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Summary Francie enjoys her new school, but she also looks forward to the holidays, especially the Fourth of July and Halloween. Although she does not have much interest in Election Day, she hears her parents talk about it. Johnny is in favor of the Democrats, and Katie is scornful of the entire system.
The Democratic Party arranges a picnic to gain votes. A week before the picnic, all the children are given tickets, which they can use to get free food, drinks, and even rides. Although the Nolans plan to attend, Francie loses all of her tickets in a game of marbles; therefore, on the day of the picnic, she must simply stand and watch. Sergeant Michael McShane comes up and talks to her. Learning who her parents are, Sergeant McShane asks Francie whether she prays everyday that she will grow up to be half as beautiful as her mother. The next time that Francie finds her mother, she tells her about what McShane has said; Katie feels very flattered.
On Election Day, Mattie Mahoney wins; but like all the politicians, he soon forgets all the promises he has made during the campaign.
Holidays are special treats for the poor children of Brooklyn. Francie always looks forward to firecrackers on Independence Day, masks on Halloween, and picnics on Election days; these special events bring a few rays of sunshine in the drab lives of the impoverished students.
The Democratic Party arranges a big picnic in order to campaign for Mattie Mahoney. The Nolans attend even though Francie has lost all of her tickets for the free drinks, food, and rides. As she stands watching the other children, Sergeant McShane talks to her, telling Francie that her mother is beautiful. When she tells her mother about McShane's comment, Katie feels very flattered. Afterwards, she begins to care more about her appearance.