Discussion Questions

Choose 2-3 questions to discuss with your partners.

  • Why did Despereaux's mother choose to name her youngest son "Despereaux"?
  • What makes Despereaux a hero? Why do you think he's considered an "unusual" hero?
  • The Tale of Despereaux is full of unique characters. Which did you find the most intriguing? Describe and compare your own qualities with those of that character. How are you similar? How are you different?
  • One person can make quite an impact on a number of other people. It's kind of like when you throw a pebble into a river and watch the ripples spread out. Plot out how many people were affected, and how, by Despereaux's actions.
  • Author Kate DiCamillo used the theme of light throughout the book. What do you think it symbolizes?
  • What is it that the Princess realizes at the end of the story? Have you ever felt that way or taken the same kind of action? When?
  • What do you think is the message the author wants you to take away from this book? Do you think there's another important message to consider as well?