Color Struck – Discussion/Study Guide (Interior design of book updated as of 2014, corresponding page numbers for previous printed editions of the book are noted in parenthesis)
1. Why do you think the Tucks chose
this particular title?
2. In the beginning of the story, Renee describes the sweatshirt Pat is wearing. How is this sweatshirt symbolic?
3. The sense of family unity looms in this particular book. In the second paragraph on page 15, Cherie tries to justify her actions toward her cousins. Read Grandma’s response on page 16. Read carefully the paragraph beginning, “Well, you ain’t no wise better, Pat . . . " What message is Grandma sending to the girls? (Previous edition: In twelfth paragraph on page 10. Grandma's response on page 11)
4. The girls gather in the den,
where they share a moment of laughter. How does this moment reflect the true relationship
5. Grandma expresses how she was
rejected by Papa Buck’s parents, Mr. Silas and Ms. Emma, from the onset of her
marriage to Buck. As she shares her narrative with the girls, several family
members arrive and join in the family discussion. How does this
setting work along with the theme of the book?
6. On page 70, Renee smiles after Cherie and Pat’s simple conversation. Why? What hidden messages are Cherie and Pat sending to each other? (Previous edition: On page 66)
7. Grandma Bell reveals the harsh
treatment she had experienced from Buck’s parents, as well as the kindness from
some of the siblings, neighbors and hired hands. In chapter 18, Ruby is introduced.
What is the significance of introducing this character at this point? Does this
chapter strengthen or weaken the theme? Why?
8. In the story, Mr. Silas did
things against Grandma Bell. However, in chapter 20, he cuts wood for her to
use in the woodstove. Why do you think he does this? What is symbolic about the
woodpile? Do you think the significance of the woodpile has any affect on
why Mr. Silas cut the wood? Why?
9. Read carefully on page 107, the paragraph beginning, “Be strong, Bell…” Grandma Bell believed Buck saw something deeper than her eyes. What do you think Buck saw? Why? (Previous edition: On page 103)
10. Ms. Emma returns back home, after
staying with her daughter in Virginia. Why do you think she has become more
reserved and less aggressive?
11. The last request of Mr. Silas was
for Buck not to let a deathbed be the peacemaker in his family. What do you
think he meant by this? Can you see the relationship between this request and
the opening sentence in Chapter 1?
12. Read carefully the last paragraph in the book beginning, “Now, that’s what I like to hear…” What’s ironic about this paragraph compared to the same quote made on page 17? (Previous edition: On page 13)
13. What are some of the major themes in this book? Are they relevant to your life? How has reading this book affected you? Do you feel this book contributes to promoting diversity and understanding for today’s society?
14. What else struck you about the book as good or bad? What did you like or dislike about it that we haven't discussed already? Were you glad you read this book?
To download a printable discussion guide for classrooms or book clubs, click HERE.