These questions are from Wendy's site, http://www.wendymass.com/ and they contain some major spoilers!
- What three items did Jeremy and Lizzy need to deliver for Mr. Oswald?
Discuss the significance of each item (in relation to the respective
owner, in relation to Jeremy, etc.) What “life lesson” did Jeremy take
away from each encounter?
- “I have named the hour between eleven and midnight the Hour of
Jeremy (H.O.J. for short).” (p. 27) During the H.O.J, Jeremy reads, does
research on the Internet, etc. If you had a specific time allotted just for
yourself, what hour would you choose? What would you do during that
- In a conversation between Jeremy and Lizzy, she asks “So what’s your
strength?” “Good question, replies Jeremy. “What is my strength? Do
I even have a strength?” (p.18) Ask students how they would answer
that question. Then read aloud the story about the fight between two
wolves on page 271. Discuss the concept of good vs. evil and the notion
that the wolf you feed can be considered your strength. Ask students to
write a list of their own strengths.
- Jeremy has an internal battle with himself over the difference between
fate and bad luck. (p. 82) Conversely, Lizzy sees the fact that they
missed their stop as “a good sign for sure.” (p. 83) Do you believe in
fate? Do you think there is such a thing as bad and good luck? Many
people think that the number 13 is unlucky, as Lizzy and Jeremy discover
when the 13th floor is missing (p.86). Do you think there is any truth
to this custom? As an extension activity, have students research the
mystery of the number 13.
- Mr. Randolph defined the meaning of life as finding one’s potential and
embracing it. (p. 156) And Dr. Grady is referring to life in his statement,
“It’s the journey, not the destination.” (p. 186) How are these two
declarations related, if at all? Would you agree with Mr. Randolph and
Dr. Grady? Does the letter written by Jeremy’s father reflect these
- There is a central theme of loss in this novel: the death of Jeremy’s
father and the abandonment of Lizzy’s mother. Do you think that
is what draws Jeremy and Lizzy together as friends? Describe their
relationship. When Samantha moves in, Lizzy begins acting strange
and all of a sudden becomes concerned with what Samantha may
think of her. Why do you think Lizzy is behaving differently? Does it
impact Jeremy and Lizzy’s friendship? Cite several examples of the bond
between Jeremy and Lizzy.
- Were you surprised to discover that Jeremy’s father had planned this
entire adventure and that everyone was in on the plan? What lifelessons
did Jeremy learn? How has this experience changed him? Do
you think that the summer’s events helped Jeremy better deal with his
father’s death? Describe the transformed Jeremy?
- Jeremy spends the entire summer trying to discover what is in his
Meaning of Life box. When he finally gets it opened, his father informs
him “…that’s all life is, really, a string of moments that you knot
together and carry with you….The trick is to recognize an important one
when it happens.” (p. 272) And within the box are numerous rocks—
each one representing an important moment. Think about your own life, what meaningful items would you save and what would you write in your letter?
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Start off by checking out the book's website http://www.theinventionofhugocabret.com/
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret has almost as many pictures in it as words. How did the art affect your experience of reading the book?
- How is the book like a movie or how does it remind you of movies?
- Did you learn anything new from reading this book?
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret takes place in Paris in the 1930s. Do you think this story could have taken place somewhere else or at another time? If so, where and when?
And for some really great questions, go to this site:
Kiki Strike: The Empress's Tomb by Kirsten Miller
- Kirsten Miller has further developed some of the irregulars in this book. Which one of the Irregulars do you most relate to and why?
- What is so appealing about Kiki Strike?
- This novel continues to introduce us to more young geniuses. What is Kirsten Miller trying to say about geniuses?
- The novel ends with Kiki headed to claim her home and Ananka revealing her secrets to her parents. Is this the end of the irregulars or do you predict a sequel?
- Not only are the Irregulars diverse, but so are their families. Describe the different parent/child relationships. Why do you think Miller chose to set the families up the way she did? (and on a side note, why no siblings?)
- Kirsten Miller keeps track of all sort of odd real life occurrences like underground cities, and stories of haunted houses. I think these intriguing stories that are interwoven into the Kiki Strike novels are part of what making them so intriguing, they leave you with a feeling that this might actually be possible. She chronicles many of them under Ananka's Diary on her web site www. kikistrike.com. Can you think of any real life oddities that might fit perfectly into a Kiki Strike novel or maybe inspire a novel of your own?