Ideas To Think About And Discuss

I Think This Is Where We Came In

1. From the plot aspects of the book, what facts about Mike's childhood and home life do you learn? What do you gather about Maggie and Paul's home life?

3. You can begin to understand Mike's deeper feelings through the occasional moments when he permits Maggie to come close. Pinpoint some key scenes where she sees the very private Mike. What closely guarded personal feelings does he pulge in these brief moments of sharing?

4. What indications can you find as the story moves along that Fritzi is filling an emotional empty spot in Mike's life?

5. Although the relationship has been growing for years, Mike suddenly realizes in Chapter Eleven that everything has changed in his feelings for Maggie. In this scene you will notice he makes only a very halting disclosure. He has trouble getting his feelings into words. Do you think this is a communication problem, or is it because he has trouble facing and accepting his new feelings? In Mike's case, why might these feelings be especially hard to deal with?

6. Where do you find indications that, as Fritzi is moving out of an important emotional role in Mike's life, Maggie is moving in to fill it?

7. How do you think things will be different for Mike when he gets home, even though his parents haven't changed a bit?

8. How do you feel about the book? What are your favorite scenes? What might you change if you were writing the book?

RELATED WRITING ACTIVITIES

1. Assume you are either Paul or Maggie. A packet of photos of Fritzi's camping activities is ready to be sent to Dr. Saul Chenine. Write a friendly letter to accompany the packet.

2. Write a later chapter that tells of Mike's first visit to the Longstreet ranch to see Fritzi.

3. Write a later chapter that describes the first time Mike comes to the front door to visit Maggie, rather than coming over the back fence to sleep in Paul's room.

4. Assume you are either Stu or Ellie Longstreet. Write a letter to Mike telling of Fritzi's activities and behavior at the ranch.

5. Assume you are Dr. Saul Chenine. You always write up the full details about every new animal patient, the people who bring it in, and the animal's background story, either as they tell it, or as you reconstruct it from what you observe. Write the entry you will put in your file for Fritzi.

6. Assume you are Maggie. After you are settled in at home, you and your mother are alone and feeling confidential. She asks why you are looking and feeling so different since your camping trip. Write the dialogue that follows as you try to tell her what has happened between you and Mike.