Skellig Topics for Discussion
by David Almond

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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1. Michael believes his sister will live as long as he can feel her heart beating with his. Do you believe love is strong enough to influence a person's desire to live or die? How?

2. Mina is homeschooled. Should parents have the right to homeschool their children, or should all children be forced to attend public schools? Why or why not? Do homeschooled children learn more, or better, than their public school counterparts?

3. Do Michael's parents love him even though their attention is focused on his newborn sister? Does Michael resent the baby for stealing their attention, or does he understand why they are not paying as much attention to him? Should he resent the baby?

4. Michael and Mina watch the owls feeding baby birds and mice to the owlets. Is nature inherently beautiful or cruel since species prey on each other for survival? Why or why not?

5. What or who is Skellig?

6. Should ten-year-olds have the freedom to do whatever they choose like Michael and Mina? Or is their apparent freedom an illusion?

7. Are Michael's parents good parents? Is Mina's mother a good mother? Why or why not?

8. In American society men and boys are often ridiculed for showing their emotions. Are Michael and his father comfortable showing their emotions? In what ways do they show or disguise their emotions?