The Distance Between Us Questions

Monday, February 4, 2013  


Prologue p. 3-4

1. Who is La Llorona?

2. Who liked to scare them with stories of La Llorona?

3. What did she say would happen if they didn’t behave?

4. What did Abuela Chinta tell them about La Llorona?

5. What is more powerful than La Llorona?

6. What is the name of her hometown?

7. What is El Otro Lado (the Other Side or U.S.)?

8. Who had El Otro Lado already taken?

9. Why did she think prayers didn’t work?

10. Who was the first person in your family to be taken by El Otro Lado (the United States)?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chapter 1 p. 5 – 9 Carlos, Reyna and Mago with Mami

1. How old would Reyna’s mother be in February 1980 and where would she celebrate her birthday?

2. Where would her mother leave Reyna when she went to sell Avon products and what did she tell her?

3. How did this time Reyna’s mother left her turn out to be different?

4. What were the belongings to be stored at Abuelita Chinta’s house?

5. What did Reyna take from her Tío Gary? Why?

6. How old was Reyna when her father left and why did he leave the family?

7. What were the two choices that her father had once reality set in?

8. Why did Reyna feel angry when her mother told people the reason she was going to El Otro Lado (the U.S.)?

9. What is the name of the closest mountain to Abuela Evila’s house and why was it given that name?

10. When your parents went out when you were young, with whom did they leave you?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chapter 1 p. 9 – 13

1. What did Reyna love about her Abuela Chinta?

2. Who wanted the children to stay with Abuela Evila?  Why?

3. How did Reyna know that Abuela Evila was home?

4. Why did Abuela Evila dislike Reyna’s mother?

5. How old was Abuela Evila in 1980 and what disabilities did she have?

6. How long did Reyna’s mother say she would stay in the United States?

7. What did Maria Felíx build with the money she earned in El Otro Lado? Where was it located?

8. Who did Maria Felíx leave behind and how old was this child in 1980?

9. When the children were allowed inside the gate to Abuela Evila’s house, how did Reyna feel about her father?  Why?

10. Which of the siblings was “in charge” of taking care of the children in your family when your parents were not there?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chapter 2 – Abuelo Augurio, Chapter 2 p. 14 – 18

1. Why didn’t Aubuelo Augurio sleep in the same room with Abuela Evila?

2. Why did Carlos sleep on the edge of the bed? How would that help him?

3. How did Abuelo Auguiro make Reyna feel?  Why?

4. What did Abuela Evila tell them about the man on the horse they saw?

5. What did the baker’s wife call them and what did she threaten to do?

6. What happened to Mago that left her with a scar on her cheek?

7. What did Élida look like and how did Mago describe her?

8. What helped Élida transform herself from being an orphan to a privileged granddaughter?

9. Why didn’t Reyna yank Élida’s braid?

10. Which member of your family was treated like a privileged grandchild?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chapter 2 p. 19 – 22

1. How old was Tía Emperatriz and where did she work?

2. Why was Tía Emperatriz still single?

3. Why wasn’t there enough pork for Reyna, Carlos and Mago to eat?

4. What did Tía Emperatriz give them and what did they buy?

5. What did Abuela Evila call Reyna?  Why?

6. What did Reyna do with the coin Abuela Evila gave her? Why?

7. What did Abuela Evila make Reyna do?

8. What happened to Reyna when she was three years old?

9. What did Mago remind Reyna about that was buried in the bamboo shack?

10. What made you believe that your parents loved you when you were a child?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chapter 3 Carlos, Reyna, Mago

Chapter 3 p. 23 – 25

1. What was the ritual with Élida’s hair that Reyna, Carlos and Mago would watch?

2. How did their Tío Carlos die?

3. Why did Reyna’s father leave school and what grade was he in?

4. Where did Reyna’s mother get a job and what did she do?

5. Why couldn’t Reyna say anything bad about Abuela Evila when she spoke to her mother on the phone?

6. How long had their parents been gone?

7. How often did their mother call them?

8. Who did Mago remind Elida about that was living in El Otro Lado?

9. What did Élida do while Reyna, Carlos and Mago did their chores?

10. What chores did you have to do when you were a child?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chapter 3 p. 26 – 29

1. What did Mago threaten to do to Élida?

2. Instead of using lice shampoo, what did Abuela Evila tell Tía Emperatriz to use?

3. What did Carlos and Reyna do to their kerosene soaked scalps?

4. What did Abuelo Augurio do to Carlos?

5. What did Abuelo Augurio do to Reyna?

6. Which of Reyna’s features were just like her father’s?

7. What did she miss about her mother?

8. Why didn’t Mago have to have her hair cut off?

9. What did Reyna dream that night?

10. What bad haircut memory do you have?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chapter 4 La Guadalupe

Chapter 4 p. 30 – 33

1. How long had Carlos, Mago and Reyna been living at Abuela Evila’s house by June of 1980?

2. What are the places that they were never taken to?

3. What is La Guadalupe and where is it?

4. Where would Carlos, Mago, and Reyna venture out to when their grandmother and Élida left for el centro on Saturday mornings?

