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Twenty Better Questions
Reading Response for Little Peach by Peggy Kern
1. What character(s) was your favorite? Why?
Michelle, the protagonist, was my favorite character. Michelle is young and in search of a place where she feels like she belongs. When that place turns out to be a nightmare, Michelle is strong enough to be able to try to find her way out of her situation. The reader’s heart breaks for Michelle because she is so young and she falls into a situation that takes away her innocence. Michelle’s grandpa was also one of my favorite characters. He was the only person in Michelle’s life who cared for her; even Michelle’s mom sent her away.
2. What character(s) did you dislike? Why?
I disliked Devon because he makes little girls feel like he is saving them, and then he traps them into a horrible lifestyle. Devon lies and give Michelle food when she is in her time of need. He gives girls who have nothing else a place to stay and food, and then he takes advantage of them for his own use. Michelle believes he is her savior until she realizes that he is a monster. He gives girls who have no one hope, and then traps them.
3. Does anyone in this work remind you of anyone you know? Explain.
No one in this work really reminded me of anyone I knew. I could relate to some of the struggles that Michelle goes through with trying to find somewhere to belong. Don’t we all go through a stage where we are trying to find out place with people who care about us? The way that Michelle’s grandpa teased her reminded me a little of my own grandpa when I was little, but, other than that, no one in this work reminded me of people I know.
4. Are you like any character in this work? Explain.
I do not think I am like anyone in this work simply because I was raised in a very good situation. Michelle was not raised in a good situation, and as a result she had to seek out a home that lead her to dangerous things. I was never a runaway or experienced the devastating things that Michelle endures in this book. So, simply because of how and where I was raised, I do not think I am like the characters in Little Peach by Peggy Kern.
5. If you could be any character in this work, who would you be? Explain.
I would not choose to be any of these characters in this book; they all have very hard lives or are simply horrible people. I would not have wanted to go through what Peggy went through with the death of her grandpa, being kicked out, and being trapped into prostitution. I would not want to be a pimp like Devon, or in a gang like all of his associated. I would not want to be like Baby who is too young to understand what Devon is making her do. All the characters in this book have very hard lives or are in very hard situations, so I would not want to be any of them.
6. What quality(ies) of which character strikes you as a good characteristic to develop within yourself over the years? Why? How does the character demonstrate this quality?
Michelle shows real strength when she calls the police on Devon and escapes to the hospital. She seeks help from a nurse. Michelle struggles with trusting the nurse, or anyone really. Somehow, even in her difficult situation when she had nowhere to go and no resources, Michelle still finds the courage to call the cops on her pimp. She finds a way out of her situation and has the strength to trust again after everything she has been through. I would like to have the kind of strength that Michelle has in the ending of this book.
7. Overall, what kind of a feeling did you have after reading a few paragraphs of this work? Midway? After finishing the work?
Peggy Kern writes beautifully, and in a way that really gets the reader engaged in the story. I was hooked after a few paragraphs. The writing is simple and it flows in a way that the story goes by in a flash without the reader even realizing he is reading. I read this book quickly. Halfway through the book, my heart was broken for Michelle, for Baby, and for any other woman or young girl that finds herself in such a desperate and horrific situation. After finishing the book, I felt a little bit of hope that Michelle would be able to move past this stage of her life and make something of herself. Michelle got away from Devon. There are implications that Devon may simply find her and kill her for snitching on him. But, there is also a shred of hope that Michelle has escaped Devon completely.
8. Do any incidents, ideas, or actions in this work remind you of your own life or something that happened to you? Explain.
No incidents, ideas,o or actions in this work really reminded me of my own life or something that happened to me. I never really faced these hard of situations in my life or went through stuff like in this book.
9. Do you like this piece of work? Why or why not?
I really enjoyed Little Peach by Peggy Kern. It opened my eyes to the struggles that some young girls face. It was sad, and it was heart-breaking. It was real, and it showed me a culture that I will never (I very much hope) get to experience in real life. It is easy to read, and I was really engaged in the story.
