Study Guide

The Orange Houses Chapter 2

By Paul Griffin

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Chapter 2


  • On an oil tanker approaching New York harbor, twenty-six days before the hanging, thirty-four refugees huddle together in the backup engine room. They are sneaking into the country in hopes of a better life.
  • Most of them are headed to Camden, where immigration police don't bother to go. Except Fatima Espérer—she's dreamed of going to New York City, and that's where she'll end up.
  • It's a long shot, but she hasn't gotten this far without hoping for the impossible. Heck, even the last name she chose—Espérer—means hope in French.
  • Her biggest dream is to visit the Statue of Liberty. She knows it's a tourist trap, but she wants to see it up close.
  • As she gets off the boat, she can see Lady Liberty off in the distance; even if that's all she sees, she knows her trip will be worth it.
  • Not everyone feels the same way, though, and another woman claims if this is all she sees, she wants her $2500 back. That's how much each refugee paid to get to America. 

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