Answer the questions below in the discussion area of this page. Use the word "because" as often as possible. Can you use direct quotes to prove your answer?


Why is life at home the way it is for Lorraine?

Lorraine’s 3 omens of doom: What do they mean? What do we call this literary element?
because they act just like the 3 omens that lorraine said when they were at the zoo the last time.

Why does Lorraine compare them all to the monkeys in cages?

In your opinion which characters are in metaphorical cages and why?
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How are John & Lorraine like Bobo and why do you think Pignati loves Bobo?
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Why is Pignati so obsessed with Bobo?

Why does Pignati treat them to shopping, the zoo, and with so much affection?


Why does John avoid telling Dennis & Norton about Pignati?

What is the main conflict between John & his father?

Describe John and Lorraine’s relationship with Pignati using three different adjectives. Support your answer using evidence from the text. (Give quotes and page numbers, not just page numbers.)

What surprises John about seeing Pignati? Why does this surprise him?

What secret about Pignati do the kids discover?


Do you trust Lorraine’s mother’s stories about her patients? Is she telling the truth or not?

What are Lorraine’s mother’s flaws? Why does she behave this way?
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How does John feel about Norton?

Why is John so protective of Pignati?


How is the woman’s message in the subway a sign, foreshadowing events to come?

Why is Pignati sad about Bobo?

Mr. Pignati has been in denial about his wife’s death. What do you think causes him to finally realize and accept it?

Mr. Pignati tells a story about five people associated with a murder. What order do you put them in? Why do you think the person you blame most is the most responsible?

Who is most responsible for Pignati’s death? Can responsibility always be determined? Are we always able to assign blame?

What about the parents who shamefully neglect their children? Are they responsible?

Can we be responsible for something we don’t consciously cause?

John says that Mr. Pignati had trespassed and paid with his life. He is implying that Pignati is to blame for his own death. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Lorraine and John are responsible fore the consequences of their actions, even if those consequences are not intended. Is this a fair statement?