5. What show was Carlos a fan of and which character was his favorite?

6. Where would Reyna tell Carlos to go? Why?

7. In what items would Reyna find her father?

8. In what items would Reyna find her mother?

9. What news did Mami tell Mago that was the worst news of all?

10. Which member of your family was born outside of your native country?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chapter 4 p. 34 – 38

1. What did Mago show Reyna on the map?

2. How old were Doña Paula’s sons?

3. What did Reyna watch Doña Paula do to her sons?

4. What did Abuela Evila tell Reyna to tell Mago to do?

5. How did Doña Paula drink the soda?

6. What did Mago give Doña Paula’s boys?

7. What did Reyna and Mago do to avoid being punished by Abuela Evila?

8. What did Carlos do while they were sitting up in the guamúchil tree?

9. Why did Carlos cry when he was hit?

10. How were you punished when you were a child?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday, February 19

Chapter 5 Mago and Reyna’s birthday cake

Chapter 5 p. 39 – 44

1. When did Reyna celebrate her fifth birthday?  Why?

2. What did Tía Emperatriz buy for the birthday celebration?

3. Of what did Reyna think the photos of the birthday party would remind her parents?

4. Why didn’t Mago smile in the pictures?

5. With whom did Tía María Félix bring with her when she returned to Iguala?

6. What news did Tía María Félix send them and how did they react?

7. What did Tía María Félix say about the gifts their parents sent them?

8. What was the problem with Élida’s dress and how did she resolve this?

9. What was the problem with Reyna’s dress?

10. What fancy clothes do you remember wearing as a child and for what occasion did you wear them?

Wednesday, February 20

Chapter 5 p. 44 – 46

1. What did Reyna, Carlos and Mago have to do while everyone was at the church ceremony?

2. How did Mago respond to this job?

3. Where was the quinceaňera held and how did Élida look?

4. What did Reyna do at the party because of her dress?

5. With whom did Élida dance the last dance?  Why?

6. What did Reyna pray and hope for?

7. What did Tía María Félix tell them El Otro Lado looked like?

8. What did Tía María Félix promise Élida?

9. What was Carlos’ fantasy about the day their parents would return?

10. Who in your family left you when you were a child and where did they go?

Thursday, February 21

Chapter 6 Reyna, Carlos and Mago

Chapter 6 p. 47 – 50

1. Who were the group of six students wearing white uniforms?

2. How did Reyna feel on her first day of first grade?

3. Why didn’t Reyna go to kindergarten?

4. What did the uniforms look like that the girls wore for school?

5. What did Mago want to be when she is in sixth grade?

6. Why did Mago tell Reyna that she should be proud to have been born in Iguala?

7. What did the children have to do in order to use the toilets at school?

8. What did the teacher (maestro) tell Reyna about the hand she used to write with?

9. What did Abuela Evila tell Reyna about the left hand and what was wrong with Abuela Evila’s left arm?

10. What trait did you feel self-conscious about when you were a child?

Friday, February 22

Chapter 6 p. 51 – 54

1. Why did Reyna hate her name in the past?

2. Why weren’t Carlos, Mago and Reyna buying food at recess?

3. How did Reyna feel about school for the second time that day?  Why?

4. What did a boy in Reyna’s class do and what did Mago tell Carlos and Reyna to do?

5. Why didn’t Mago pick up the mango?

6. What did Abuela Evila used to say happens when food falls to the ground?

7. What did Reyna do about the mango?

8. What happened to her after she ate the mango?

9. With what hand did Reyna hold her pencil?

10. What did your parents tell you about food that fell on the floor at home?

Monday, February 25

Chapter 7 Tia Emperatriz and Mago

Chapter 7 p. 55 – 57

1. For whom did Mago and Élida wait every day?

2. What did the sound of the bell do to Reyna?  Why?

3. One day, what did the mail carrier have on the back of his bike?

4. To whom did he hand the box?

5. What was in the box and who sent the items?

6. What was the problem with the gifts?

7. Why did Reyna want to throw the shoes in the trash?

8. What Reyna and Mago do with their feet in order to wear the shoes?

9. What happened to their feet as a result?

10.  What gift did you receive when you were a child that was the “wrong” gift for you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chapter 8 The Man Behind the Glass

Chapter 8 p. 58 – 60

1. What was the dream house supposed to look like?

2. What items were supposed to go into the dream house?

3. In what cities did Reyna’s father work and what type of work did he do?

4. At first, where did Reyna’s father live in California and what work did he do?

5. What was Reyna’s father’s job when he lived in Los Angeles?

6. Why was it only fair that Reyna’s father got a piece of the land next door to Abuela Evila?

7. What did workers tear down early one morning?

8. What would Mago, Carlos and Reyna do to help the workers build the dream house?

9. When and why did the workers stop coming to work on the dream house?

10.  Where was your dream house supposed to be built?  Did it get built?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chapter 9 Tía Emperatriz

Chapter 9 p. 61 – 64

1. How did they check for scorpions?

2. How did it feel when Reyna was stung by a scorpion?

3. Where was the scorpion hidden and who pulled it off?

4. What did Tía Eperatriz use over the stung areas of Reyna’s body?

5. What did she force Reyna to swallow?  Why?

6. Why don’t scorpions have a big effect on Mago?

7. How did Reyna feel the next morning?

8. Who took Reyna to the doctor and who gave her the money?

9. How did Tía Emperatriz answer Reyna’s question about her parents coming back?

10. When you left your native country what did you think about returning?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chapter 9 p. 65 – 68

1. What did the doctor give Reyna?

2 With whom did she sleep that night?

3. What did Mago do when Tía Emperatriz went to school for parent-teacher conferences?

4. What other things did Tía Emperatriz do for Mago and Reyna?

5. How did Mago think of Tía Emperatriz?

6. What was Tía Emperatriz’s secret and how did Mago feel about it?

7. What did Reyna make in school for Mother’s Day and what did she write?

8. What did Tía Emperatriz bring for Abuela Evila for Mother’s Day?

9. What did Mago, Carlos and Reyna give Tía Emperatriz for Mother’s Day?

10. To whom did you give special items to on Mother’s Day when you were a child and what did you give?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chapter 10 Elizabeth and Mami

