Study Guide

Belle Prater's Boy Friendship

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Gypsy and Woodrow may be cousins in Belle Prater's Boy, but at first glance, it looks like they have nothing in common. Gypsy is a pretty girl who lives in town and has everything she wants, while Woodrow is a coal miner's son who wears hand-me-down clothes and has crossed eyes.

But despite their differences, Gypsy and Woodrow become fast friends as soon as Woodrow moves into town with their grandparents. And even when things get tough and they bicker, Gypsy and Woodrow are always there for each other. So when Buzz brings up Gypsy's father and how he died, Woodrow beats Buzz to a pulp—even though he and Gypsy have been fighting. It's definitely one way to show Gypsy he has her back.

Questions About Friendship

  • Why does Gypsy agree to be Woodrow's best friend? Do her reasons for being his friend change over time? If so, how? If not, what does this tell you about their friendship?
  • How does Woodrow protect Gypsy from the other kids? How does she protect him? Be specific and remember to give examples from the text.
  • Why doesn't Gypsy know her father and Blind Benny were friends until Blind Benny tells her? Support your argument with evidence from the book.

Chew on This

Even though Woodrow and Gypsy look completely different, they become the best of friends because they can both see beyond the other person's appearance.

Woodrow is a better friend to Gypsy than Gypsy is to him.

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