Big Mouth

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2012 Summer Reading Assignment: “Big Mouth, Ugly Girl”

I. Determine the Setting
1. Most of the action in the story, “Big Mouth & Ugly Girl” takes place inside Rocky River High School.

2. At a pivotal point in the story, Matt considers suicide, and the story takes us to the Nature Preserve which Matt usually finds to be a peaceful and enjoyable place to be with his dog. But, in the climax of the story, the setting changes to the wintry and icy nature preserve. The preserve proves to be a place where Matt is at his lowest point. It is also the place where Ursula saves him from a horrible decision, and where they will return later in the story because of its tranquility and what brought them closer.

II. Interpreting the Characters
1. The main characters in the story are Matt Donaghy who is tall, thin, and a freckled faced teenager, who likes to make people laugh. He is a top student who is the Junior Class Vice- President and writes for the school newspaper. Ursula Riggs is a tall and big girl who dresses rough and wears lots of earrings in her ears. She acts strong and defiant and doesn’t seem to care what other people think of her. She plays on the girls’ basketball team.

2. The minor characters are:
Mr. Harold Parish, the Rocky River High School Principal.
Mr. Weinberg teaches English and sponsors the Drama Club.
Mrs. Donaghy is Matt’s mom who seems to be fragile and worried about her son’s reputation. Mr. Donaghy is Matt’s father who is always traveling and is concerned that their family name will be ruined. Alex Donaghy is a nice boy and Matt’s younger brother.

Russ Mercer and Skeet are Matt’s Friends in Drama Club.
Stacy Flynn is Matt’s friend who is pretty and popular.
Ms. Schultz is the girls’ gym teacher and Ursula’s basketball coach. Mrs. Riggs is Ursula’s mom who seems to be a frustrated with Ursula and more interested in her little sister. Clayton Riggs is Ursula’s Dad and CEO of an international company. He...
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