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Whistling in the Dark (Kagen) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Whistling in the Dark:

1. Sally combines childish innocence with a surprisingly mature discernment of life. You might talk about those opposite qualities—the ways in which they evidence themselves in the book. In fact, just talk about Sally as a character.

2. Do you find the adult characters as interesting—or as well drawn—as Sally and her sister? What about the girls parents and sister, as well as the community of neighbors who surround the girls?

3. West blends humor with suspense in this story. How does he achieve his humor? At what parts did you find yourself laughing?

4. How might the fact we see the story through the eyes of a 10-year-old affect the way we read, or understand, the events in the novel?

5. You might talk about Kagen's portrayal of a 1950's close-knit neighborhood—the kind of community we yearn for as offering a safe haven for growing up. Yet, in Whistling, beneath the surface lurks a darker world. For those who grew up in that era, it seemed a safer world . . . or is that being innocent, naive, like Sally?

6. Were you surprised by the ending? Or had you figured out who the murderer was? Where there clues along the way?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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