Margaret Peterson Haddix

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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. Why do you think Melly keeps Memory Books? What did Anny Beth mean by, ".if you'd lived a life like mine, you'd understand-some years you're happier to forget."?
  2. Why does the agency want Melly and Anny Beth to come back?
  3. Compare Melly's first life with her second. What has changed? How has the availability of personal information changed the world?
  4. Why does the agency forbid the project participants from seeing their families?
  5. Why does Mrs. Swanson disobey the agency? What happens?
  6. What does Amelia (Melly) mean by, "He was the one (Dr. Reed) who'd played God and begun her unaging"?
  7. Why is Melly afraid of the e-mail from A.J. Hazelwood?
  8. Melly and Anny Beth cut themselves off from the agency. Why do they do this? Where do they plan to go?
  9. Why does Mr. Johnson want to stop aging at seventy-five? What happens to Mr. Johnson?
  10. Why did Amelia want to return to Kentucky when she was forty-five? What stops her?
  11. Melly and Anny Beth escape the agency and drive to Kentucky. Whose house do they see? Who lives in the house?
  12. Who does Melly decide would be their best surrogate parent? Why?
  13. How is A.J's story unusual? Explain.
  14. What does Melly discover about the agency when they return?
  15. What happened to the other participants in the project?
  16. Melly suggests that PT-1 should be offered to everyone. (As long as they understand the risks.) Do you think that's a good idea?
  17. Does the story have an uplifting ending? Why or why not?

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