Ideas for Reports and Papers
1. Hall's novels often feature young people who share significant adult responsibilities with their parents. For example, in A Killing Freeze, Clarie helps run the Winter Fest and helps in her father's business. She takes pride in contributing to their welfare. Find other such characters in other novels by Hall. What do these characters have in common? Do any of them differ in important ways? How do these characters help us to understand some of Hall's purposes in her fiction?
2. What are snowmobiles? How can a person tell a good snowmobile from a bad one? What are snowmobiles used for?
3. One way books appeal to young readers is by showing a main character learning to take control of some aspect of his or her life. For example, in Island of the Blue Dolphins (by Scott O'Dell, 1960), the main character learns how to fend for herself on a remote island, far from help. How do authors use the theme of competence to attract readers? What are the best ways the theme of competence can be used? What are the worst ways?
4. What are the special difficulties of a family in which a teen-age father, without the help of the mother, has taken responsibility for raising his children?
5. How important is the characterization in A Killing Freeze to its mystery?
6. What is a winter fest? Are they common in snow country? How realistic in the Winter Fest of A Killing Freeze when compared with real ones?
7. How much responsibility do modern teenagers take for the welfare of their families? Do many help in the family business, as Clarie does?
8. How good of a mystery is A Killing Freeze? Does it measure up to other mystery novels? Does it do a good job of presenting clues? Does it keep you guessing until the end?
9. How accurate is the depiction of a rural Minnesota town in A Killing Freeze?
10. Keith seems to be dependable, intelligent, and skilled. What are the requirements for becoming a sheriff in Minnesota? What do their jobs usually entail?
11. Keith says that there have been no killings in Harmon Falls for sixty years. How common are murders in rural Minnesota? Are small towns like Harmon Falls as safe as Clarie says Harmon Falls is?