Chapter 10 p. 69 – 72

1. Where was Tía Emperatriz going to take Reyna, Carlos and Mago that afternoon?

2. When Reyna got home from bringing water from the well who did she see?

3. Who was the first to run to hug her?

4. What did Mago ask and what was the answer?

5. What did Reyna see that made her sure it was her mother?

6. What did Abuela Evila say as they left her house?

7. What did Tía Emperatriz say as they left and what did Élida do?

8. What did Mami say to the taxi driver about El Otro Lado?

9. How did they feel about their mother returning and what did their mother “forget” to say to them?

10. Who in your family has returned from living in another country and where did they live?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chapter 10 p. 73 – 76

1. What was Abuelita Chinta’s house made of and what were the neighbors’ houses made of?

2. What was to the west of Abuelita Chinta’s shack?

3. What was perpendicular to the canal?

4. What questions did Reyna to ask her mother?

5. How did her mother respond?

6. What was the inside of Abuelita Chinta’s shack like?

7. How old was Betty and what did Reyna think of her?

8. Why was she glad that Betty was dark?

9. What did Reyna hear her Mami tell Abuelita Chinta about Papi?

10. In what way have you changed since you left your native country?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chapter 11 Papi and Mami with Mago and Carlos

Chapter 11 p. 77 – 80

1. Why was it difficult for their mother to adjust to the hardships of coming back to Mexico?

2. What did she (Mami) tell Mago, Carlos and Reyna about their father?

3. What was the different version of their mother like?

4. What was La Quinta Castrejón?

5. Why didn’t Mami want to sell Avon anymore?

6. Who went to La Quinta Castrejón with Mami on the second night and what were they going to do?

7. What did Mami say about Betty after she got sick?

8. Who was the winner of La Quinta Castrejón?  Why?

9. Who got out of the limousine?

10. Where did many wealthy people have their parties in your native country?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chapter 11 p. 81 – 83

1. With whom did Reyna think Mami was angry?

2. What did Mami tell them about the pool at La Quinta Castrejón?

3. What had Reyna known and not known about her father’s work?

4. What did Mami remember that Papi told her about the pool?

5. What had Mago told Reyna about memories?

6. What did Reyna imagine doing when she heard the music?

7. What did Mami decide about going to La Quinta Castrejón? Why?

8. What happened because of the mud as they walked back to Abuelita Chinta’s shack in the rain?

9. From what memory was Mami running away?

10. Where did your parents work in your native country?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chapter 12 Mami in the United States

Chapter 12 p. 84 – 88

1. What did their father tell their mother after she had lived in the United States for two and a half years?

2. Who stole her husband and where was she from?

3. What was the ultimate betrayal?

4. Where did Mami go on Mother’s Day of 1982 and what did she do?

5. What did their father do in a moment of rage?

6. What happened to the innocent bystander?

7. What happened to their father?

8. Where did Mami find a job and who was sent to wait for her at the main road?

9. Who were Reyna and Carlos afraid of meeting that night?

10. What fears did you have about going out at night when you were young?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chapter 12 p. 89 – 93

1. Why did Reyna love Abuelita Chinta’s street?

2. Who owned a vehicle on their street and what did he let the kids do?

3. Why did Reyna think her mother hated her?

4. What did Carlos tell Mago and Reyna about Mami?

5. What did Mago ask Mami at dinner?

6. What did Mami tell them about him?

7. Who did Mami tell them would watch them when she left?

8. Who told them their mother had left them?

9. What did Carlos and Reyna do?

10. Who do you know who left his/her family unexpectedly? Why?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Chapter 13  Tío Cresenciano

Chapter 13 p. 94 – 97

1. What happened to Carlos after his mother left?

2. What did Abuelita Chinta think caused his illness?

3. How did Reyna feel after her mother left?

4. When Carlos was in his thirties, what did he learn he had?

5. How did Mago feel about Tío Crece’s puppies and what did she give them?

6. What happened to the puppies and what did Abuelita Chinta and Reyna do with them?

7. What happened to Carlos’s grades because of his illness and what did he do about it?

8. What happened to Tío Crece that caused him to become ill when he was eighteen?

9. What does Reyna believe was the cause of Tío Crece’s decline?

10. Who do you know that has suffered from mental illness?  How has he/she been helped?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chapter 13 p. 98 – 102

1. What did Tío Crece tell Reyna he would give her and what did he want her to do?

2. What did Mago tell Reyna and what did they try to do about being around him?

3. When Tío Crece and Carlos came home what did they bring with them?

4. What did Mago and Reyna worry about when Carlos went with Tío Crece and what did they tell Carlos not to do?

5. What happened to the Jell-O cups when Carlos was carrying them and what did Tío Crece do?

6. Where did Tío Mario go with Tío Crece?

7. What did Tío Crece try to do to Tío Mario and who stopped them?

8. What did Mago tell Carlos when he pushed Tio Mario?

9. What did Aubelita Chinta make Carlos do the next morning?

10. Who in your family has fought together and who stopped them from doing that?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chapter 14 Abuelita Chinta

Chapter 14 p. 103 – 107

1. What item did Abuelita Chinta greet them with and what did she ask?

2. What story did Mago tell Reyna about Papi?

3. What did Carlos imagine about Papi?

4. What did Mago tell Reyna and Carlos about their father?

5. What did Abuelita Chinta do to keep the mosquitoes away?

6. What did Abuelita Chinta tell Ryena about her mother’s temperament?

7. What did Mami try to do with the donkey and what was the result?

8. What did Carlos and his friends do to the dragonflies and how did Reyna feel about that?

9. After it rained for so many days, what happened to their shack?

10. When you lived in your native country what extreme weather condition occurred and what was the result?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chapter 14 p. 108 – 111

