Dicey's Song Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Dicey's Song.
This section contains 627 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Dicey's Song Summary & Study Guide Description

Dicey's Song Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt.

Dicey's Song is a Newberry Award winning novel by writer Cynthia Voigt. This novel is the sequel to Homecoming, a novel in which four children find themselves abandoned by their mother and must make their way to the home of their grandmother. In Dicey's Song, the children have found a home with their grandmother, but Dicey finds herself struggling to define her new role in the family now that she does not have to be mother, father, and guardian to her three younger siblings. Dicey's Song is a touching story of self-discovery in which Dicey must learn to balance childhood with the unfair responsibilities that have been placed on her shoulders.

Dicey and her three siblings have found a home in their grandmother's house, but Dicey still feels as though she must be responsible for her younger siblings. For this reason, Dicey finds it difficult to allow her grandmother to help Maybeth with her reading and to put Maybeth and Sammy to bed without her. However, Dicey has also come to enjoy working alone on a boat she had found in her grandmother's barn and resents Sammy's constant intrusions on her quiet time.

Dicey has begun school, but she keeps to herself, determined not to make friends. Dicey had also gotten a job at a local store to help earn a few extra dollars to help out around the house. Dicey is aware that her grandmother is struggling to make ends meet with four new mouths to feed, so she hopes the extra seven dollars she makes each week will help. However, that money is quickly used up when Maybeth's music teacher asks to give her after school lessons for five dollars a week.

Dicey enjoys her job and likes school well enough, but she openly dislikes her home economics class. For this reason, Dicey purposely approaches the class with a nonchalant attitude, failing most of the assignments. At the same time, Dicey works hard in her English class and is inspired when her teacher assigns a character sketch for the class. Dicey decides to write her sketch about her mother's mental breakdown. However, to her shock, Dicey's teacher believes the character sketch is too well written and must have been stolen from a book. A girl in the class, Wilhemina Smiths, comes to her defense and convinces the teacher that the character sketch is Dicey's own creation. The teacher is so ashamed of his actions that he goes out of his way to be kind to Dicey the rest of the semester.

Dicey's grandmother befriends the music teacher while each of the children slowly begin to make friends. At a teacher conference, Gram learns that each child is struggling in one way or another. James is dumbing himself down so he will not stick out in class. Sammy is being overly nice to prevent trouble for his grandmother. Maybeth is struggling with her reading skills. Gram turns to Dicey for help with these problems. Dicey speaks to Sammy and convinces him he does not have to be perfect, and, with James' help, Dicey and Gram find a way to help Maybeth learn more efficiently.

Just as things seem to be coming together for Dicey and her siblings, Gram announces that she and Dicey must go to Boston where their mother is in a mental hospital. When they arrive, Dicey discovers that her mother is dying. Gram refuses to leave her daughter's side. Gram sends Dicey out to do some Christmas shopping. Dicey finds some solace in buying gifts for her siblings. A short time later, Dicey learns that her mother has died. Gram and Dicey have her cremated and take her home to be buried under her favorite tree in the yard.

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This section contains 627 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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