Ideas To Think About And Discuss

A Five-Color Buick and a Blue-Eyed Cat

1. What usually went wrong when Fred tried to discuss something with his father? What stresses was Fred's father always under, that probably contributed to this communications blackout?

2. Have you ever been in a situation like the first part of Chapter Two, where two people were talking together but they weren't really talking to each other at all? What happened? Were you aware of the causes?

3. Fred's goal of getting car insurance was one that required carefully planned strategy. He already had discovered that there was no such thing as a quick and simple decision from his father. Trace the steps Fred went through to build an airtight case where his father would finally consent. Have you ever had to work and plan for a long time in order to get permission to do something? What was your strategy?

4. Do you think Fred's father was holding out on his car decision just to be mean? If not, what valid reasons might he have had for his reluctance?

5. What role did Fred's mother play in the car controversy? What factors made this a difficult position for her to be in?

6. What signs do you see of Randy's talents as a businessman? Can you find some quotes or specific incidents that show his flair for doing things correctly—if they involved business?

7 In Chapter Thirteen, there's a paragraph in which Fred is studying his father's face. "I've looked at that face for years, I thought—even been half afraid of that of that face for years—and I've never before seen those little lines. I think my mother understands them; I think she's tried to tell me about them. But not until right then had they meant anything to me." What does this paragraph tell you about family life in Fred's home? Have you had any similar experience? If so, what did you learn from it?

8. What changes do you think actually did occur over the summer in Fred's father, and what things do you think probably remained the same but were changed in Fred's perception of them?

9. What are your favorite scenes in the book? Why?

10. What funny episodes can you think of that might occur in the next year, after Fred and Laurie have taken over the business of pet pick up and delivery?