62 pages 2 hours read

Gordon Korman


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2021

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Important Quotes

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“The future of the town is the future of this family. And the future of this family is your future!”

(Chapter 2, Page 13)

This speech by Link’s father exemplifies the way he continually prompts Link to think about how his actions impact his family and community. Each person is a link in a chain that makes up a family and community. At the outset of the novel, the pressure Link feels from his father provokes resentment and anger that cause Link to act out. By the end of the novel, through active engagement in the paper chain project and by connecting with others, Link embraces his responsibility.

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“I’ve heard us called egglets—children of the eggheads. It’s not an insult—or at least I don’t think the locals mean it to be. It’s just the way things are around here. It’s a reminder that race and religion aren’t the only things that can make you an outsider.”

(Chapter 3, Page 18)

Dana discusses her feelings of being an outsider in Chokecherry. These feelings arise first from being new to town and a temporary resident, as the child of paleontologists working on the dinosaur dig. When the swastikas begin appearing, she also feels targeted and isolated as the only Jewish student, until Link discovers his Jewish roots. Gradually, she comes to understand that people can be made to feel isolated for any number of reasons and that the role of community is to bring people together. As Link and the other students learn, everyone is connected and responsible for each other.