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Lexie’s father waited till the last minute to tell Lexie they were having guests. He appears not to have remembered it till the last minute himself. What does your family do to prepare for visitors. What could Lexie’s father have done to make this visit more comfortable for everyone?
Ben is comfortable with his brother’s messiness, and protective of him, but Ben is also considerate of how Lexie feels around Mac. What do both boys behavior throughout the story tell you about the kind of small boy Ben might have been and what kind of boy Mac might grow up to be?
If you were in Lexie’s situation, would you feel you were going to have to keep a secret for Dad, or would you feel you had to be the one to tell your mom? What do you think you would do if someone expected you to be the grown-up?
What’s one good thing and one not-so-good thing about each character in the story?
There isn’t any mention of grandparents in the story, but I kept wishing I had a place in the story for Lexie’s grandparents to meet the boys. I contemplated a surprise visit, grandparents living nearby might take a ride to the beach house to see their granddaughter. It seemed ripe for humor. But the idea also felt like it would interrupt the flow of Lexie’s growing understanding. However, your students could imagine such a scene and play it for all the madcap incident their imaginations have to offer.
Lists can be fun. And conflicts, contrasts, are part of what make a story interesting. Have students write a list of one good thing about the beach alternating with one not so good thing until they have as long a list as they can make.
Kids might like to write their own imaginary day at the beach. If letter-writing is part of the curriculum, they could write it like a letter from camp. Have them write it to a movie producer in the hopes someone will make a movie about their family.