Read Chapters 1 and 2 and discuss answers to questions.
1. Why did people marry so young in the 1800s?
2. How old were Luke and Purdy?
3. What was Purdy's actual name?
4. Was it important to travel with a wagon train when going West? Why or Why not?
5. Why did people leave their home towns and family to move far away to California or Oregon?
1. What were some of the dangers cowboys faced while herding cattle?
2. Dogs are important to us as pets today. How was Blackie helpful to Luke and Purdy?
3. Why was resting as important as working when people were on a wagon train?
4. Was the wagon master too harsh with the people?
5. What were good qualities that wagon masters needed to possess?
6. The doctor took charge of the situation. Why was he upset with Purdy?
Read Chapters 3, 4, & 5. Discuss answers to questions.
1. Was love the only reason people married?
2. What were some of the other reasons?
3. Who was Trudy Grace?
4. What was her husband's name?
5. What were her son and daughter-in-law's names?
6. Where had Granny and Purdy lived while Purdy was younger?
7. How did Trudy and her husband get separated?
Chapters 4 &5
1. Why didn't Ruby's parents want her to date Andrew?
2. Who were Sally and June?
3. Whose room were they making over?
4. How did Andrew persuade Ruby to do things against her better judgment?
5. Why did Ruby run away from home?
6. What were some indications that Ruby was not mature enough to live away from home?
7. Why didn't Nan realize that Ruby had run away until much later in the day?
Read chapter 6 and discuss questions.
1. What was the 'drag' wagon?
2. Why did Purdy place the gypsy wagon in the 'drag' position?
3. The wagon master was angry that they were so slow. What problems did he think could occur if they lagged too far behind?
4. What did the wagon master decide that Luke and Purdy had to do?
5. What was the name of the Fort?
Read chapters 7 & 8
Discuss the contrast of Ruby and Andy's lives? Discuss the answers to the questons.
1. What kind of house did Ruby live in?
2. How old was Ruby?
3. How did she get food?
4. How did she get water?
5. Why did she make the little doll?
1. Why was Andrew in the mansion?
2. What was Andrew's full name?
3. Who did Andrew marry?
4. Who was Dr. Brown and what was he going to do?
5. Why did Ruby run away from the doctor and Andy?
Read Chapters 9 & 10
Discuss answers to questions.
1. The letter Luke and Purdy received from home changed everything. What news brought about those changes?
2. Why didn't Luke want to pray?
3. What was the nick name Luke gave to Purdy?
1. What were some indications that Shasta and Elmer were good trackers?
2. Where did Elmer decide to go after he had a dream about someone who went to medical school with him?
3. Why did Andy leave the first ranch so quickly?
4. Why didn't the other cowboy follow him?
Read chapters 11 and 12. Discuss answers to questions.
1. Why was Ruby running from Andy?
2. Maria allowed Ruby to stay with her and her family. Why?
1. What is one way that Ruby paid Maria back for staying with her?
2. How were certain chores different in the 1800s than they are today? (laundry, cooking)
3. Who was Caros?
4. What kind of man do you think he was?
Read chapters 13 and 14 and discuss answers to questions.
1. What was Purdy learning to impress Luke?
2. Why was Luke angry?
3. What news did Luke get in the letter from home?
4. Who was Trudy?
5. Who was Abe?
1. Do you think the language barrier between Maria and Ruby cost Ruby her life? Why or why not?
2. Who tried to help Ruby?
3. What was Ruby's baby's name?
4. Why did William have milk?
Read Chapters 15 & 16. Discuss answers to questions.
1. Why did Luke write a note instead of talking with Purdy?
2. Why didn't Purdy read Luke's note when Abe came to see her?
3. Why did Abe change the message of the note?
1. How did Elmer react when he met Andy?
2. What concerned him about the place where Ruby lived when she was with Andy.
3. What signs on the trail indicated Ruby's flight to Maria's home?
4. What did Elmer find showing him that he found Ruby?
Read Chapters 17 & 18. Discuss the answers to these questions.
