The Silver Star Summary & Study Guide

Jeannette Walls
This Study Guide consists of approximately 80 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Silver Star.
This section contains 629 words
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The Silver Star Summary & Study Guide Description

The Silver Star 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 Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls.

Twelve-year-old Jean “Bean” Holladay and her older sister Liz had to grow up fast when their mother left them to fend for themselves while she tried to find herself in the novel “The Silver Star” by Jeanette Walls. Knowing they didn’t want to get involved in child services, the sisters decided to travel cross country to live with their Uncle Tinsley in the small southern town of Byler, Virginia. The girls learned life was different in the South. It didn’t seem as bad to them as their mother had always told them until Liz was assaulted by Jerry Maddox. In court Maddox was found not guilty of charges against him but he was brought to justice in other ways as people in the town grew tired of his bullying ways.

Bean and Liz’s mother had left thme alone for days at a time before, so they weren’t really worried when she walked out of their home in Lost Lake, California. Bean had angered her mother by realizing that her mother had been telling them she was dating a man who didn’t even exist. A few days into her disappearance she sent the girls a letter with enough money to buy food for a couple of months. When adults began asking questions and the girls saw the police poking around their house they decided to travel across the country to visit their uncle in Byler. On the bus ride there the girls outsmarted a man who was stalking them, a feat Bean thought was impressive for girls their age.

In Virginia the girls’ Uncle Tinsley did not welcome them as warmly as they’d hoped but he soon developed an affection for them. Because Liz and Bean worried they needed to help Uncle Tinsley with expenses they decided to get jobs even though Uncle Tinsley did not encourage them to do so. They wound up working for Jerry Maddox, the man who had caused Uncle Tinsley to be fired from Holladay Textiles, the mill that Uncle Tinsley’s father had built and operated for years. Bean noticed Maddox was a bully to his family, community members and the people at the mill. There was also an incident where Maddox put his finger into Bean’s underarm and commented that she was beginning to grow underarm hair. Bean believed his behavior was inappropriate but chose not to tell anyone what happened.

The trouble began when Liz tried to withdraw money from the savings account that Maddox had set up for her. She confronted him because he had taken the money from her account. Even though Uncle Tinsley advised Liz to forget the money she went to Maddox to try to get it from him. Instead of giving her the money he owed her Maddox hit Liz, leaving bruises on her face, and tried to sexually assault her.

Because Bean knew what had been done to her sister wasn’t right she encouraged her family to file charges against Maddox. At the trial Maddox’s lawyer made Liz out to be a habitual liar. Maddox was found not guilty. Bean was shocked by the injustice of the justice system, while Liz was devastated. Maddox got what he deserved later when he was fired from the mill for getting into a fist fight with another employee. Later, Uncle Clarence took matters into his own hands when Maddox came to his house demanding that he shoot Joe’s dog because it peed on his car tires. Uncle Clarence shot Maddox and told everyone he thought the man was a bear. This book deals with a variety of themes including family relationships, integration, the inconsistent nature of right and wrong, and life in a small town.

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This section contains 629 words
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