Topics for Discussion
1. Before Jared reads Annelise's mind and discovers the content of her diary entries, are there any clues about her true character?
2. Why do you suppose that Jared's grandmother really gives him and Lindie the swamp water to drink?
3. How does Jared differ from the other members of his family? Is he a sympathetic narrator? Why or why not?
4. Jared and Lindie are left with a number of questions at the end of the novel? Why does Sleator not provide more concrete answers about their future and their grandmother's true character?
5. How does Sleator manage to create suspense throughout the novel? What questions, for example, does he raise in the reader's mind early in the novel?
6. Compare and contrast the way that Jared, Annelise, and Lindie react to and use their new powers.
7. What is the significance of the novel's title and the epigram by Robert Burns?
8. As Jared soon learns, his cousin Lindie cheated to get into Harvard. Why does he find her a more sympathetic character than Annelise? Is there a difference between her act of deception and those of Annelise?
9. Discuss the character of Jared's grandmother. How can she rationalize stealing and blackmailing and, at the same time, pass judgment on Annelise? Why do you suppose that Sleator leaves her motives so ambiguous?