| Quote #1
They’d never had allowances. Momma never had any extra money at all to be able to count on to give them. So when they wanted paper or pencils for school, or shoelaces, they had to ask her, and her face got all worried until she figured out where to find the extra money. (1.65)
A dollar a week might not sound like much to you, but to a kid who’s wondered her whole life where her pencils and shoelaces will come from, it’s a fortune (okay, it was more so in 1982).
| Quote #2
"I’ve got an appointment downtown next week, about getting welfare money," she said, as if the words tasted bitter. (1.102)
Voigt uses the word "bitter" in an interesting way here: she doesn’t say Gram feels bitter, although Gram undoubtedly does. Instead, she chooses a more poetic way of working the word into the sentence. So we know exactly how Gram feels, without being told as much.
| Quote #3
Gram was silent, then said, "We don’t have the money."
"I wasn’t asking for money," Mr. Lingerle cried, exasperated. "Did I mention money?" (3.148-149)
Mr. Lingerle wants to give Maybeth piano lessons because he sees her talent, but he also wants the company. The Tillermans don’t see that at first, because their pride gets in the way. Thankfully, they see it eventually, and in the end win themselves an extra member of the family.