Huck by Janet Elder
Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
1. At the start of Chapter 1, Janet says that "no talisman was as powerful as a dog named Huck." What special powers does Huck possess? How does he help Janet, Rich, and Michael during Janet's breast cancer treatments?

2. How does Janet describe her breast cancer diagnosis? How does she react to the news?

3. Janet talks a lot about how Huck brought such joy to their lives after a difficult time. What has been something that's gotten you through a difficult time in your life? How and why did it help?

4. Was anyone to blame for Huck's running away? Were you surprised that Janet and her family immediately flew home? Would you have done the same for your pet?

5. How does Janet support Michael during the time period when Huck is missing? How does she walk the line between allowing him to hope for the best while preparing him for the worst?

6. As soon as Janet and Rich start to notify members of the Ramsey community that Huck is missing, they receive an outpouring of support. Do you think they would have experienced this response in any other town? What if it had happened in New York City?

7. Why do you think dogs, animals in general, can be such a powerful force in bringing communities and families together?

8. Is there a hero in Huck? Who is it?

9. What did you think of the journalistic style of writing used by the author? How did it affect your reading experience?

10. One of the most important themes of Huck is the power of community, of neighbors helping neighbors. Can you think of a time in your own life and your community where there was an outpouring of help? How did that make you feel about your town, your neighbors?

11. This book, thankfully, has a very happy ending. Do you believe in happy endings in life? Are they more common than not? What does that say about your pessimistic or optimistic nature?

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