The Tale of Despereaux


Kate DiCamillo

Number of Pages: 


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. Describe Despereaux and Roscuro. What is special about their names? What about them is different to other mice or rats, respectively? How is the "normal" mouse or rat supposed to behave?
  2. What happens at the party in the castle and what are the consequences?
  3. What significance does soup have in this book?
  4. The characters in the book all have special dreams that get them into trouble. What are their dreams?
  5. Who was your favorite character and why?
  6. Is there a central thread in the story? Did you like how the four story lines are weaved together?
  7. Is this story a fairy tale? Is there a "Happily ever after" at the end? If so, how does it look like for the different characters?
  8. Miggery Sow and the princess have entirely different lives. How do they differ? What connects them nevertheless?
  9. "Love is powerful, wonderful and ridiculous." Do you agree? How does it affect Despereaux's life?
  10. Discuss the behavior of Despereaux's family throughout the book.
  11. Despereaux decides to go back into the dungeon he had just escaped. Why? What gives him the strength to do so? What helps him find his way?
  12. "Stories are light." Gregory the jailer tells Despereaux. What does this mean to you? Did you find some light in this story?


Of course, soup! (i.e. soup with chicken, watercress and garlic). Or try celery (with dips), the threadmasters favorite food.

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