What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the father in the family dies. The mother and daughter have a difficult relationship, though they come to terms in the end. The family has a hard time communicating directly with each other. One of the characters drinks heavily.
  • Families can talk about what Francie's teacher meant about the difference between imagination and pipe dreams. What does the title refer to? Why did the members of the family have such a hard time talking to each other about what mattered to them? Why does the family use the word "sick" to describe Johnny's alcoholism? Why does Johnny seem so sad when Francie talks with him about being "sick"? Why was it so important to Kate that the death certificate be changed?
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