Alayne Smith
Young Adult Author
Discussion Questions
  
 What motivates Ellen?

Keeping in mind that the novel is set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, do you think Ellen is a typical teenager?

Charlene is a tortured lady. Discuss her decision to save her reputation instead of saving John Maben's life.

Is it feasible that Charlene would have committed suicide?

Do we carry baggage filled with our parents’ foibles? Should we?

Instead of quoting Deuteronomy 5:9 or Numbers 14:18, Essie chose to quote Ezekiel 18.20; the child is not responsible for the sins of the father. Why was this so important to Ellen? In what other ways was Essie important in Ellen’s life?

Compare the media in Ellen’s world to the media in our world today. 

How does the Pedro Pan Movement compare to other American immigration experiences?

Do you think that David Foca will eventually come to Zia or will he stay in Cuba with Carlota?

How did Jonas Stockman impact Ellen’s life?

What themes are threaded through Ellen and the Three Predictions?

Is the conclusion satisfying? If so, why? If not, how would you change it?