Discussion Questions:

Choose 2-3 questions from the list below to discuss with your partner/s.

  • At the beginning of the book there is a quote:
    "Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins."
    Reflect on this quote, what are some possible meanings of this quote? What situations might it apply to? When do people tend to judge others? Is it ever helpful?
Andrew: Some meanings of this quote are you can't just judge a man if you don't know who he is.
James: I think this means you can't judge a man if you don't know who he is or who he are

  • What do you think of the scene (beginning on page 199 of the hardcover edition) where Mr. Birkway reads students' journals aloud? Do you think it's ever okay to read someone's journal? If you found a friend's journal would you read it?

  • Why do you think Sal talks as if she doesn't know what really happened to her mother for most of the story?

  • Why does Sal's friend Phoebe think that Mrs. Cadaver is a murderer?
Andrew: Phoebe thinks that Mrs. Cadaver is a murderer because when Phoebe saw her chopping at the rhododendron bush she thought Mrs. Cadaver buried and killed her husband.
James: phoebe thought

  • The author repeatedly uses the phrase "might as well try to catch a fish in the air." What does it mean? What are some other expressions that have similar meanings?

  • Why do you think the author chose to make the setting of this book a cross-country car trip?

  • Why do you think the author has Sal drive the car for the climactic scene?