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Stitches – Discussion Questions

Books | About the Book | Synopsis | Questions & Activities

1. What is there about the nature of some children that makes them turn into bullies? Who are most likely to end up being their victims?

2. What is there about Travis’s personality that seems to spur Shon and Cameron and Todd to bully him? Are there aspects of Travis’s personality that we might consider not typical of a victim? Do you think adults – and also Travis’s peers – might have done more to curb the bullying?

3. Are there other bullies in the story in addition to Shon and his sidekicks?

4. Why do you think Chantelle’s and Travis’s friendship develops and becomes such a strong force in their lives? It is sometimes said that misfits attract one another. How is this true of these two?

5. In what ways are Travis’s and Chantelle’s families alike? Different? How are Chantelle’s brothers somewhat typical of the stereotype of bikers – and how do they play against the stereotype?

6. Why – out of all the pieces of literature he might choose from – do you think the author picked Peter Pan and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as the stories Travis develops into plays?

7. Do you think it was a good idea for Travis to move away from Acton – or should he have tried to stay there? At what age do you believe young people should be able to make choices about where they live, where they might go to school?

8. Do you think Chantelle will manage to leave Acton too? Why – or why not?

9. Comment on parts of the narrative that you found humorous.

Stitches — Activities

1. Create a hand puppet with a particular character. Give the puppet a name. Be ready to present a speech that this puppet might give in an original puppet play.

2. With a partner, or a small group, choose a piece of classic literature that you like and develop a favorite part as a puppet play.

3. With others, view a film version of Peter Pan or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Discuss how these stories and Stitches have some common themes.

4. Imagine you are Malcolm and responsible for composing the music for Travis’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream puppet show. Choose a crucial piece of text from the Shakespearean play and develop it as a song to present.

5. Create Chantelle’s tote bag (feel free to have it turn out as if Travis has helped to “fix it’).

6. Create a fashion illustration showing Chantelle’s graduation dress.