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Jeanette dreams of becoming a writer.
Until then, when I thought of writers, what first came to mind was Mom, hunched over her typewriter, clattering away on her novels and plays and philosophies of life and occasionally receiving a personalized rejection letter. But a newspaper reporter, instead of holing up in isolation, was in touch with the rest of the world. What the reporter wrote influenced what people thought about and talked about the next day; he knew what was really going on. I decided I wanted to be one of the people who knew what was really going on. Page 204
In seventh grade Jeannette is the first person her age to work for the school newspaper, The Maroon Wave. She seeks it out as a place where she can belong and have an identity without worrying about people teasing her for being poor or dirty or criticizing her parents. During her work with the school newspaper Jeannette discovers what she wants to do with her life and what she later ends up doing: journalism. It is important that she not keep her work to herself or experience it alone, like her mother, but rather that it exist as a dialogue between her and the rest of the world.