World War II had started in Europe when this novel took place, although America did not enter it until a year and a half later. Examine the effect that the war had on race relations in the South: did things get better or worse? Did the war affect the situation at all?
What kind of music would have been on the jukebox at the New York Cafe? Find out what songs were popular in 1938-40 and make up a soundtrack for this novel.
Using the details given from the novel, draw a diagram of the Kelly house, showing where each character’s room would be.
Research the laws that are in place today that are meant to prevent the abuses that cost Willy his feet. What legal recourse would he have today? Who would he take his case to? What authorities would be responsible for punishing the offenders?