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In English class, it's essay-return day. Mr. Chappelle’s talking about everything everybody did wrong on their papers, and they’re all waiting for him to hand them back.
But he wants to read two of them aloud before he does so.
The first is Mina’s, and she’s written about herself, which is funny, and she gets an A.
The second is Dicey’s. It’s poetic and beautiful and all about her mother, and she’s ready for her praise and her A.
But no, it’s not going down that way: Mr. Chappelle thinks she either copied it or had help. It’s too well written, and none of the kids in his class could possibly know anyone who was wasting away in a mental hospital.
Once again, Hardcore Dicey does not yell, "THAT’S MY MOM, JERK." She stays cool.
Mina jumps up to defend Dicey, because she’s Mina and that’s what she does. She tells Mr. Chappelle she’ll prove Dicey’s not lying when she says she wrote it.
Mina asks Dicey if she really wrote about someone she knows, and Dicey says yes. Mr. Chappelle says that proves nothing.
Mina asks if he wants to hear Dicey lie. She asks Dicey if the person she wrote about is someone she knows. Uh oh. This is getting uncomfortable.
Dicey doesn’t answer. Instead, she just stands there thinking about boats. When Mina asks what Dicey is thinking about, Dicey says boats.
Mr. Chappelle realizes that Dicey is incapable of lying, and he changes her grade to an A+.
At home, Dicey tells Gram what happened, and Gram thinks Mina sounds like a righteous babe. But when she asks Dicey if Mina’s her friend, Dicey says no. Sheesh, what's a girl gotta do to get a friend in Dicey.
After the rest of the kids go to bed, Gram asks Dicey to sit up with her a while. She tells Dicey about her late husband, Dicey’s grandpa John.
Apparently, John was an unhappy man, and Gram never tried to do anything to help him. When their children got older and moved off to get away from him, it meant Gram lost them, too.
The moral of the story? Sometimes you have to take an action and reach out to keep your family together. Like Gram is reaching out for Mr. Lingerle right now, and like Dicey was reaching out to her schoolmates when she wrote that paper.
Dicey finally gets it (yes! The heavens are parting! The sun is shining! Angels are singing!) and goes to call Mina for some friendship forging.
She actually says thanks, and tells Mina that she liked Mina’s paper. Mina says they’ll form a mutual admiration society (can we join?), and that she’ll see Dicey the next day at school.