I read this with my 4th grade class to discuss theme, which I felt very appropriate. First I had to explain the setting to be during the civil rights movement when blacks and whites were separated. They helped by adding to the discussion and sharing their own thoughts on this. Then I asked them if they knew what theme was. We discussed as a class that the theme is the moral of the story or lesson learned by the end. While keeping this in mind, I read the book only stopping at points to explain vocabulary. After reading,we talked about the theme of the book and what lessons they learned from it.