We the Animals Summary
Justin Torres

Everything you need to understand or teach We the Animals by Justin Torres.

  • We the Animals Summary & Study Guide
  • 30 We the Animals Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

We the Animals Overview

Justin Torres' boundless novel, We the Animals, is an exceptional portrayal of a chaotically lovable family. Ma is continuously exhausted from working the graveyard shift at a brewery while trying to balance her tumultuous relationship with an unpredictable husband, Paps. Their three sons are rambunctious and captivating with the narrator being the youngest of them all. Torres' merging of personalities takes shape through his descriptions of the boys' varied escapades fashioning kites out of twine and plastic bags and secretly watching an adult movie at a neighboring boy's house. The unnamed narrator tells the story through a inquisitive seven-year old's lens. This choice of perspective deeply fashions the trajectory of the narrative and dispenses an unparalleled and unfinished finale. Identity, sexuality, family, abuse, and budding brotherhood cause conflicting feelings for the fledgling narrator, and in the end, are the reasons for the heartbreaking conclusion. Asking the reader to follow a family through triumph emotional disaster, Torres strives to start a conversation about contentious issues by not shying away from the gritty and authentically graphic nature of life.

Study Pack

Lesson Plan

We the Animals Lesson Plans contain 213 pages of teaching material, including: