Study Guide

Tar Beach Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

By Faith Ringgold

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

I will always remember when the stars fell down around me and lifted me up above the George Washington Bridge. (2)

The story starts on a really dreamy note. It's almost as though Cassie is being carried off to sleep.

Sleeping on Tar Beach was magical. Lying on the roof in the night, with stars and skyscraper buildings all around me, make me feel rich, like I owned all that I could see. (5)

You ever gazed up at the stars and dreamed about the future? We recommend it.

Daddy worked on that bridge, hoisting cables. Since then, I've wanted that bridge to be mine. (8)

What eight-year-old doesn't dream of being a bridge owner? It's not just any bridge, though. It's Daddy's bridge.

I can fly—yes, fly. […] That means I am free to go wherever I want for the rest of my life. (10)

The beauty of being free is having a lot of choices about what to do with your life. Cassie seems super hopeful about the future.

But he still can't join the union because Grandpa wasn't a member. (13)

Daddy had hopes and plans, too. But it sounds like he's not too hopeful these days.

Well, Daddy is going to own that building, 'cause I'm gonna fly over it and give it to him. (14)

Cassie wants to swoop in and fix her family's problems. The only problem is that her plans aren't very realistic. What do you want from her? She's only eight.

And Mommy won't cry all winter when he goes to look for work and doesn't come home. (16)

Oh no. Mommy sounds even more hopeless than Daddy. Cassie wants to fix her problems, too.

I told him it's very easy, anyone can fly. All you need is somewhere to go that you can't get to any other way. (24)

Be Be is full of hope and dreams for the future, just like his big sister.