1. Who helped Sheriff Miller with Rose?
2. Who named Rose?
3. Why was the woman on the train?
4. Who did Sheriff Miller run into at the train station?
1. What long-lost item did Nan find at the train station?
2. What items were in it?
3. How long had it been since Nan saw it?
4. Elmer came home to tell Nan what he found out about Ruby.The news is something no one would want to share. How could Elmer tell the news in a better way?
5. Shasta was alwas a comfort to Nan. Why are animals like Shasta able to help when people can't?
Read Chapters 19, 20, & 21. Discuss answers to these questions.
1. How did Luke get Star Shadow?
2. Describe Star Shadow.
3. Did Luke share his father's faith?
4. How did Luke find out about Ruby?
5. Why did the story of Fred's first family seem more real to Luke?
6. Why did Fred and Nan urge Luke to get back to Purdy?
1. Why did Purdy decide to go to California instead of Oregon?
2. What news did Purdy want to tell Luke?
3. How did Purdy get burned?
4. Who rescued her?
1. Who were Sarah and Elk?
2. Who was Moses and why did he want to go with Luke?
3. Who was James? What was his relationship with Fred?
4. What did he story of the wolves mean?
Read Chapters 22, 23, & 24. Discuss the answers to the following questions.
1. Why did Purdy think Miranda's house was too fussy?
2. What kind of lessons was Molly Bloom going to teach Purdy?
3. Why did Abe cut his talk short with Purdy?
4. What was the first thing Purdy did when she arrived in California?
5. What is the next thing she did in California?
1. Why was Luke surprised that Purdy was not at Ft. Hall?
2. What was the reason that he had to stay there a few months?
3. What is a straw tick?
1. How did Nan get the copy of "The Denver Post"?
2. What information was in it that would change her life?
Read Chapters 25 & 26. Discuss the answers to the following questions.
1. Was Suzanna glad to see Purdy?
2. Was Suzanna a good person?
3. Who did Purdy accidently run into after her visit with Suzanna?
1. What was Sheriff Miller's sister's name?
2. How old was Rose when she went to live with Fred and Nan?
3. How did Rose ease the pain of Ruby's death for Nan and Fred?
Read chapters 27, 28, & 29. Discuss the answers to the following questions.
1. Purdy got a new horse. What was its name?
2. What did it look like?
3. What caused Purdy to get upset at dinner?
1. Why didn't Purdy wear shoes?
2. Who ate the pie Abe brought to Purdy?
3. Was Purdy's baby a boy or girl?
1. What news did Moses bring to Luke?
2. Men tease in a different way than women. What are the differences in their teasing?
3. How did Luke get hurt?
4. What vision did he see when he was first hurt?
5. In what way did the near-death experience change Luke?
Read Chapters 30 & 31. Discuss the answers to the following questions.
1. Why did Purdy think she wouldn't be a good mother?
2. Why didn't Purdy read Luke's note after she learned how to read?
3. What did she name her baby?
4. Why did Abe get mad at Purdy?
1. Why did Suzanna have a spy check Purdy out?
2. Was Suzanna surprised that Abe knew Purdy?
3. Why would she care?
4. Why did Ben kill and why did he kill him?
Read Chapter 32 & 33. Discuss the following questions.
1. What member of Moses' family did he meet first?
2. Why was Dee surprised at the way her husband spoke to her?
3. How did Trudy and Moses get seperated in th first place?
1. In what way was the letter Luke actually wrote different than what Abe told Purdy it said?
2. What was Purdy's reaction?
3. Abe came to see Purdy after she read the letter. What did he do after she gave him her answer to his marriage proposal?
4. After she was robbed, why did Purdy feel like the wealthiest woman in the world?
Read Chapters 34, 35, and 36. Discuss the following questions.
1. Who did Molly say was murdered?
2. Why was Purdy accused?
3. Who took care of her baby while she was in jail?
1. In the trial it came out that Purdy had money. Where did she get it?
2. What was the verdict?
1. Why was Ben upset about the verdict?
2. Why was Ben upset with Suzanne?
3. Who killed Abe?
4. What happened to Ben and Suzanne?
Read the last chapter and discuss the ending.
1. What happened in the last chapter?