1. How did they spend their morning and how did they keep the floor from being muddy?

2. Who came to the door and whose name did he mention?

3. What had happened to their five-year-old cousin, Catalina?

4. What story did Mago tell Reyna that night?

5. What prayer did Reyna mention as she fell asleep?

6. What were the women doing inside Tío Gary’s house?

7. What did the children do while the women prayed?

8. Who was in Tío Gary’s arms?

9. What questions did Reyna ask as a result of her fear?

10. What were your fears when you were a child?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chapter 15 Abuelita Chinta and Betty

Chapter 15 p. 112 – 115

1. What honor was Mago given? Why?

2. What did she need to buy and why was that difficult?

3. What was Mago’s dream?

4. Why did Mago envy Dona Caro and Don Lino’s children?

5. What did Abuelita Chinta do with the money or things she received as a healer?

6. What did Mago think she should do to put some food on the table?

7. Who was the owner of La Quinta Castrejón and what did Reyna, Mago and Carlos do in his grove?

8. What happened to Betty while they were gone? How did it happen?

9. What did Abuelita Chinta apply to the burn?

10. What home remedies did your family use for burns when you were young?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chapter 15 p. 116 – 118

1. Why did Abuelita Chinta think she could not help Betty?

2. From whom did Mago borrow some money?

3. What did they use the money for?

4. Where did Mago get a job?

5. What great news did Carlos come home with?

6. Where did Carlos and Reyna go to wait for Mago?

7. What did they watch Mago do?

8. What did Reyna think would be so easy for Mago to do?

9. What do Mago tell Reyna about leaving her?

10. Who in your family was always there for you and what did he/she do?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chapter 16 Abuelita Chinta

Chapter 16 p. 119 – 123

1. Who would come over during the week to visit Abuelita Chinta and what would they do?

2. Why did Reyna dread these visits?

3. What was excruciating for Reyna?

4. Who called them at Doňa Caro’s house and what happened to her?

5. What happened to the wrestler, Francisco?

6. What had Mami decided Francisco would do for her?

7. What did Abuelita Chinta do to give Mami a cleansing?

8. What happened when Mami went job hunting?

9. Where did she take them to celebrate and what did they do?

10. Which is your favorite place where family members took you when you were a child?

Wednesday, March 20

Chapter 16 p. 124 – 128

1. On Mami’s first payday, where did she take them?

2. What was the movie about?

3. At what point in the movie did Reyna and Mami cry?

4. What did Mami tell them about the government give away?

5. What was about fifty feet from the land they were sitting on?

6. What did they imagine as their adventure?

7. Who was appointed the guard and head squatter?

8. How long did Carlos stay outside squatting on the land?

9. Why did they take Carlos home?

10. Where was your childhood home and who owned it?

 Thursday, March 21

Chapter 17 Betty, Mami, Mago, Tia Guerra and Lupita

 Chapter 17 p. 129 – 133

1. What did Mago say about the journey to El Otro Lado?

2. How did they think they would find Papi in Los Angeles?

3. What did they say about leaving Mami?

4. With whom did Mami decide to live during the week?  Why?

5. How did the thought of her mother living apart from her affect Reyna?

6. When did Mami visit and what would Betty do as she left?

7. How often would Mago and Reyna see Mami and why did they visit her?

8. What was the news Mami told Mago about Don Oscar?

9. What could Mago be and feel for the first time at her graduation party?

10. Which of your siblings had the most responsibility in the house?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Chapter 18 Reyna, Mami, Mago, Carlos and Betty, 1984

Chapter 18 p. 134 – 137

1. Why were Reyna, Mago and Carlos like Hansel and Gretel?

2.  Where would she take them on Sundays and what did she treat them to?

3. What did Reyna want to do when she saw men glancing at Mami?

4. What would they stuff their bellies with at Christmas time?

5. When shelter was denied to the “pilgrims” in the procession what would they do?

6. When the “pilgrims” in the process were allowed to enter what would they do?

7. Where did they go on the last day of the posada, who went with them and what did they get?

8. How did Tio Crece, Mago, Reyna and Carlos create a Christmas tree?

9. Who did Mami bring to the house and how much younger than Mami was he?

10. What kind of decorations did you have at your house for the holiday season?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chapter 18 p. 138 – 140

