Life in Welch wasn't getting any better and one day when Jeannette was home alone a man from the child welfare came to their house. He asked for her parents but she said they weren't home and wouldn't let him unless they said so. He asked Jeannette questions about being neglected and what her parents jobs were. As he left he told her to tell her parents he stopped by and he would stop by. When she talked to her mom she gave the card the man had given her and told her what he had said. After the shock from the man's visit her mom got a job as a teacher again. Her mom got a job very easily because teachers were scarce in Welch. Her mom had some of the same problems she had in Battle Mountain where she wasn't very organized but the kids helped her out and it all worked out. Now that more money was coming in, their mother was hiding her paychecks from her husband because she knew he would take the money and spend it on booze. Now Jeannette was in 7th grade, which meant she was attending Welch High School. She saw the girl Dinita from the swimming pool from the summer. They weren't friends because of their races. But Dinita had changed and they would pass notes in study hall and she found out that she was pregnant. After Christmas break Dinita didn't come back, Jeannette went to her house to see if everything was ok and the man at the door wouldn't let her. Later she was arrested for stabbing her mom's boyfriend and killing him. Girls in Jeannette's grade were very into looks and boys and Jeannette had always been the skinny unattractive girl. She needed braces but that was out of the question with the price of them so Jeannette created her own, by using her everyday household objects. Later that year Jeannette wanted to join like a club or group but had to be free so she went with the school newspaper The Maroon Wave. She started off as the proofreader and was the first seventh grader on the newspaper. After she would do her job she would read stories from all other types of magazines and newspapers. She never had heard of alot of these things because her parents never read the newspaper or subscribed to magazines. Maureen wasn't really apart of the family she usually stayed with her friend's families because their parents didn't like the way her parents were raising her. She missed California and always to her stories about it. Her mom also kept getting very moody and wouldn't go to work and stay in bed all day. Her father wouldn't come home for days and would be wasted when he got home. Over the summer her mom left to go back to college to renew her teaching license and Lori went to a camp paid for by the government. So that left Brian, Jeannette and Maureen to fend for themselves against their dad. Her mom left them 200 for the summer for food. She and Brian made a budget so they would have enough money. But her dad would ask her for money and Jeannette knew she had a soft spot for him so she would give it to him to buy booze and cigarettes. The following week her dad invited her to go on a business trip with him. They arrived at a bar and while her dad was gambling, a older man asked her to dance and she didn't want to be rude so she did. Then he asked her to go upstairs and her dad thought it was a good idea. He tried kissing her and unbuttoning her dress. She wanted him to stop and then finally she said i think my dad is ready to go. When she explained the situation to her dad he said i knew you can handle yourself your strong. About half way through summer her mom told her to look for a check and money and to hide it from her dad. But her dad knew it was coming and waited for it by the mailman. He told Jeannette they could hide it together. The next day when she went to go get it was gone and she knew it was her father. But if she accused him he would deny it so she didn't even bother. She got a job at a local jewelry store in town to make some extra cash. She stole a watch from the store so she wouldn't be late for work but felt so bad that she returned it.
Personal Reaction:I think Jeannette Walls uses such vivid details when she writes and I feel like I’m sitting right next to her. When I read this book I feel like I’m in Welch with her and want to get her advice. Personally I think Jeannette treats her parents with too much respect because they aren’t giving her any back. They take her for grant and they know she will always be there for them even when they make terrible decisions. For example when Jeannette goes along on the business trip with her father and her father doesn’t care that an older man is dancing with his young daughter in a bar. Then later he asks him if it’s ok if he takes her upstairs in his apartment above the bar and he says its fine. So Jeannette goes up because she listens and respects her dad. When she is upstairs he starts kissing her and unbuttoning her dress and then she pushes him off and says she has to go. She does mention it to her dad but if it was my father I would have been so disgusted and upset with him. I would have a really hard time forgiving him and respecting him as a person. He also is teaching his daughter poor morals that letting older man take advantage of you is ok. Her mom too has no respect for anybody in the family. She doesn’t let them take charity even though they need it, and she won’t leave her husband even though he is an alcoholic and can’t support the family.