T E A C H I N G T I P S
Peppino, Good as Bread
- 1. The police told everyone at the beginning that they must give up their pots and pans-- even wedding rings-- to provide metal for the war. Peppino's mother hides her things in the wall. Was that right to break the law? Why or why not?
- 2. The animals at Peppino's house were kept so they could provide food. How would you feel if your lamb or rabbit had to die so that you could have something to eat?
- 3. Another question about lying. Was it right for Peppino and Dominic to trick the soldiers by giving them empty eggs? Was it a good idea to dare them by cheating? What do you think Mamma would have said if she knew ahead of time?
- 4. How do you think Mamma felt to have to live in her own basement and have her house and furniture used by strangers?
- 5. When selling olives and almonds, why did Mamma teach Peppino to watch out for cheaters and do math in his head?
- 6. How could Mamma go to the bomb shelter and leave Peppino home? What do you think of Peppino's decision?
- 7. Peppino and Mamma went to Sannicandro to see if they had relatives needing help. What could they have done if they found anyone they knew?
- 8. After Italy agreed to stop fighting with the Allies, why were there still Germans around in town? How did the truce affect the way the people in town dealt with the Germans? Was it now safer, or more dangerous?
- 9. Why did Rachel need a new name and tried not to be noticed? How did Mamma and Peppino help her? What sort of danger did Peppino face when he talked to the Hauptmann?
- 10. Did you ever break a bone? How was it treated? How was that different from the medical care Peppino received?
- 11. The poison gas that leaked out of the ships when the Germans attacked was super secret. How did people try to save lives? What effect did the blockades have on the people who needed to get food to survive?
- 12. What is the borsa nera? Why was food shipped from the USA only available at night for high prices? Does that happen any more in places that have wars?
- 13. How does the behavior of the Sergeant Thorton differ from the behavior of the German soldiers? Why?
- 14. Peppino makes deals with the American GI's. Would a kid now be allowed to go out selling things to strangers?
Why or why not?
- 15. Why did the mayor leave in the night? Who or what was he afraid of?
- 16. Why does Peppino try to get a set of candles for Rachel/Rosa? Why is she so touched by them?
- 17. Don Cirillo is a very tough teacher. What makes him think he has to be harsh and tough to train the kids?
- 18. Why did the city kids pick on Peppino and mock him? How did he deal with that? Did Mamma come to his aid?
- 19. What does Don Silvestro's news tell you that comes as a surprise to Peppino, his Mamma and the reader?
- 20. Why does Peppino get Mamma to make a party for his grownup friends? Are they surprised? What does this tell you about the culture of Southern Italy -- the way people feel they should treat others?