Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (Wiggin)

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 Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm:

1. Why is it necessary for Rebecca to leave her family and live with her aunts in Riverboro? Why had the aunts hoped that Hannah, Rebecca's older sister, would be sent instead of her—but why wasn't Hannah sent?

2. Difficult as it would have been, splitting up families was not uncommon, at any time or place in history. What would it feel like as a child to be torn from your roots and the closeness of family love? How did Rebecca accept her lot?

3. Talk about the aunts, Jane and Miranda Sawyer. They are sisters, but as seemingly different as night and day. How does each treat Rebecca? What are their expectations and hopes for her? Are Miranda's expectations fair? Miranda considers Rebecca "All Randall and no Sawyer"—what she mean? What is Rebecca's relationship to each aunt and does her relationship change?

4. Much of Rebecca's charm as a heroine comes from the fact that she isn't perfect. What are some of the mistakes she makes? How does Rebecca respond to Aunt Miranda's scoldings? Does she give reasons or excuses? Does any of it sound familiar to you—if you are a young person who has been scolded by your parents...or a parent holding your children responsible for their actions.

4. What does the soap-selling episode say about Rebecca and Emma Jane Perkins and the kind of girls they are? Are the two girls different from young people today? Consider, too, Rebecca's anger when Minnie Smellie taunts the Simpson children?

5. What are the character traits that enable Rebecca to win the respect of her teachers and schoolmates. In what way does Rebecca become a leader?

6. How does Rebecca change over the course of the novel? Living with her aunts was to be "the making of her." What does this mean, and does she achieve the goal?

7. How important is education in this book and why? Compare it to the emphasis on learning today? Do we take school as seriously—we all say we do, but do we ? What things detract from—or enhance—today's education?

8. Are you satisfied with how Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm ends? What do you like—or dislike—about the ending?

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

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