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Discussion Questions for BREAKFAST WITH NERUDA


  1. Doing Community Service is hardly anyone’s choice of a good time, yet in what ways was this sentence fortuitous for Michael?


  1. The poet Pablo Neruda serves as one the bonding factors for Michael and Shelly. Why do you think the pair loves his poems? What other attributes brings these two together?


  1. His mother’s hoarding propels Michael to live in his car. How would you respond to living with a hoarder?


  1. Why is it so important for Michael to find his father?


  1. Shelly reacts to learning she is adopted in an extreme fashion. Recall and share a time in your life when you were tempted to run away and chase a dream.


  1. When do you think Earl knew Michael was living in the Blue Whale?


  1. Is Michael a reliable or unreliable narrator? Use specific scenes to frame your response.


  1. If Michael had not met Shelly, what are the chances he would have learned his father’s identity?


  1. Why do you think Michael shares such a close connection to his half-siblings Jeff and Annie?


  1. How does Susan’s reaction to Annie moving in with Earl and Dot make you feel, and why does Susan have that reaction?


  1. Why is it so important to Shelly that Michael and Rick resolve their differences?


  1. Given Michael and Shelly class differences, what are the odds their relationship will extend beyond high school?

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