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Product_catalog : School : LitLink : Grade08 : For My Sister Molly Who in the Fifties
Interactive Literature Selections

Reader's Toolbox
Tone. Tone is a writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject or the reader. Use the word bank below as a source of words for describing tone. As you read, circle two or three words from the word bank that you think describe tone throughout the poem. Does tone change from the beginning of the poem to the end? Cross out words in the bank that do not relate to tone at any point in the poem.

Free Verse. Free verse is poetry that does not use regular rhyme, rhythm, or division into stanzas. As you read, think about why the author might have chosen free-verse form for this poem.

Reader's Resource
  • In the poem you are about to read, the speaker portrays her sister as a person who has had a profound influence on her life. While the term sisters usually refers to girls or women who share the same parents, it also applies to those related by marriage, religious commitment, friendship, or dedication to a cause. Sisters traditionally share a close bond, which may be why the term is also used to describe other people who share common bonds. Many famous female writers, including Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, Christina Rossetti, and Virginia Woolf, have had close relationships with their sisters.
  • “For My Sister Molly Who in the Fifties” refers to many different things that the speaker’s sister did in the 1950s, before the Civil Rights movement empowered and inspired many African-American people to pursue their dreams of education, travel, and a better life. In the 1960s, more and more black people began to seek and demand better opportunities and began to show increasing pride in their African heritage.

readers journal
Recall a person in your life who has made an effort to teach you new things. What types of things did they seek to teach you? How did you react to their efforts? In learning new things, did you ever feel as though you had to let go of your old way of thinking or doing things?

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