A Girl Named Disaster Short Essay - Answer Key

Nancy Farmer
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1. What story does Nhamo's grandmother tell her at the beginning of the book?

At the beginning of the book, Nhamo's grandmother tells her a legend of the old kings, who angered the god Mwari. Mwari communicated to the kings through a medium named Tumbale. The people credited Tumbale with a victory against their enemies. The king, Mambo, got so mad that he had the whispering grass burned, the whispering trees cut down, and his youngest wife killed for praising Tumbale. He had her skinned and made a drum from her skin. Whenever the drum was played, the people cowered from the horrible sound. Mwari removed his blessing from the king and abandoned his people. Grandmother says that since then, life has been full of hard work and danger.

2. What does Nhamo do in the forest when she is supposed to be collecting firewood?

While she is out getting firewood, Nhamo goes to her special spot where she has some treasures buried. She takes them out, including a magazine cover. The mother is slicing bread for her daughter. Nhamo imagines this is what her mother looked like. She has a tea party with this imaginary mother.

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