Study Guide

NaNa in The Orange Houses

By Paul Griffin

NaNa

Church-going, firecracker NaNa isn't really Mik's grandma, but she might as well be. She treats Mik like her own, caring after her and even giving her a piece of her mind when she acts out. Heck, Mik even uses NaNa as her motivation. She confesses she "only went to church because if she didn't Nana called demons out from the O House walls and prayed over her" (16.3). Yup, NaNa loves Mik and helps her out—even if it isn't always in ways that makes sense to Mik.

But if she isn't her nana, then why does Mik call her NaNa? It turns out that "everybody called her NaNa because she would sit your kid for a free meal" (3.4). The only problem, though, is that Mik doesn't need a sitter anymore. Her mom feels for NaNa, though, so she lets her stay—even though NaNa isn't related by blood, she's family. She's happy to lend a hand (or her savings) when Mik needs something, and she's always ready with some sage advice. 

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