After Reading the Book
1. Do a character study of Dave's mother and father.
2. Do a character study of Dave.
3. Based on the character studies, divide the class into small groups and have them answer the following questions in their journals. Have each group select a spokesperson to report the groups' answers.
a. How would you describe the author's parental relationship regarding disciplining the children? Why did Dave's mother act differently when Dave's father was home? Why did she lie about what happened to Dave's arm?
b. Why do you think Dave's mother was so upset when he had to repeat first grade? Why did she feel Dave had shamed the family?
c. Why do you think Dave's father acted so helpless when it came to getting food to Dave? Why do you think Dave's mother was so rigid about denying Dave food? Do you think as a parent he should have insisted?
d. Why did Dave's mother blame him for her problems with his father?
e. Why do you think Dave's father was so unresponsive when Dave told him he had been stabbed by his mother? Do you think Dave's father was afraid of his wife? Explain.
f. In lower elementary school, Dave was liked by his classmates. In upper elementary school, his classmates began to bully and torment him. What do you think is an explanation for the change? Do you think Dave brought the change on himself? Explain.