Zebra By ChaimPotok
Sentences • His schoolmates were racing about, playing exuberantly, shouting and laughing with full voices. • His gaunt face and muscular neck were reddened by exposure to the sun. • He seemed vaguely menacing in that army jacket, the dark-blue cap with the words LAND ROVER on it in orange letters, and the empty sleeve. • The man seemed to wince. • Dr. Winter, the principal, was a disciplinarian and a grump. • Wrinkles formed intricate spidery webs in the skin below his gray eyes. • And his hand-how dirty it was, the fingers and palm smudged with black ink and encrusted with colors. • Up in his room, he looked again at each drawing and was astonished to discover that the zebra had reached the edge of his name and appeared poised to leap off. • The dark-blue cap with the words LAND ROVER sat jauntily on his head. • Was there a stiffening of his muscular neck, a sudden tensing of the hand that held the drawing?
pages 40-41 Summary Zebra is a boy who loves to run. One day he is hit by a car and seriously injured. Inference I think that a car or truck hit him. I think this because of the huge rushing shadow that crashed into him, his mother’s warning, and his injuries. I know that kids get hit by cars when they aren’t careful!
Pages 42-44 Summary Zebra’s hand was really bothering him at recess. While he was alone he saw a man digging in the trash. Inference I think the man is fishing around in the trash because he is homeless. I think this because of his description-gaunt face and muscular neck were reddened by exposure to the sun-and by the fact he was going through the trash. I’ve seen homeless people before and that is what they do and what they look like.
Pages 44-46 Summary: John Wilson, the man, talked to Zebra about possibly teaching an art class. Zebra’s hand continued to hurt. Inference • I think Zebra told him to ask for Mrs. English because he liked him and he wanted him to succeed. (Maybe he sympathized with him because of the missing arm, or wanted to take the art class.) I think this because Dr. Winters is a grump and Mrs. English is nice. If he didn’t like him or he didn’t care he wouldn’t have pointed him in the right direction.
Pages 47-48 Summary Zebra shows how depressed he is when he tells the bird story during his imagination class. Inference I think the story tells you that Zebra is deeply depressed. I think this because the events in the story seem to parallel the events in Zebra’s life. At the end of the story the bird dies. I think that Zebra feels like part of himself died the day of the accident.
Pages 49-50 Summary John Wilson thanks Zebra for the advice and invites him to the summer class he is teaching. Zebra says no, but Mr. Wilson gives him a gift anyway.
Pages 50-52 Summary: Mr. Wilson thanks Zebra with a portrait. Zebra tells him his nickname and Mr. Wilson adds a zebra to the picture. Inference • I think Zebra tells John Wilson his nickname because he is touched by the art. (Maybe he wants to be friends) I think this because if someone drew an awesome picture of me I would be impressed/and touched. A nickname is something friends (or people who know you well) call you. • I think that something about the picture has affected Zebra. It seemed to cause a physical change in him. I think this because he started to hallucinate and ended up with a fever. Sometimes I can get very excited or sick to my stomach over certain situations.
Pages 52-55 Summary Zebra had a crazy dream brought on by a fever. Zebra is curious about the summer art class, John Wilson, and Vietnam. Inferences • I think Mrs. English wants Zebra to join John Wilson’s art class so that he can continue ‘using his imagination’ to work through his problems with the accident. I think this because her class is ‘a class in the imagination’ which helps kids with issues. • I think Zebra wants to know about Vietnam because it will tell him more about John Wilson, whom he is curious about. I think this because he asked about Vietnam soon after he learned John Wilson was wounded in the Vietnam War.
Pages 55-58 Summary Zebra joins the summer art class. Andrea is also taking the class.
Pages 58-61 Summary: Zebra works hard in the art class. He draws an outline of a helicopter and makes a model of one. He even uses his hand a little bit. Inference: • I think Zebra is starting to see what is right about his hand and not just what is wrong. I think this because the first time he drew the hand the two fingers were rigid and curled. However, the second drawing looked more like a hand. Maybe that means the other three fingers looked normal.
Pages 58-61 Inferences • I think Zebra made a helicopter for his project because he knew it meant something to John Wilson. I think this because John Wilson was a helicopter pilot in the War. It might have something to do with how he lost his arm and Zebra can connect to that. • I think John Wilson reacted the way he did because he was surprised to see something that had a lot of meaning to him. I think this because he tensed up when he saw it. I have seen people react that way when something personal is mentioned.
Pages 61-62 Summary Zebra makes John Wilson a special picture of a landscape with a helicopter and a zebra. Inferences • I think Leon died in Vietnam. I think this because he sad he was a buddy from Vietnam and he ‘would’ve’ been a great artist. I know a lot of young men died in Vietnam and John Wilson doesn’t seem old enough to have friends that died of natural causes.
Pages 63-65 Summary Zebra returns from camp is is making progress healing. He gets a letter from John Wilson explaining about his friend and the Vietnam Wall. At the end of the story Zebra seems like he is starting. to cope with the accident.
Pages 63-65 Inferences • I think Zebra respects John Wilson. I think this because he said the windows and porches were saluting him. Saluting is a form of respect. • I think Andrea and Zebra weren’t picked for the story class with Mrs. English because they don’t seem to need extra attention to deal with their problems. I think this because Zebra is ready to walk down Franklin Ave. He wouldn’t have been able to do that before the summer.
Physical Traits (beginning) • “…His long straight nose and thin lips…”(p.51) • “…sad eyes and gaunt face;…” (p.51) • “…his dark hair and smallish ears….” (p.51) • “….and the scar on his forehead where he had hurt himself years before while roller skating….” (p.51) • “…The fingers were there, but like dead leaves that never fell, the ring and little fingers were rigid and curled, the others barely moved…”(p.55)
Important Events (p. 40-55) • Zebra is in a car accident. • Zebra meets John Wilson and directs him to Mrs. English. • Zebra is in Mrs. English’s class and tells a sad story about a bird that dies. • Zebra thinks about taking the summer art class and starts asking questions about John Wilson. • Zebra has a fever and hallucinates about the zebra running in John Wilson’s picture.
Physical Traits (end) • “…Strange and ugly, the two fingers lay rigid and curled. But astonishingly, it looked like a hand this time…”(p.59) • “…And he no longer needed the leg brace…” (p.63)