1. Where did Mami meet Rey and where did he work?

2. How did Reyna feel about having Rey at their Christmas table?

3. What did Mago say to Mami about her boyfriend?

4. What did Mami tell Mago?

5. What did Mago do and what did she scream?

6. Where did Rey go?

7. What did Abuelita Chinta say to Mami after Mago fainted?

8. When Mami started to leave what did Abuelita Chinta say to her?

9. The next day, who did Mago write to and what did she tell him?

10. When do you remember feeling the loneliest when you were a child?

Wednesday, April 3

Chapter 19 Carlos, Reyna and Mago

Chapter 19 p. 141 – 144

1. What did their cousin Félix tell them in May of 1985?

2. How did they get to Abuela Evila’s house and how long did it take them?

3. What did Élida say to Mago, Carlos and Reyna after they knocked on the gate?

4. How did Reyna know who was sitting on the couch?

5. When he looked at Reyna what couldn’t Papi see past?

6. Who was the woman standing by his side?

7. What did Mila look like and how did she dress?

8. Why did Reyna want to kick herself for thinking thoughts about Mila?

9. What gifts did Papi give Mago, Carlos and Reyna?

10. For what occasion do you remember being underdressed?

Thursday, April 4

Chapter 19 p. 145 – 148

1. What did Papi give Élida and how did Reyna feel about that?

2. When Reyna watched Papi sitting on the patio with his new woman (Mila), how did she feel and who did she think about?

3. In the morning what did Papi do for Carlos?

4. Where did he take the girls and what did he tell the hairstylist to do for Reyna?

5. What is the nickname Papi called Reyna and how did she feel about it?

6. What did Papi find in his suitcase when he went to grab his pajamas?

7. When Papi told Mago, Carlos and Reyna he couldn’t come back to live in Iguala what did Mago tell him?

8. Who did Papi decide to take with him and what did Reyna wish?

9. What did Reyna tell her classmates about El Otro Lado?

10. Who did you leave behind when you left for the United States and where does that person live now?

Friday, April 5

Chapter 19 p. 149 – 152

1. What did Reyna tell Papi she told her friends and what did she beg Papi to do?

2. What did Mila say about Reyna and what did Abuela Evila say Reyna needed?

3. What did Mago and Carlos tell Papi about going with him?

4. How did Papi plan to get the money to take Mago, Carlos and Reyna with him?

5. What could Betty do to get to the U.S.?

6. Who told Mami the news about leaving and what did Tío Gary say to her?

7. What did Mami decide about Betty and how did Papi react?

8. What did Mami tell Mago and Reyna about going to El Otro Lado?

9. What did Reyna think about being with Mago?

10. Which sibling did you feel closest to?  Why?

Monday, April 8

Chapter 20 Helicopter over the U.S.- Mexico border

Chapter 20 p. 153 – 156

1. Why did Reyna blame herself for the failures of the first two border crossings?

2. For the third crossing what did Papi threaten to do if they didn’t make it across?

3. When Reyna thought about leaving Mami, Betty and her grandmother (Abuelita Chinta) how did she feel?

4. How did Reyna feel about being with Mago and Papi?

5. What did Reyna think about to encourage herself to continue walking?

6. What did she remember about Abuelita Chinta?

7. What did they hear and see in the distance?

8. What happened to Carlos and what did he do?

9. What did the Coyote tell them to do and what did they become?

10. How did you enter the U.S. and who was with you?

Chapter 20 p. 157 – 159

1. What was Reyna’s prayer when she was hiding in the bushes?

2. What did the smuggler say about Carlos?

3. What was the first place they came to when they got across the border?

4. What was the name of the smuggler and what did he tell them to do when they were in the car?

5. What were the pair of golden arches Reyna saw and why didn’t El Guero let them stop?

6. What was El Guero eating and what did Reyna think about that?

7. Why did Mago choke on the sunflower seeds?

8. What did Reyna think about the sunflower seeds?

9. How many miles away from Iguala was Los Angeles?

10.  How many miles did you travel to come to the U.S.?




1. What was Reyna’s father diagnosed with in 2010?

2. What was their relationship with their father like by then?

3. What did the doctor tell them on September 6, 2011?

4. What did they know would happen if they let him go?

5. How did their father look?

6. What did the wavy lines that represented his heartbeat tell Reyna?

7. Who had to decide their father’s fate?

8. What was Reyna thinking about her father?

9. What did they decide to do?

10.  Who have you had to let go in your life?

Chapter 1 Mago, Reyna, Carlos recently arrived

Chapter 1 p. 165 – 170

1. What grades were Reyna, Carlos and Mago in September 1985?

2. What did Papi warn them not to tell anyone?

3. What did Papi tell them he would do if they didn’t do well in their classes?

4. Where did they live and why did they live in a one-bedroom unit?

5. Where did Mago, Reyna and Carlos sleep?

6. What did Mago, Carlos and Reyn do so Papi and Mila wouldn’t think they were lazy?

7. What was Reyna’s favorite thing about the summer?

8. What did she think about when Papi told her to go in the water?

9. What did Reyna do after the bell rang when she got to Aldama Elementary school?

10. Who took you to elementary school and what do you remember from your first week in school?

Chapter 1 p. 171 – 175

1. What did Reyna say to herself when her teacher asked her “Solo espaňol?”

2. What is Reyna’s teachers name and who is her assistant?

3. What did Mr. Lopez tell Reyna about her name?

4. What did Reyna wish about what she was being taught?

5. What bothered Reyna for many years about her father and what was her desperate desire?

6. What did Reyna feel she owed him?

7. With whom did she stay after school and what did she tell Reyna about learning English?

8. What items reminded Reyna of Mexico?

9. How did Reyna feel when she was standing in Mrs. Giuliano’s backyard?

10. To which countries do you feel you belong?  Why?

Chapter 2 Mago on Halloween

