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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Why is Raisa Nikitovna so spiteful with Esther?

2. What happens to the food that disappears in chapter 8? How does everyone respond to the problem?

3. Discuss the remark, "But, I thought, if you are supposed to be generous, who are you supposed to be generous to? Only those who don't need it? It was very confusing."

4. Who becomes Esther's best friend at school? What does Esther do to win her friendship?

5. Who is the boy whom Esther likes best romantically? Who is the boy who likes Esther best? Why do things work out this way?

6. What is the attitude of Uncle Yozia and Aunt Zaya toward the Rudomins? How do they help the Rudomins?

7. How would you describe the personality and the character of Marya Nikolayevna?

8. What evidence do you see in this book that adversity bonds people together?

9. Which people treat the Rudomins best? Which ones treat them worst? What factors influence the way people treat them?

10. Why were sapogy and a fufaika so important to Esther?