10. Are there any parts of this work that were confusing to you? Which parts? Why do you think you got confused?
There were not really any parts in the book that confused me. Peggy Kern writes very simply, and gets the story across in a clear way. I understood the story very easily.
11. Do you feel there is an opinion expressed by the author through this work? What is it? How do you know this? Do you agree? Why or why not?
I do not know necessarily if there is an opinion that is being expressed in this book; obviously Kern isn’t advocating prostitution in the book. I think maybe Kern is just trying to show a horrible facet of this world that many people do not know about or do not want to think about. The book calls on young girls to be strong for themselves and to protect themselves. The book makes the reader want to take action against prostitution. It made me sad, and it made me want to save all the girls in this world that are in that situation.
12. Do you think the title of this work is appropriate? Is it significant? Explain. What do you think the title means?
The title of this work, Little Peach, is very appropriate. Little Peach is the name that Devon gives to Michelle; it is her prostitute name. Devon forces Michelle to get a tattoo of a peach with “Devon’s girl” written under it to show that he owns her. The tattoo makes it clear to other gang members on the street that she is part of the group. The tattoo protects her from men on the streets, and gives her protection from gang members.
13. Would you change the ending of this story in any way? Tell your ending. Why would you change it?
I do not think I could come up with a better ending than Kern’s ending. For my own selfish reasons, I would have wanted the book to end happier. I would want Michelle’s mom to come find her, quit drugs, and care about her. Or I would want the caring nurse to decide to keep and care for Michelle. I would want Michelle to escape Devon forever. I would want Devon to get arrested for what he does. I would want Baby to be saved and placed in a good home. However, all those things are not real life. The way that Kern ends the book is realistic.
14. What kind of person do you feel the author is? What makes you feel this way?
I think the author is smart and cultured. She understands the struggles that young girls who do not have caring parents face, and she understands the lifestyle that she portrays in Little Peach.
15. How did this work make you feel? Explain.
This book broke my heart. It is a very sad book about a young girl being put in a horrible adult situation. Michelle does not even know what she is getting herself into or what she is doing. She is scared, and she is alone. It is a depressing book.
16. Do you share any of the feelings of the characters in this work? Explain.
Michelle feels like she is alone and needs a place to belong. Michelle is alone in a very real sense; her grandfather died, and her mother does not care about her. She does not have friends to turn to, and she does not have resources. I have felt like I was alone before even when I had many people who did care about me. However, my loneliness was in a much less real sense where I simply felt like no one understood. I have also yearned for a place to belong in the sense that I looked for a group of friends that I belonged with in high school.
17. Sometimes works leave you with the feeling that there is more to tell. Did this work do this? What do you think might happen?
The book ended with a little bit of hope, but not in a way that the reader felt like Michelle had things figured out. I felt like Little Peach could have used a little more of a resolution. Did Devon find Michelle? Was the nurse able to help Michelle? What happened to Baby? Did Devon kill Kat?
18. Would you like to read something else by this author? Why or why not?
I would read other books by this author because I really liked her writing style. It was simple enough that I understood everything easily. But the subject matter was challenging enough to keep me intrigued in the story. Peggy Kern writes very well.
19. What do you feel is the most important word, phrase, passage, or paragraph in this work? Explain why it is important.
The most significant passage of Little Peach by Peggy Kern is when Michelle calls the cops on Devon. Michelle realized that Devon has gotten rid of, probably killed, Kat, and she calls the cops on Devon while he is in the shower. Devon throws her into a coffee table, cuts her leg up, and beats her up. Michelle is lucky she lives, and gets to the hospital. Michelle escapes Devon’s grasp in this passage.
20. If you were an English teacher, would you want to share this work with your students? Why or why not?
I would want to share this book with my students, but I would chose which students to offer it too carefully. I would only recommend this book to very mature students who enjoy books about real life, adult situations. I would be worried about parent’s reactions to their children reading a book like this, so, though I really enjoyed this book, I would be careful about whom I gave the book to.