Pass out small papers and let students write one of the following on the paper: love it, like it, hate it. Collect and tally the vote on the board. Voting with the papers allows shy students to stay anonymous yet give their true opinions.
Watch Video of Author, Wendy Mass
Pass out a variety of candy to the students before this part. Have fun!
1. What's your favorite candy?
2. Would you like to be in the contest? Why/not?
3. If you have the opportunity, what candy would you invent?
4. Which character did you identify with the most? How are they like you/not like you?
1. What mystery books have you read?
2. Discuss elements of mystery stories. Does this book fit the genre? Why/not?
3. What is the "big mystery" in this book?
4. What are the small mysteries?
5. What clues are given to us throughout the book that developed each character's mystery?
1. How were the characters connected (we made a chart).
2. Mike loves to talk about the afterlife. What does he say? What parts are true? What parts aren't? Does he just make up whatever he wants to believe? Do other people do that? How?
3. Does the end justify the means? Can you use immoral methods to do something as long as the outcome is good. (Robin Hood)
Quotes to Discuss
1. "You never know what you'll learn when you open [a book]. And if it's a story, you sort of fall into it. Then you live there for a while, instead of, you know, living here."
2. "She had been taught not to question the motives of the client. After all, every story had two sides. Who was she to decide right from wrong?" Are we to decide right from wrong? How do we do this?
3. "Philip's dad always said people didn't change, they just got taller."
4. "I sometimes forget my real story." Discuss truth and lies and how this can happen.
5. "Some people have scars on the inside and other people's are on the outside."
6. "If nothing ever changed, there'd be no such things as butterflies." Discuss the symbolic significance of the butterfly throughout the story.