Study Guide

Belle Prater's Boy Chapter 17

By Ruth White

Chapter 17

  • Things are pretty awkward between Gypsy and Woodrow for the remainder of summer break. They are polite to each other, but they're definitely not BFFs anymore.
  • No one knows anything about Aunt Belle still, and Gypsy is still having the same old nightmare, though she doesn't wake up screaming anymore. Now she just wakes up with tears on her face and the memory of that faceless dead animal.
  • In the fall, Woodrow and Gypsy start middle school. Both are assigned to the same homeroom with Mr. Collins.
  • Mr. Collins doesn't know anything about Woodrow's story, so of course Buzz has to pipe up and tell him about how Aunt Belle disappeared.
  • As you might've noticed, though, Woodrow is great at thinking on his feet, so he just tells a long and humorous tale about how his mother learned the powers of invisibility and is probably now in New York.
  • When it's Gypsy's turn to introduce herself, one of the other students asks if they should call her Beauty instead. Gypsy gets all flustered and says that she can play the piano and tell good jokes and take care of animals, too.
  • Then she says that she lives with her mother and Porter Dotson. When Mr. Collins says that Porter Dotson is a good man, Gypsy bursts out that he's not as good as her real dad, who died in an accident when she was five.
  • She says he was a volunteer fireman and he went into a burning building to save a baby; he managed to save the baby, but then he died.
  • That's when Buzz starts yelling that Gypsy is lying. Woodrow tells him to shut up, but Buzz continues, saying that Amos came out of that fire so scarred up that you couldn't recognize him. And because of that, Amos took a gun and shot himself in the face, killing himself.

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