Saturday, May 1, 2010

House Rules ~ first set of discussion questions

Post your answers to these questions (as actual posts if you are a Book Buddy, rather than a comment), and tell us your thoughts about the earliest parts of the book:

1.  What does the object in this photo have to do with the story?

2.  What is the presumptive "motive" behind the staged murder in the opening scene?

3.  Jacob says, “Why would I want to be friends with kids who are nasty to people like me anyway?” (page 20).  What does this tell us about Jacob?

4.  Jacob lists twelve things he can't stand (page 20).  Do you see his logic?  We all have things we could put into such a list.  What would yours be?

5.  The rules of the house are listed on page 21.  Do they seem appropriate or unusual?  Would they be rules that would work in your house?  Why should a rule that works in one situation not work in another?  "If a bully taunts him and I tell him it’s all right to reciprocate, why shouldn’t he do the same with a teacher who humiliates him in public?" (see page 75).

(1)  Clean up your own messes.
(2)  Tell the truth.
(3)  Brush your teeth twice a day.
(4)  Don't be late for school.
(5)  Take care of your brother; he's the only one you've got.

6.  What kind of work does Emma do?  What did she do before that?

7.  What work did Oliver do before he became a lawyer?

8.  "Five days of the week, in addition to having a limited diet, Jacob eats by color.  I don't really remember how this started, but it's a routine:  all Monday food is ______, all Tuesday food is ______, all Wednesday food is ______, and so on" (page 43).  The colors for Thursday and Friday come later in the book.  You'll also discover later (page 288) that there's another food color they always eat on the first day of the month.  Tell us whatever you've learned so far about the food colors the Hunt family eats during the week, the color and also any foods you can think of that fit the day's color.

9.  List any movie quotes you found in the first 100 pages or so of the book.

3 comments:

Susan said...

Hi Bonnie - Susan here. Thanks for letting me in on the fun. Ready to answer my first questions!

1. Jacob really hates the color orange, it stands for hazard or danger.

2. In the opening scene, Jacob has been murdered because he stole the sneakers of his brother, Theo.

3. Why would anyone want to be friends with kids who are nasty to anyone, especially people like Jacob (or me).

4. Jacob's list of 12 things he can't stand are logical to a point, they are things that upset order, invade his space, over stimulate him, or are hurtful, but I am puzzled about even numbers - what is wrong with them? Let's see, things I can't stand - arguing, clutter, waiting.

5. I like the five rules of the house, especially #1 (clean up your own messes)! Rules don't always work in every situation - there are always exceptions, which is something that has to be learned and probably hard for Jacob to rationalize.

6. Emma works at home writing an advice column now, she used to be a textbook editor.

7. Before becoming a lawyer, Oliver traveled around working as a farrier's apprentice.

8. In the book, all Monday food is green, all Tuesday food is red, all Wednesday food is yellow. I don't know what Thursday is yet, but Friday is blue - I remember Theo saying (or thinking) that the only good thing about Friday food being blue is the blueberry pie. For the life of me I cannot think of another blue food! Eating by color sounds like fun at first, but after thinking about it, it might be hard to come up with some foods. Green is easy - beans, peas, lettuce, brocoli. Red - tomatoes, spaghetti sauce. Yellow - lemon pie, squash, corn. I am getting hungry now!

9. Movie quotes: What we got here is a failure to communicate (Cool Hand Luke); You talkin' to me? (Taxi Driver); Snap out of it! (Moonstruck); Heeeeer's Johnny (The Shining); Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. (Wizard of Oz).

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Welcome, Susan! Thanks for answering the questions. If you want to be able to post (as well as comment), reply to the email I'll send you as soon as I post this comment.

Shirley said...

Reading Susan's comments was a nice reminder of the book.
Good to hear from you, Susan!