Swedish Again: Chapter-By-Chapter Guide
Questions for Understanding
- Which of Anna’s American children could also become Swedish citizens?
- What type of apartment did Anna, Fionn, and Sinead finally get?
- Which two pieces of furniture did Fionn want to take with him?
- How were Fionn’s and Sinead’s approaches to their alarm clocks different?
Questions for Group Reflection and Discussion
- Anna presents a contrast between the educational systems in Stockholm and Seattle. Does it seem reasonable to you? Which types of education systems exist where you live, and what do you think of them?
- Anna tries to convince Fionn to sit and learn vocabulary words, while Fionn considers it a waste of time. What do you think?
- In Kevin’s home, cereal was considered special because it was more expensive than other breakfast foods. Which foods were considered special in your home while you were growing up? Was that typical of the culture around you? What are some things about food in which your family was unusual or unique, or which are memorable to you?
Ideas for Further Consideration
- The beginning of the chapter refers to Syrian refugees feeling their homeland in the fall of 2015. Do you remember this? What scenes come to your mind when you think of the word, “refugee”?
- At one point, Anna turns her head up to heaven and says, “Kevin!” She calls him a ghost but talks to him anyway. What are your thoughts on this? Is she really talking to him? Why might a person talk to people who are not physically present?
Especially for English Language Learners
Key Words and Expressions:
“dragging its feet” = doing things very slowly; refusing to become active (p.100)
“an ultimatum” = This is the type of threat where someone says, “Do this or it’s the end.” (p.100)
“playing hardball” = acting aggressively; acting without compassion or pity (p. 100)
“ceremoniously” = acting with drama or in such a way as to draw attention (p. 106)
Adjective Clauses in Storytelling
An adjective clause is basically a long adjective clause that comes directly after a noun. Here are three examples.
I have a good friend.
= I have a friend who is good.
Macy’s is a big store.
= Macy’s is a store which is big.
= Marcy’s is a big store which is fun to shop at.
We use “who,” “which,” or “that” to start an adjective clause. Sometimes we use “where” and “when.” If you write adjective clauses, remember to always start them directly after the noun.
Here are some examples from Chapter 10:
I settled into my seat and pulled out my new, noise-cancelling headset, which I hoped would provide me with some sleep in the coming weeks.
After I unpacked my suitcases in Sinead’s room (which she and I shared alone now…
T-Centralen square, where the subway lines and inter-city trains met in central Stockholm, had transformed into a regional processing center…
We lived about a kilometer from Centrum, which was the desirable part of each neighborhood.
Q: Why do we use adjective clauses?
A: It’s because, in English, we cannot put a long adjective before a noun. It is awkward to say, for example, “I have an interested in medical sciences friend.” It sounds better to say, “I have a friend who is interested in medical sciences.”
Answers to Part 1
- None of them (except Michael, who was already a Swedish citizen through Kevin.) They were all over 18 when Anna regained her citizenship.
- It was a temporary apartment which was meant for women and children escaping domestic abuse.
- His bed and his heavy desk
- Sinead got up right away and left for school early, while Fionn waited until the last possible minute.