A list of discussion questions:
1) In what ways do the adults in the book act like children? What are some examples from the book?
2) Jen, the main character of this book, is a mom, wife, and actress. What is expected of her in each of these roles? How does this reflect the demands faced by moms of this generation? How is this similar/different to what moms of previous generations faced?
3) In what ways does Jen's occupation help and/or hinder her in her daughter's first year of grade school?
4) Is Ms. Slaughter is a good teacher? Was Kindergarten a positive experience for Jen's daughter?
5) What kind of person will Emma grow up to be? What kind of person will Temple’s daughter, Kalee, grow up to be?
6) What do you think of the changed nature of Kindergarten, and grade school in general? Who benefits? Who does it hurt?
7) Is the main message of the book hopeful or dismal? Who amongst the main characters maintains a positive outlook throughout? Why?
8) Do you think Temple and Jen will remain friends?
9) Temple is a contradictory character in that she maintains an outwards apathy while really being a fierce competitor. Do you know people like this?
10) The backpack is an iconic symbol of grade school these days. What sorts of things has your child / grandchild brought home in it?