Jason and Marceline by Jerry Spinelli

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Marceline indicates throughout much of the book that Jason is being very selfish. Is he? How? Why?

2. Jason feels tremendous peer pressure, especially in regard to matters of sex, and he wants desperately to give in to that pressure. How does he handle that pressure? Does he handle it for the most part constructively or destructively?

3. What is Ham's attitude toward Jason's problems? Do you think Ham's attitude and actions are appropriate for a stepparent?

4. In health class, Looie Lopezia and Jason are partners for learning the Heimlich maneuver. When Looie's turn comes, he squeezes Jason's nipples and says, "Hi, Marcy." As a result, Jason, who is not at the time dating Marceline, beats up Looie. Why does he do that? What does the fight reveal about Jason's feelings about Marceline? Why does Jason feel the way he does when the fight is over? Does the fight help Jason in any way?

5. For much of the novel, Jason thinks of sex as a kind of competition between two teams consisting of a male and a female each. How healthy is this attitude? How widespread is it both in the book and in real life? What kinds of problems does it cause Jason?

6. Jason has two younger siblings. What is his relationship with them? Is it healthy?