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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 317

1. Although Buck tells this story, Kate and Polly are very strong characters. Using Hilary Crew's article as a reference, explore Peck's use of a strong female character in this and other novels.

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2. Point of view can be very important to a story. Discuss the effect that Buck's telling the story has on the development of the plot. How might the novel have been different if it had been told by Polly? by Kate? by Trav?

3. Explore the symbolism of the pear orchard. What do the orchard and the poem that Trav writes and that Kate recites for her audition mean to each of the main characters in the book?

4. There are two groups of three friends in the novel: Trav, Kate, and Buck; Scotty, Irene, and Mr. Mendenhall. How are they alike and how are they different? What effect does Scotty's death have on Irene and Buck's Dad? Compare and contrast this to the effect that Trav's death has on Kate and Buck. What role has the disintegrating community played in each death?

5. Peck is concerned with architecture and historical preservation and seems to say that problems (such as Trav's suicide, Scotty's murder, and a decline of a sense of community) accompany the growth of subdivisions and shopping malls and the decline of farms and small towns. Research the issue of suburban development in rural areas. Does suburban growth bring crime? family problems?

6. Research the topic of teen suicide and compile a list of the classic warning signs. Try to find these signs in Remembering the Good Times and discuss how the characters reacted to them. Locate and read summaries and reviews of some of Peck's other novels that deal with adolescent problems. Identify the problems and explain what Peck means when he writes the following statements in his autobiography: "A novel is never an answer, always a question" and "Characters grow by being backed into corners."

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