Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You

Grant, Vicki (Author)
Running Press 2017. 288 pages
First published: 2017
ISBN: 9780762463183 (hardcover)
9780762463190 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, dialogue, multigenre, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This warm and funny novel conveys the spark, sizzle and launch of a teenage love relationship, as participants in a psychology experiment are required to share with each other their answers to 36 increasingly intimate questions. Hildy and Paul are in it for different reasons: Hildy worries she’s a romantic failure; Paul wants the $40.

Script-style dialogue—with dramatic pauses—provides the structure for the story: “Paul: Oh my god! Did you just throw your fish at me?!” Added narrative portrays Hildy’s perspective (“Max’s little speech kind of bugged her. She found it so lazy. What if Nelson Mandela or Taylor Swift had let themselves think that way?”) as she reflects on her fluctuating feelings for Paul and watches her own family shatter over a long-held secret, accidentally revealed: “Her father. Spazzing around on the carpet like some sewered high school kid on prom night.”

The briskly paced plot shows the challenges of intimacy in relationships both nascent and established. Lively and humorous language makes the journey fun: “Before I met you I didn’t even know what a preamble was. Now I live in fear of them.”

After weathering false turns and misunderstandings, the teens finally acknowledge their feelings with a kiss, as a snowstorm churns around them. “Paul: And then what? Hildy: How am I supposed to know? Paul: That’s all you’re saying?… Not like you. Hildy: I know. But what else can I say? I thought you were brave. So be brave. Hildy: And I’ll try to be, too.”

  •  

    Hildy and Paul get to know each other as they attempt to answer the 36 questions in a psychology study. Read the opening chapters together and discuss the initial source of conflict and the way it is set up.

  •  

    In a small reading group, discuss the point at which each of the characters has a change in attitude about the other. Decide which of the questions brings out feelings for the other person.

  •  Include the novel in a literature circle text set. Discuss the benefit of romantic relationships based on mutuality as well as the importance of managing conflict in a healthy way.
  •  Do you believe a potential couple’s romantic compatibility and future together can be determined by a set of questions they ask each other, followed by four minutes of staring into each other’s eyes? Discuss your answer in a small group, as well as what you think about matchmaking and dating web sites.
  •  As you read, determine who is more interested in the other: Paul or Hildy.
  •  

    Paul says: “I can leave and be miserable or stay and it may be something worse.” What do you think he will decide? Write a new Questions and Answers session in which Paul makes his decision known to Hildy.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development
  • Social Sciences