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- Have you ever met anyone like Florida? What is it like to be around them?
- How did Florida change in the course of the book?
- Dallas was not sure why Florida had cried on some occasions and he hadn't. May she "was crying enough for the two of them." (p.200). How did Dallas and Florida each contribute differently to their relationship?
- How is Florida like Tiller, and Dallas like Sairy? How are they different?
- Of the four main characters, which is most like you? How?
- Dallas daydreams, picturing himself in beautiful places, doing exciting things. Where do you picture yourself in other places? Doing what?
- Lots of tough experiences taught Florida to be very mistrustful of adults. Does being mistrustful of Tiller and Sairy serve her well? Did you ever learn a way of behaving that helped you in one situation, but not in another?
- How does each of the four main characters express loneliness?
- Mrs. Trepid experienced jealousy. (p. 159). How did jealousy effect her life? Can you talk about any other characters in the book that experienced jealousy? How about you?
- When Florida first gets in the boat, "something had made her look calm on the outside, while inside she was trembling like a trapped mouse." (p. 176) What was that "something?" Did you ever feel like that?
- How do dreams play an important part in this story? Are your dreams important to you?
- Sharon Creech has won honors for other books that she has written. Do you think this book deserves an honor? Why or why not. Compare it to something else that you have read.
Draw a map of Ruby Holler. The author tells us that that Tiller and Sairy have lived there so long that they could have made their way through it blindfolded. Is there a place that you know that well?
Picture a place (real or imagined) that really feels like home to you. What does it look like? Smell like? Sound like? Who shares the space? Draw a picture or a map of it, and write a paragraph describing what makes it home.
This discussion guide created by Janet Goulston, Illahee Elementary School Media Specialist
Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.