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by Margaret Peterson Haddix
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1.Describe the opening scene. Why do you think Haddix decided to start her story here? As you read, make predictions about what you think will happen next.
2.If you received those letters, what would you do? To whom would you show them? Would you, like Jonah, keep them from your parents? Why or why not?
3.What does Chip learn about himself? Do you think a kid has the right to know whether or not they are adopted? Why or why not? Defend your answer. Do you think you would want to know about your birth parents or would you be content as Jonah seems to be?
4.Katherine tells Jonah, “…If you’re going through some adolescent ‘Who am I?’ phase, it’s not because you’re adopted. Everyone goes through that. I don’t know who I am either.” (p. 54) Do you feel like this? Do you wonder how others will define you? Do you care?
5.How do Chip and Jonah rule out the letters being a simple prank?
6.Jonah and his parents feel threatened by their meeting with James Reardon at the FBI. How would your parents react? How would you? Would you keep looking for answers even though deportation could happen?
7.What odd events happen at the FBI? Would you have believed Katherine about the disappearing man? Would you have had enough guts to open the file and snap a picture like Katherine did? What do they discover?
8.Create a list of questions you would want to ask the witnesses or survivors if you were Jonah or Chip. Katherine says, “…but when you’re not talking, sometimes you notice things more.” (p. 113) What does Katherine notice about Mr. Reardon? Now you try it. What do you notice that you might’ve missed?
9.What do the kids learn from Angela DuPre at the library? Do you agree with her theory about the babies? How hard would it be for you to believe her?
10.When the kids are sorted at the adoption conference what does Katherine decide to do? Would you have made the same decision? Who are the other kids? How do you think Jonah and Katherine’s parents will react?
11.Explain what happens inside the cave. Is this what you expected from your predictions or were you surprised? Can you figure out who is actually good and who is evil? Why is it so confusing to Jonah and the others? Is it always easy to tell in real life or not?
12.Explain the problems of paradox, ripple and age reversal. Which one would scare you the most? How difficult do you think these issues would be for a novelist in writing the book?
13.Who are the babies? Why were they left on the plane? Whose side do you actually believe? Why? How would you feel if you were Jonah and Chip? Do you think Katherine wishes she stayed behind?
14.Who do you think Jonah is in history? Do you like to read series books? Why?
15.How does the novel end? Was it satisfying? What do you think will happen next in the series? What questions does Haddix leave in your mind for the next book?
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