How I Live Now

By: 

Meg Rosoff

Number of Pages: 

194

Minimum grade level: 

8th

What is it about Daisy that I like so much? She is self-centered, selfish, anorexic and immature. She doesn't seem to care about anybody but herself. But she's brutally honest and very funny and fiercely loyal. Listen to this. (Read page 3 from "Hello Edmond" through "I'm the duchess of Panama's private secretary." at the top of page 4.) Daisy has just arrived in England, where she is to stay with her cousins for awhile. Practically immediately, her Aunt goes away for a weekend but never comes back because war breaks out. Daisy and her cousins have to survive on their own without any adults, which is very fun and adventurous at first but soon enough turns scary and difficult. Some do better than others. Read How I Live Now to see how Daisy does.

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. What rare and subtle qualities does Daisy have?
  2. How does Piper help Daisy?
  3. Daisy has an eating disorder. How does this contribute to the story?
  4. The author states in an interview that "deep human connections can repair a lot of emotional damage." How do you see this happening?
  5. She also says "our faults are sometimes far more useful in life than our so-called 'good' qualities." What "faults" help the characters?
  6. Do you think it strange that Daisy and her cousins are not more affected by the war in the beginning? Why or why not?
  7. What was your first impression of Edmond? Did it change as you read the novel? In what way?
  8. Though this book is set in the future, does it feel any different from now?
  9. How did living with her cousins change Daisy?
  10. Which character do you think changed the most and why?

If you liked this book, try

  • AK by Peter Dickinson
  • The Art of Keeping Cool by Janet Taylor Lisle
  • The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Stones in Water by Donna Jo Napoli
  • Tightrope by Gillian Cross
  • Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

Snacks

Tea and biscuits or chestnuts and berries.

Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.