Chapter 2 p. 176 – 181

1. What costume did Mila bring home for Reyna?

2. What did Papi do to Carlos and what did he tell him?

3. What did Carlos say about Papi in between tears?

4. What was Papi’s job and what did Reyna know about it?

5. What costume did Mila make for Carlos?

6. What costume did Mila give to Mago?

7. Where did Mila meet Papi and what happened to her children?

8. Of what holiday was Reyna reminded when she went trick or treating?

9. What did they do with their candy when they got home and which one did Carolos give Papi?

10. What is your association with or memory of Halloween?

Chapter 3 Mila and Papi

p. 182 – 187

1. Who came to pick Reyna up and for what reason?

2. Why didn’t Papi take Reyna?

3. How old was Cindy and what did Reyna know about her?

4. What was the difference Reyna noted between Mila and her mother?

5. How did Reyna feel about going to the dentist?  Why?

6. What did Reyna call Mila and what did Mila tell Reyna?

7. What did Mago say to Reyna when Reyna told her what she had done?

8. A few days after they arrived in the U.S. what did Mago and Reyna do and what did Papi install after that incident?

9. In what way was Mila not the typical Mexican woman?

10. What memories do you have about going to the dentist when you were a child?

Chapter 4 Reyna in Fifth Grade

Chapter 4 p. 188 – 191

1. What did Mila make for dinner and what did Reyna feel like doing when she saw the plate in front of her?

2. What was wrong with Pablo, the boy Reyna knew in Mexico?

3. What did Abuelita Chinta give Margo, Carlos, Betty and Reyna to drink and what did it do?

4. Why didn’t Abuelita Chinta give this drink to Pablo?

5. What was on the television and why couldn’t Reyna go watch it with Mila?

6. What was the arrangement about eating at the kitchen table in the apartment?

7. What did Reyna tell Papi about eating the spaghetti and what did Papi do?

8. Where did Reyna wish she could run and who did she want to be like?

9. What did Mila do for Reyna?

10. When you were a child which were the foods you liked least?  Why?

Chapter 5 Papi on Christmas

Chapter 5 p. 192 – 197

1. Who did they see during one of the commercials for ThunderCats and what did they do?

2. What did Mago tell Santa she wanted?

3. What did Carlos tell Santa he wanted?

4. What did Reyna tell Santa he wanted?

5. What plan did Mago suggest when they were in the Korean liquor store?

6. While Mago picked up the bottle of Mazola oil what did she do?

7. What did Carlos take?

8. What did Reyna take?

9. What did Papi do to them when he learned that they had called Santa and made the phone bill so high?

10. What do you remember being punished for doing when you were a child?

Chapter 6 Reyna and Mago

Chapter 6 p. 198 – 201

1. Why hadn’t Mago become a señorita?

2. What was Reyna’s favorite passage in the booklet?

3. What sentence confused Reyna? Why?

4. Why didn’t Mago go to school the following week?

5. What did Papi do when he got home?

6. What did Mago tell him?

7. What did Reyna say to get Papi to stop?

8. Why didn’t Mago tell Papi?

9. What did Carlos say about Papi hitting Mago?

10. What were you unjustly punished for when you were a child?

Chapter 7 Reyna and Papi

Chapter 7 p. 202 – 204

1. What did the nurse write down on a paper and what did she tell Reyna?

2. Where did they wash their clothes in Mexico?

3. How did the clothes smell when they tumbled out of the dryer?

4. What did Reyna want to ask the nurse?

5. What did Reyna imagine Papi would do to her?

6. What did Reyna tell Papi after she gave him the note?

7. What did he tell Reyna that surprised her?

8. What did Papi do the rest of the afternoon?

9. What story did Papi tell Reyna?

10. Who in your family spent time making you feel good and what did he/she do?

Chapter 8 p. 204 – 209

1. In what ways had Mago been changing throughout the past months?

2. What did Mago say about Valentine’s Day?

3. How often had Mago been writing to Mami and what did the letter always include?

4. With whom did Élida run off with and what happened after a half year later?

5. At what point in her father’s life was he reunited with his sister, Maria Felix?

6. What did Mago say to Reyna about being kissed and what did she want?

7. Who is the boy Mago had a crush on and what did she say about him?

8. Why did Mago feel she couldn’t speak with him?

9. Where did Mago ask Papi to take them on Sunday?

10. Who in your family took and went with you to a place of worship when you were a child?

Chapter 8 p. 209 – 214

1. Why did Reyna think Mago wanted to go to church?

2. Why couldn’t Papi be bothered in driving them there?

3. What made Reyna feel like she was back in Iguala?

4. What happened after Mago told Pepe her name?

5. What did Pepe do a few days later that surprised Mago and how did she feel?

6. Why did Reyna think Carlos didn’t have much luck with girls?

7. Who was at the door and what did Mago agree to do?

8. What was the worst part of the fight between Mago and Maria?

9. Why did Reyna feel terrified when she stood in the parking lot?

10. Who did you have a crush on in junior high school and what do you remember about him/her?

Chapter 9 p. 215 – 218

1. What would the every student be doing for the school-wide competition?

2. Which story was Reyna’s favorite one in her literature book in Mexico?

3. What did she do after she wrote the story of the little tree? Why?

4. What story did she eventually write?

5. What part of the story was her favorite part?

6. Why did Reyna feel bad for the alien, E.T.?

7. How did Reyna know that her book had been rejected?

8. Out of the eight books Mrs. Anderson selected for the competition, how many were written by non-English speakers?

9. What did Reyna promise herself when she thought about Mr. López’s words?

10. What have you done to make your father or mother proud?

Chapter 10 p. 219 – 222

1. What happened to Papi in May of 1986?

2. What did he tell them about their mother?

3. For how long had their mother been in the United States?

4. Where did Mami leave Betty and with whom did she come to the U.S.?

