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DI SCUSSI ON QUESTI ONS
1. Caddie makes up rules about touching to cope with the stress of her parents
separation. Explain how her game of Dont touch protects her from pain.
Is it foolish of Caddie to think she could control her parents feelings and
decisions? Why does Caddie feel like she is in a bubble all alone, when she
has supportive friends and family members who are willing to help her?
2. Why is Caddie both relieved and sad when Mandy doesnt hug her after they
get assigned to be Peer Pals? How do they repair the friendship that fell apart
in middle school? How does Caddie prove to be a true friend to Mandy?
3. Nadia is looking for an Ophelia who is vulnerable. Why do you think Caddie
is a good choice to play the part? Is Mandy a good choice to be an assistant
director? How does it complicate her relationship with Drew?
4. Why does Mandy tell Caddie that Peter was once in counseling? Do you think
that counseling carries a negative stigma in our society? Is it fair to label
Peter nutty and Caddie crazy?
5. Why does Caddie choose the time she was at the very edge of falling in (p. 354)
Mandys pool for her self-portrait? Explain how she sees Ophelia in herself
and herself in Ophelia. What does Caddie mean when she says standing at
the edge of Peter (p. 355) frightens her? Why is Peter scared of falling for her?
6. When Caddie is on stage, she says, its easy to be in the moment and let
everything else go (p. 399). What do you think acting means to her? Caddie
often acts her way out of uncomfortable moments with her friends. How is
this dierent from her stage acting? Is how she feels about acting similar to
how her father feels about his research and her mother about photography?
Why or why not?
7. When Caddie is thinking of disinviting her dad to the show to avoid
disappointment, Dr. Rice suggests she should give up trying to control
things and roll with whatever happens (p. 367). Is this good advice? Is
Caddie being pessimistic or realistic about her dad? If her dad makes it to
the show, will Caddies obsession disappear? Why or why not?
8. Peter wonders if Caddie is using her fears to better relate to Ophelia. Is it
safe for Caddie to open herself up to Ophelias tsunami of feeling (p. 157)?
Does opening ourselves up to our fears help us conquer our fears? How
does Mandy face her fears of being alone?
9. Caddies signature full-length gloves are not only protection from touching
but a secret (p. 50). What does this mean? Explain why Peter thinks they
make Caddie look like a superhero. What does he mean when he says every
superhero needs a aw? How do our aws sometimes enable us to become
more empowered?
10. Caddie often wishes her family and friends will embrace her so her game of
Dont touch will be done. Do you think this would help Caddie overcome
her anxiety or make it worse? It isnt Caddies choice to be afraid. Explain
why it has to be her choice to touch, despite her fear.
11. Caddie writes in her journal that she understands how a person could feel
bad enough to make Ophelias choice (p. 222). Explain the small part of
Caddie that thinks it might be nice to drown (p. 308). Why does Caddie
erase these thoughts from her journal? Does her act of erasing these
thoughts from print erase them from existence? Do you think Caddies
choices are purposeful or impulsive?
ABOUT THE BOOK
Caddies game of Dont touch has strict rules that she must follow if her
parents are going to have any chance of reconciliation. Directly touching
another persons skin is out of the question, so wearing full-length gloves gives
her protection and a quirky signature at the acting academy. But rehearsing to
play Ophelia in her schools production of Hamlet leaves her feeling exposed.
Will she overcome her fear of having to touch and kiss her leading man, Peter,
or will her magical thinking sabotage her performance? Will she allow her
family and friends to help her face the obsession that is blurring the lines
between reality and superstition?
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