struggles have Mr. and Mrs. Sevier had in the past?
She had babies in the past, but they died.
What threats does Zuma make to Rill/May?
be like river food now, worth it
What is Fern's new name? (Chapter 20)
What is Mr. Sevier's profession? (Chapter 20)
What talent does Rill have? (Chapter 20)
She can play piano
-Who comes to visit Avery?
-What feelings does he share about Grandma Judy? (Chapter 21)
-She took care of a boy named Oz
With what topic do Avery's mother and Elliot's mother seem preoccupied? (Chapter 21)
Avery visits Grandma Judy; what does Grandma Judy request?
To burn the stuff in the closet.
Avery goes back to her grandmother's old home.
Who is there?
Where does he take her?
Describe the outside of the place.
-A taxi driver
-To take grandma Judy
-Takes her to Augusta
-It is a river, and a bridge.
Who visits the Sevier family?
What is she threatening to do?
What does she want?
-Take them back
Who are the McCameys?
What plan has Rill/May tried to work out with Arney McCamey?
What does she offer to him to convince him to follow through?
What secret does Arney share?
Neighbours next to Darren and Victoria
Take them back to Arcadia
Will be welcomed in the family
He is not a boy.
Do they make it back to the houseboat? (Chapter 22)
What does Silas tell them? (Chapter 22)
Quennie died, and Briny is depressed since the kids went missing
What things do they discover inside the house?
Whose house is it?
Small rug, everything is neat, an envelope labeled May Crandall , photo of Trent Turner Sr.with a woman.
Bart takes Avery and Trent to his mother's house. What information does she share with Avery about Grandma Judy?
Judy was Georgia Tann's daughter, and was adopted by Quennie.
How did Bart's mother know Rill/May in the past?
Bart's mother is Rill's neighbour.
It has been a few weeks since Rill and Fern returned. What differences are there in their houseboat?
How is Briny acting?
Why will he not want to move down the river?
Quennie died, and Briny is having mental problem since the kids are gone
He has been acting weird
Because he wants to stay here
One night, Briny decides to move the houseboat.
What is the weather like? (Chapter 24)
The weather wasn't stromy, it was in fair condition.
That night, what does Briny do?
Take the boat in the middle of the night
What is the weather?
The weather wasn't stromy, it was in fair conditions
What happens to the boat?
The boat is gone
What happens to Briny?
What decision does Rill finally make?
To run away
What decision does Arney make?
Goes with Zede and Silas
1. May explains how life turned out for Lark.
...and for Fern. Explain.
2. When Rill/may returns with Fern to the Seviers' house, how do the Seviers act towards them?
3. What benefits do the children receive from the Seviers?
4. Why did Georgia Tann stop threatening the family?
-Lark died from cancer five years ago
-Fern died recently.
-No, but the Seviers tried to find Fern and Rill
-May was able to get piano lessons from the Seviers.
-When Rill and Fern were not able to be found.
5. What happened to Silas?
6. How did Arney's life go?
7. At the end of May's story, Avery invites her for a ride. Where do they go?
8. Oz brings Grandma Judy, Honeybee, and Senator Stafford to the house.
Does Grandma Judy remember it?
9. Who bought the dragonfly bracelets?
What was the occasion when they received them?
What do they symbolize?
-Rill never saw him again
-She was adopted in a farm
-They go to Meyers cottage on Edisto Island.
Yes, she does remember it.
9. Who bought the dragonfly bracelets?
What was the occasion when they received them?
What do they symbolize?
10. What worries Honeybee after hearing the whole story?
9. What happens between Avery and Elliot?
What happens between Avery and Trent?
10. What plans does Avery envision for herself?
-Camelia, Gabion, and Judy's twin brother
-She was shocked when she heard the story.
They decided to not get married
-Avery likes Trent
-She loves Trent
Where does May move? (Chapter 26)
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