5. How did Papi feel when Carlos and Reyna asked if they could go see Mami?

6. In addition to her boyfriend, who was living with Mami in the U.S.?

7. What did Mila say about having Betty live with them?

8. Why did Papi become convinced to let Mago, Reyna and Carlos visit Mami and how did they get to her apartment?

9.  What was the neighborhood like where Mami’s lived?

10. What neighborhood did you live in when you first came to San Diego and how did you feel about it?

Chapter 10 p. 223 – 226

1. What was Mami doing when they got to her room?

2. Who was in the room with Mami?

3. What was Betty doing and why did she push them away?

4. What had Papi said about Mami and what did Reyna think about this?

5. How were Mami and Rey able to come to the United States?

6. Where did Mami and Rey work and what did they do?

7. How did Mami answer Mago’s question (the one they had been dying to ask)?

8. How often did they visit Mami and what did they tell Papi?

9. What did Mami do with the cans she picked up?

10. When was the first time you lived apart from your parents?

Chapter 11 p. 227 – 233

1. What did Papi tell them about education?

2. What did Papi tell Reyna about getting old?

3. Why did Papi and Mila get married?

4. What did Mago accomplish in September of 1987?

5. Why was Reyna angry at her father and at Mago?

6. What did Mr. Salazar say about Mago?

7. What English error did Reyna make in class?

8. What did Reyna find unbelievable about the band instruments.  Which did she select?

9. What did Papi tell Reyna about the drums?  Why didn’t he get to play them?

10. What extracurricular interest did you have when you were in school?

Chapter 12 p. 234 – 239

1. Why weren’t Reyna, Mago and Carlos able to go out into the neighborhood and play? What was Papi worried about?

2. What was a regular occurrence in their neighborhood?

3. What did Papi do to help the young man who got shot? Why didn’t he do more?

4. What did Papi want to do at adult school?  What was the reason he went?

5. What happened a few weeks after Papi started going to adult school?

6. What did Papi do to get his house back?

7. What did Papi’s say about going to Iguala?

8. What did Tia Emperatriz manage to do with the property?

9. What was it that Reyna realized Papi lost?

10. What is your motivation for going to adult school?

Chapter 13 p. 240 – 244

1. What were the two things Reyna had to celebrate the summer before eighth grade?

2. What were the books that Reyna read at first?

3. When her reading skills got better who became her favorite author?

4. What connection did Reyna find in the book Flowers in the Attic?

5. What did Mago say to Reyna when she got her first pair of eyeglasses?

6. What was Reyna’s first short story about?

7. What prize did Reyna receive for winning first place in the short story contest?

8. How did Reyna feel about the adventure she was going to have on the cruise and who did she want to share it with?

9. What did Papi do with the tickets Reyna won and what did Reyna do with the ribbon?

10. What was a prize or an award you received that you were proud of?

Chapter 14 p. 245 – 249

1. Who was Reyna’s first love and where was he from?

2. Who wanted Reyna to talk to Luis?

3. What was it about Luis that made both Reyna and Phuong a goner?

4. What question did Luis ask Reyna and what place did Reyna think of?

5. When Papi asked Reyna where she had been, what did she tell him?

6. What did Papi tell Reyna about her lie?

7. What did Reyna tell Papi when she was thinking about her first kiss?

8. How did Papi take Reyna home and what did he do to her?

9. Who did Reyna lose for a boy who was no longer interested in her?

10. Which friend did you have a falling out with at school and what was it about?

Chapter 15 p. 250 – 253

1. What did Mago do in June of 1990 that made history for their family?

2. What was the second thing that they celebrated the month before?

3. What did the school provide each band student with and what didn’t they provide?

4. Who bought Reyna her marching shoes and with what money?

5. What made Reyna a full blown introvert?

6. Why was Papi taking them to Raging Waters?

7. What did Mago buy with the money she earned from her job?

8. How and why did Carlos get hurt?

9. How did Papi react to Carlos being hurt?

10. What injury did you experience when you were in school?




Monday, May 6, 2013

Chapter 15 p. 254-257

  1. What did Mago do to help Carlos with his wound?
  2. Why were Reyna and Mago feeling shame?
  3. Why did Papi refuse to take Carlos to the hospital?
  4. What did Mago say to Papi about Carlos?
  5. Why was Papi the way he was according to Mila?
  6. Why couldn’t the children take Mila’s justifications of their father’s behavior?
  7. Why was Reyna’s nose bleeding?
  8. What was Reyna’s attitude towards Juan?
  9. What made Reyna freak out?
  10. Do you like going on rides in parks?

Chapter 16 p. 258-264

  1. How did Mago change?
  2. What did Mago have in mind when she was looking at the display windows of a dress boutique?
  3. What did Reyna think about Mago’s idea of a quinceanera for her? Why did she think so?
  4. What did Mami and Mago have in common?
  5. What was the problem with the mass?
  6. What was Mago’s biggest scare?
  7. What did Mafo say about the Hell?
  8. What did Mami look like?
  9. How did Reyna feel when she was finally dancing with her father?
  10. What was your most memorable celebration?

Chapter 17 p.265-269

  1. What good news did Reyna receive in November, and what did she have to do to get in the band?
  2. Why was Papi proud of Reyna?
  3. Why did Axel not want anyone to know about their romance?
  4. What things were the girls whispering about Reyna?
  5. What happened to Reyna one day?
  6. Who wasn’t mean to Reyna at school? Why?
  7. How did Reyna’s relationship with her father affect her relationship with other men?
  8. What did Reyna and Axel have in common?
  9. Who accompanied Reyna to the Rose Parade? What role did Mago’s presence played at the Parade?
  10. What memories do you have about your prom?

