When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
Literary and Philosophical References
Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes (4): This classic novel, first published in 1943, details the experiences of a teenaged boy during the Revolutionary War. This novel is featured in John's especially creative version of "the dog ate my homework," narrated by Lorraine:
One time last term Miss King asked [John] what happened to the book report he was supposed to hand in on Johnny Tremain, and he told her that he had spilled some coffee on it the night before, and when the coffee dried, there was still sugar on the paper and so cockroaches at the book report. (4)
Immediately after this anecdote, there is another: we learn that the only part of Johnny Tremain that John read was page 43, "where the poor guy spills the molten metal on his hand and cripples it for life" (4). John, Lorraine tells us, got a 90 on this book report, while she, having read the whole thing, got an 85.