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Guiding Questions - Absolutely Normal Chaos

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 4 months ago
Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech

Guiding Questions


Pages 1 – 47

1.    How would you react to Mary Lou’s assignment? Would you have done it?

2.    What does the family do to prepare for Carl Ray’s visit? What does your family do to prepare for company? Have you ever had guest stay for weeks or months?

3.    What Mary Lou’s first opinion of Carl Ray?

4.    Derek and Beth Ann are dating.  How does Mary Lou react to their dating?


Pages 47-96

1.    Mary Lou says writing in her journal, “ makes it easier to go to bed at night”. Why do you think she feels this way?

2.    Beth Ann isn’t telling Mary Lou everything about her date. What details does she tell, and what does she leave out? Why isn’t she talking to her friend as usual?

3.    How do the different characters react to Mr. Furtz’s death?  Why do they react this way?

4.    Some of Carl Ray’s behavior surprises Mary Lou. What are some examples?

5.    How much money did Carl Ray get? Who do you think gave it to him and why?


Pages 96-137

1.    How is the family treating Carl Ray now that he has money? What do you think about the change in their behavior?

2.    How does Mary Lou feel about Alex Cheevey? What kind of things does she say, and more important how does her behavior show her feelings?

3.    Why does Beth Ann start dating Carl Ray? How does Mary Lou feel about their dating? What do you think of Beth Ann’s motives?

4.    Reread page 119 where Beth Ann is discussing the Robert Frost poem. Now read the poem here. What do you think the woods and journey mean? Do they symbolize something in Beth Ann’s life or in your life?


Pages 137 - 181

1.    What does Mary Lou discover in Carl Ray's drawer? Would you have done what she did?

2.    Describe Mr. & Mrs. Cheevey. Would you like them? Why or why not?

3.    What does Carl Ray give to Mrs. Furtz to make her feel better? Why do you think he did it?

4.    Describe Aunt Radene and Uncle Carl Joe’s house. Would you want to live there? How does Carl Ray feel about being home? How does Mary Lou like being there – why?

5.    Describe the relationship between Carl Ray and his father? Do they get along?


Pages 181 -230

1.   Mary Lou’s visit to her Aunt and Uncle’s house helped her to understand Carl Ray better. What did she learn about him that she didn’t know before? How does it feel to be a guest in someone else’s home?

2.    What is Carl Ray’s secret? Why did he need to find Mr. Furtz?

3.    What presents did Carl Ray buy for the family? Why did he buy them? Do you think it was something he should do?

4.    How is Carl Ray like Telemachus?

5.    Why does Mary Lou turn down the chance to join GGP? What does it tell us about her as a character?





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