CHARLIE'S MIRROR Discussion Questions!

By Brenda Lyne

Discussion Questions

  1. What was your favorite part of the book? Least favorite? Why?
  2. Who was your favorite character? Least favorite? Why?
  3. Which scene has stuck with you the most?
  4. What surprised you?
  5. Are there lingering questions you’re still thinking about?
  6. What do you think happens to the characters after the story ends?
  7. What did you think about the book’s structure? Did it work for the story? Could the author have done something differently?
  8. How did the setting impact the story?
  9. Which twist surprised you the most?
One out of every five students reports being bullied. Bullied students indicate that bullying has a negative impact on how they feel about themselves, their relationships with friends and family, their schoolwork, and physical health.1
  1. Are there differences in how Charlie and Sara react to their experiences with bullying? How are they similar?
  2. Do you think the different time periods (1980s for Charlie vs. 1990s for Sara) have any impact on the bullying each experienced? How?
Substance abuse/addiction:
One in five American children live in homes with parental substance abuse and addiction. These kids are three times more likely to be physically, sexually, or emotionally abused and four times more likely to be neglected than their peers.2
  1. Do you think Sara has successfully overcome her mother’s alcoholism?
  2. Do you think Charlie was more affected by his parents’ heroin addiction or his grandmother’s gambling addiction?
  3. Do Charlie and Sara suffer from any addictions of their own?
Self-awareness & emotional intelligence:
Self-awareness is the ability to see yourself clearly and objectively through reflection and introspection. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you.
  1. Do you think Sara’s and Charlie’s self-awareness and emotional intelligence were different at the end of the story compared to the beginning?
  2. Where did they start? Where did they end?
  3. What caused them to change?
  4. What lessons did they learn?
  5. Do you think their lessons could apply to your own life? How?

Last word:
Choose one character: Sara, Charlie, Lauren, Ben, Ruth, Melinda, Luke, Schlosser, or Hilliard.
  1. What one word would you use to describe the character you chose? Why?

1 National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019
2 Families Affected by Parental Substance Use, Pediatrics, 2016.


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