Ch.17 p. 269-273

  1. Why did Carlos opt out not to join the sisters for dancing?
  2. Why did Reyna feel a pang of sadness?
  3. What did Mago’s hair look like?
  4. How did Mago care for her siblings after she started earning money?
  5. Who gave Carlos a car? What kind of car was it?
  6. Why did Reyna find herself hating Mago’s car?
  7. Why did Papi deny fixing Carlos’ teeth?
  8. What was Carlos’ dream?
  9. Why did Papi deny Carlos’ request to go with him and ask for Griselda’s hand in marriage?
  10. Did you get married early in your life? What difficulties do young couples face? Have you ever gone through any difficulties in your marriage?

p. 274-278

1. How did the children’s mother become a legal resident in the U.S.?

2. What did their mother do for a living?

3. What would put Reyna’s younger siblings at a disadvantage?

4. What happened to their father’s house?

5. Why did Reyna not want Mago to spend any more money?

6. Why did Mago tell their father that he was going to let Reyna go with Mago to Mexico?

7. Did Reyna miss school frequently?

8. Why was the train service to Iguala suspended and what happened as a result of it?

9. How did Reyna feel when she saw the place she used to live at after so many years?

10. When you go visit the place you grew up or frequented as a child, do you see any progress being made there?

p. 278-282


  1. Did Leonardo and Betty look healthy? Why not?
  2. What made Reyna feel at home?
  3. What did Gary not want to go to El Otro Lado?
  4. Could Reyna justify the price they had paid for her father’s decision to go north?
  5. How did the friends whom Reyna had left behind treat her?
  6.   What did Reyna realize while she was walking away from Meche’s house?
  7. What was the cause for the argument and fight between the two sisters?
  8. Who did Reyna, Mago, and Carlos owe to? Why?
  9. In what way(s) did Mago differ from Reyna?
  10. Do you have anyone you feel you owe to?


1. What was Mago’s plan?

2. Why did Reyna want to be like Anne Shirley and why was she jealous of her?

3. What were the pros and cons of enrolling in track and field?

4. What was Reyna’s argument for not making love to Steve?

5. What was Judgment Day for Reyna?

6. Why couldn’t Mago wait with moving to a new place?

7. How did Papi react when Mago broke the news?

8. What did the family celebrate in Papi’s  favorite restaurant?

9. What helped Reyna to get in the university?

10. Do you have any special talents that could help you get in a university or a prestigious school?

p. 278-292

1. What did Mago leave for her sister as a farewell present?

2. What were the reasons for Papi to pay attention to Reyna?

3. What did Papi prohibit Reyna from doing after Mago left?

4. Did Papi believe in Reyna’s success in life?

5. What pieces of news pushed Papi over the edge?

6. Why was Papi hated by Mila’s family?

7. What did Reyna hate to show to her father by crying?

8. What did Papi do after Reyna tried to disobey him and leave with Mago? 

9. Why did Mago leave without defending her little sister?

10. Have you ever had to leave someone in trouble to save your own life?

Chapter 21 P.293-298

  1. Why did Reyna lock herself in her room?
  2. Why did Reyna move the furniture in her room?
  3. What did Reyna’s dress look like? Why did her mother choose it for her?
  4. How would things be different if Mago were still at home?
  5. Why didn’t Reyna put her glasses back?
  6. What did Reyna want to tell the Italian mobsters?
  7. Where did the Italian mobsters take Reyna?
  8. Who told Reyna to get out of the car?
  9. What did Reyna do on the day following her audition?
  10. Have you ever been auditioned for TV shows, radio programs, movies?

Ch.22 p.299-303

  1. What did Reyna do in summer of 1994?
  2. What was impressing about Reyna’s teacher?
  3.  What kind of writing was Reyna assigned to do?
  4. What kind if gift did Reyna receive for her 19th birthday? What was special about it?
  5. What were the fights at home about?
  6. What kind of troubles did Betty cause her mother?
  7. Who saved Mila from Papi’s fists? What did he do to stop him?
  8. Why was Mila bleeding?
  9. Who woke Reyna up? Why?
  10. Have you ever had to dial 911 or call the police?


 1. What did Mami think about Papi’s arrest?

 2. What made Reyna feel closer to her mother?

3. What advice did Reyna get from Diana?

4. What did Diana see in Reyna?

5. What did Reyna find disappointing about Mila?

6. What impact did the house on Mango Street have on Reyna? Why?

7. How did Reyna feel about reading the books that had been discarded by the old ladies from Kingsley Manor?

8. What was the influence Diana had on Reyna?

9. What essay did Reyna enter for the Townsend Press Scholarship Program?

10. Have you ever participated in writing competitions?

Chapter 23 pp.308-312

  1. What was surprising for Reyna about Mila’s decision to leave her husband?
  2. Why did Papi have a gun in his hands when Carlos visited him? What made Carlos feel suspicious about Papi’s intentions?
  3. Why did Reyna return to her father’s side?
  4. What made Reyna’s heart race? Why couldn’t she cook?
  5. What happened to Mago’s Tercel?
  6. Why did the cars honk at Reyna on the way to El Pollo Loco?
  7. What were the remaining ties Papi still had to his country?
  8. How could Edwin develop a special relationship with Papi?
  9. What did Mila say to answer Carlo’s questions about the money?
  10. Have you ever had interest in gardening? What have you planted in your garden?



1. What should the children be grateful to Mila for?

2. What did Reyna want to explain Mila but didn’t know how to do that?

3. How did Reyna spend the time with Papi?

4. What did Reyna tell Papi about her new school?

5. Why did Diana think UCSC would be a better choice for Reyna?

6. What made it more difficult for Reyna to make a choice of the school?

7. Why did Papi call the lawyer?

8. On what condition was Mila coming back to Papi?

9. How did the children feel about Mila’s return?

10. Have you lost your sense of identity on coming to this country?


1. How did Diane change Reyna’s life?

2. What surprised Reyna on campus?

3. What happened in June of 1999? What degree did Reyna earn?

4. What was Reyna’s first job?

5. What event took place in Reyna’s life in 2006?

6. How did the relationship between Reyna and her mother change?

7. Why did Reyna have to stop outside the door of her father’s home and hospital room?

8. What did Reyna in her attempt to save her father’s life?

9. What did Papi need most of all on his hospital bed?

10. Do you feel sorry about something you have or haven’t done in your life?














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