Suburban Mosaic

Back Home

By Julia Keller

Middle School Title

Rachel “Brownie” Browning is thirteen when her father comes home from the war in Iraq.  She understands he has been injured. But Brownie doesn’t recognize the man with the prosthetic arm and leg who sits in the living room day after day. He is certainly not the father who helped her build a fort in the backyard, or played basketball with her sister.

A story about an ordinary family forced to deal with an extraordinary loss, Back Home tells the tale of families scarred and the battle just beginning when their wounded loved ones return home. (From the book jacket)

Discussion Questions
Back Home

  1. Do you think it would be hard for you if a member of your family was badly injured in the war?
  2. Do you think that Brownie was sympathetic enough to her badly injured father?
  3. Did Brownie’s mother do enough for her and Marcy and Rob (her sister and brother) to adjust to how different their dad was when he came home?
  4. Should Brownie’s aunts and uncles have given the Brownings more support?
  5. Why did Uncle Steve fight with the man in the old army jacket? Was he right in doing so?
  6. Do you think your school; church, synagogue or mosque should do more to help injured veterans and their families? What ideas do you suggest?