Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Al Capone Does My Shirts" by Gennifer Choldenko

As Moose obediently helps his sister off the boat as they head to school, he thinks to himself, "Good Moose, obedient Moose. I always do what I'm supposed to do".  Is this true?

For further information about the author, check out:

For information about autism, the author and the book:

Alcatraz - The True Stories: interviews with people who lived and worked on The Rock:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Brooklyn" by Colm Toibin

If Eilis had been able to choose freely, between Brooklyn and tony, and Enniscorthy and Jim, what do you think she would have chosen? Or is Eilis really a young woman who does not choose, who allows others to determine her fate?

For further information about the author, check out:

To read the New York Times Sunday Book Review of "Brooklyn" from May 1, 2009:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"The Book of Unknown Americans" by Cristina Henriquez

How does Alma’s lingering guilt about Maribel’s accident affect her choices and interactions when she’s in America? Do you think that she still feels this way by the end of the book? What does she have to do, and realize within herself, to move beyond her feelings? Do other characters besides Alma struggle with guilt? How does this emotion echo throughout the book, even among the varying narrators/voices?

For further information about the author, check out:

For information about the Unknown Americans Project, check out:

For interviews with author Cristina Henriquez:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"The Kind Worth Killing" by Peter Swanson

Is Lily a victim of her upbringing and circumstances?

Did you as a reader identify with any of the characters or their motives?

For further information about the author, check out:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"I Am the Messenger" by Markus Zusak

One of Ed’s first messages is to soothe Milla Johnson’s loneliness by posing as her deceased husband. How does this experience show Ed the real meaning of love? Then, Ed delivers a message to Sophie, the barefoot runner. Explain the courage that Ed learns from Sophie. What does Ed learn from each of the twelve messages that he delivers? How is each mission a lesson for the heart?

For information about the author, check out:

For an interview with Markus Zusak, check out:

For an extremely well-written review and interpretation of the book and its ending, check out:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarty

Out of all the characters in the book, who do you think had changed the most over the past decade and why?

For further information about the author, check out:

For a Q&A with Liane Moriarty, go to:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"China Dolls" by Lisa See

How is Helen's betrayal of Ruby different from her betrayal of Grace? Which betrayal is worse? Why?

Through her website, you will find information about the world of the 1940s—from the nightclubs of San Francisco Chinatown to life during WWII. Just click on a tab to begin exploring!

But first, here are three of Lisa’s favorite videos of women who were performers at the Forbidden City nightclub:

For more information about Lisa See, check out:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"Shatter" by Michael Robotham

In this psychological thriller, Robotham introduces the reader to the antagonist earlier on, thereby making the story less of a WHOdunnit, and more of a WHYdunnit. Did this affect your reading of the novel?

For further information about the author, check out:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini

While the first three parts of the novel are written in the past tense, the final part is written in present tense. What do you think was the author's intent in making this shift?  How does it change the effect of this final section?

For a biography of the author, Khaled Hosseini, check out:

For further information about the author, his other books and a fascinating interview, check out:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Darkly Dreaming Dexter" by Jeff Lindsay

Dexter Morgan is a serial killer with a code; his targets:  other serial killers.  

What is it about Dexter that makes him (almost) likable?

For information about the author and other books in the series, check out:

For an interesting article about the character of Dexter (in the books and in the Showtime series), check out:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"The Pilot's Wife" by Anita Shreve

The complex relationship between secrecy and intimacy is an important theme of The Pilot's Wife. Consider the secrets kept by the following characters: Kathryn, Jack, Mattie, Robert, Muire. In each case, what motivates the deceiver? Who is protected and who is harmed by the secret? Can deception ever be an expression of love?

For further information about the author, check out:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"The Daring Ladies of Lowell" by Kate Alcott

How is the treatment of the "factory girls" different from the way women are treated in today's work place? How is it similar?

For more information about the author, check out:

Boston Globe article about the real life murder the book is loosely based on: