The House of Dies Drear


Virginia Hamilton

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Minimum grade level: 


Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. Before you started reading this book, what did you know about the Underground Railroad? What did you learn about it while reading?
  2. Why does Thomas's father want so badly to live in the house of Dies Drear? How does the rest of the family feel about it?
  3. What is the significance to Thomas's dream?
  4. Describe Mr. Pluto. What is odd about him? Why is it so important to him to live independently?
  5. How does history repeat itself when the Smalls move into the house?
  6. What do you think motivates people to harass other people in the way the Darrows' are cruel to the Smalls? Do you think it is fair to teach these people a lesson?
  7. In what ways are Thomas and his father alike?

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