by Erica Lann Clark

Story Summary

In the Cold War era, in a high school without a soul, Erica experienced brief inclusion in the best girl’s clique! Then, she was dropped and fell into hopeless disappointment and depressions. But with her father’s help and the inspiration of a House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) witness, she found her power and the school found its spirit.

Discussion Questions

  1. How do cliques affect feelings of community in a class?
  2. How do cliques affect school “spirit”?
  3. Can you name some regional and national political “cliques” you’ve heard about, and tell what they do to the “spirit” of the people they affect?
  4. Have you heard of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), and do you know what HUAC set out to do in the 1940s and l950s?

Resources

  • Hoover and the Un-Americans: The FBI, HUAC and the Red Menace by Kenneth O’Reilly.
  • Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write about Bullies, Cliques, Popularity, and Jealousy by Rachel Simmons

Themes

  • Bullying
  • Crossing Cultures
  • Education and Life Lessons
  • Family and Childhood
  • Jewish American/Jews
  • Taking a Stand and Peacemaking

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