In Belle Prater's Boy, Aunt Belle is headed off on her own great adventure, leaving her home and family behind in order to pursue her own dreams in the big wide world. She's not the only one exploring the world, though. Gypsy and Woodrow are in that strange place between childhood and adulthood, and they're exploring the world around them through different eyes. They're going to the movies, learning about adult responsibilities and sorrows, and even seeing their community differently thanks to night walks with Blind Benny. They might not go far, but they're definitely exploring. Big time.
Questions About Exploration
How is Coal Station different at night when Gypsy and Woodrow are following Blind Benny on his walks? Why does it matter that Gypsy and Woodrow see this?
Where do you think Aunt Belle went when she left town? What do you think she's doing? Why?
Why is Aunt Belle so obsessed with the idea of the place where two worlds touch?
Chew on This
Aunt Belle hasn't left because she wants to get farther away from the people she loves (like Woodrow). She's gone because she wants to get closer to knowing herself.
Gypsy has lived in Coal Station her whole life, but it's only when Woodrow comes to town that she really finds the courage to explore the town.