Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Let's take a moment to think about all the teachers in this novel. First, there's obviously Mr. Birkway, who teaches Sal how to tell her own stories and share her memories in her journal. But Gram and Gramps Hiddle are totally teachers, too. They help Sal come to terms with her mother's death, and dole out awesome nuggets of advice along the way. And then there's Mrs. Partridge, who leaves those important messages lying around, which end up being really good tips on how to be happy. Sal's mom, too, is also a bit of a teacher (what mom isn't?). She teaches Sal to visualize her dreams and desires, so that they might come true.
Are there any other teachers in this story? Who do you think is the best? And why include so many teachers in the first place?
Shmoop has a theory (big surprise, there). Teachers are kind of like storytellers. They help Sal understand others and herself. They help her be close to other people by showing her how to be openhearted. All of her teachers help Sal walk in all kinds of different moccasins.