Mrs. Nesbitt has died and they took all her food and other important possesions. A blizzard starts while matt is away and he luckily finds his way home. Christmas comes and they all have a great time by exchanging gifts and carroling with neighors. Peter dies from the flu and Miranda's family is affected by it too, leaving Miranda alone to take care of them. Their life deteriorates even further as they run outbof food. Miranda tries to go into town t see if any letters have come and it turns out
One emerging theme in this novel is how easily the human mindset can be changed. As we continue through this book, Miranda never maintains a certain mindset as circumstances change. Finding a little food can send Miranda’s spirits soaring but then when her family becomes sick she loses all hope. I am not criticizing her because if all this were to happen you are going to be emotionally stressed but I it is fascinating how fast the mood and tone of the novel can be changed. I think gender roles also have a large effect on important things such as food distribution as early as August, although it is subtle at first and becomes more evident as their situation deteriorates. One example of this is when Johnny leaves for summer camp, everyone else starts eating less so Jonny can be strong. But now, in chapters 20 and 21, Miranda and her mother hardly eat at all to the point of almost starvation for Jonny. Even Matt hardly eats toward the end because they all think Jonny has the best chance to survive because men have more natural strength and hardiness. This is also why Jonny and Matt are the ones doing all the physical labor when Miranda and her mom do the household chores such as dishes and laundry.