That Girl Lucy Moon
by Amy Timberlake
About the book:
Lucy Moon is the kind of girl who loudly supports animal rights- during hunting season. She wears a woven hat made of hemp in support of third-world workers. Lucy Moon is the kind of girl who spots injustice and isn’t afraid to fight it. So when classmates land a trip to the police station for sledding on Wiggins Hill and the local paper refuses to report it, Lucy takes up the fight against resident richest neighbor who owns it, Miss Wiggins. Soon Lucy has herself embroiled in a battle for justice that leaves her wondering whether it is all worth and whether one person really can make a difference.
About the guide:
This guide includes discussion questions and projects intended to extend the use of the novel into classrooms, book clubs, and literature circles. It should promote discussion on the themes of the novel including friendship, family life, justice, influence, and hope.
About the author:
Amy Timberlake won the Golden Kite Award for her picture book The Dirty Cowboy. She has worked as a book reviewer and columnist, a children’s bookseller, a book event coordinator, and as the public information officer at the Virginia Commission for the Arts. That Girl Lucy Moon is her first novel. Amy lives with her husband in St. Charles, Illinois.
- Did you plot out Lucy’s story or did you follow where it led? What did you learn along the way?
- Do you ever get stuck while writing? What do you do about it?
- What made you choose northern Minnesota as your setting for this novel?
- Would you like to be friends with Lucy Moon?
- What can your fans look forward to next?
When someone uses the phrase, “that girl” or “that boy” do you think it is a good connotation or a bad one? Why? Do people often misjudge others? Why?
Read the description of the book on the inside or back flap. What do you think will happen in the story? Knowing that all main characters change in a story, how will Lucy? Will anyone else?
- Describe Lucy Moon. What does she look like, act like, think like, say? Who are her friends? Who are not her friends? Why? Where does she fit in at school? In her community?
- How did Lucy end up handling the bra-check boys? What do you think Mr. Skoglund should have done? Are boys this obnoxious in your own school? Why do they sometimes get away with this type of behavior?
- What is The Turtle Times Shuts Its Eyes? Why does it prove so important to the story? What does it show us about Lucy and Zoë?
- Describe Lucy’s mom. What is her job? Where does she go? How does this make Lucy feel? How do Lucy’s feelings vacillate over her mom’s choices and behavior? Where is the breaking point for Lucy?
- Discuss Lucy’s relationship with her father. How does it have a complete metamorphosis over the course of the novel? Do you think she would have created the same relationship with her father had her mother never left? Why? Do you think many dads leave the raising to someone else? Why?
- Who is Sam Shipman? Retell the main events between Lucy and Sam throughout the novel. Which events do you think are the most key? Why do you think Sam likes Lucy?
- Describe the postcard plan to save Wiggins Hill. What do you think Lucy’s mom would have felt about the idea? How did it end up getting Lucy into much bigger trouble than her detention? Is it often true that one kid will become the scapegoat to a larger problem in a school? Why do you think so or not?
- What happens at Christmas at the Moon house? How would you feel if you were Lucy? What gift does she receive that makes her question her mother’s motives? What excuses does her mother use?
- Lucy says, “I can’t get caught in the middle. I am in the middle. I’m the kid. I’m half you and half her. And she didn’t say anything about not wanting to be a ‘wife.’ She said ‘mom.’ She said she couldn’t be a ‘mom’ this Christmas. “ (p. 150) Do you think a lot of kids feel this way? How do kids always get in the crossfire of parent’s relationships? How would you feel if your own parent had said they just couldn’t be a parent for Christmas?
- How does Lucy end up in Youth Action? How did this show how her dad had changed from October? Do some adults seem to take glee in punishment? Why do you think so? What happened to Lucy during this time of the book?
- Discuss the growing pains of Zoë and Lucy’s longtime friendship. How do friendships survive big changes and stress? Can someone just dump a best friend like a boyfriend? How do they resolve their differences? What do both of them do wrong in the friendship? How do they fix it?
- What does Lucy discover in the papers of Amos Zebulon in Grundhoffer House? Why is it important to the issue she has never given up? In the end, what does Miss Wiggins do with the information?
- What part does the setting play in the novel? Can setting seem more like a character than a place? When?
- In the novel Lucy’s mother, “had driven wherever whims and clouds took a person. What was that like? Lucy couldn’t fathom it.” (p.244) How would you feel if a parent left you to just follow their own whims? Who was it most unfair to Lucy or her dad? Why?
- Lucy tells her mom, “Well, I don’t need you anymore… If you’re not a mom, I’m not a daughter.” (p. 290) Is this true? Can you ever really deny who you are? What happens after this scene? Predict what you think will happen the following year between the Moon family.
Pretend you opened some of Lucy’s mom’s letters. What might one say? What would Lucy’s response have been?
Keep a journal as if you are Lucy as you read the novel.
Create posters for a protest that would make Lucy Moon proud. Be sure to follow decency guidelines for your school though!
Like Lucy, research an issue that you think is important enough to get involved in. Create a poster, pamphlet or website informing other about the facts and how they can help. Write a journal about whether you’d be willing to organize a protest to support your ideas and whether it would be worth it to face the same consequences as Lucy did just to be heard.
Create an ipod playlist for Lucy. What songs do you think she would pick? Why? If she could only choose one song as an anthem, what would it be? Share the lyrics and explain your choice.