Thursday, March 27, 2014

Discussion Questions for Stakeout by Bonnie J. Doerr

A surreal encounter with an ancient sea turtle propels Kenzie into peril in the Florida Keys… 

A haunting promise compels Kenzie to save sea turtles. When thieves rob the turtle nests, she determines to stop them. Fearless, wheelchair-bound Ana and savvy, island native Angelo assist Kenzie in an undercover sting operation. But as the stakes get higher, Kenzie fears losing her best friend and her own life.

Stakeout includes notes on the endangered hawksbill and loggerhead turtles as well as information about the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida.

If your class or group is reading Stakeout, here are some questions about the book:

Discussion Questions for Stakeout by Bonnie J. Doerr
Created by Mary Helen Sheriff

1.     What did you like about the book?  What did you dislike?  Why?

2.     What did Kenzie and Key Teens Care do to help the turtles?  Can you think of other things they could of have done?  Are any animals endangered in your community?  Are there organizations that support them?

3.     Describe the relationship between Angelo and Kenzie?  What do they have in common?  What is the source of trouble in their relationship?

4.     How does Kenzie’s relationship with Mike change over the course of the novel?

5.     Describe Fisher.  Describe Edna.  In what ways are they similar?  In what ways are they different?

6.     Give some examples of Kenzie’s dishonesty and explain why she was dishonest.  Would you have made the same choices as Kenzie?  Why or Why not?  How would you have handled Kenzie if you were her mother?

7.     List the clues that led to pinpointing the culprit.

8.     Describe Big Pine Key.  How does the setting influence the story?

9.     Shalima sells a product that promises luxurious hair and flawless, radiant skin.  Does this product actually provide this? Do you have any experience with buying products that aren’t all that they are advertised as?  What can people do to protect themselves from false advertising?

10.  What interesting facts did you learn about turtles from reading this book?

Answer Key can be found here.


Mary Helen Sheriff lives in Richmond, VA with her husband, two children, and two cats. She has an MFA in children’s literature from Hollins University and is an experienced teacher of elementary, middle grade, and college students. Her most recent publishing credits include four middle grade short stories for a reading comprehension website and a YA short story for an anthology written for Ethiopians learning English. She is currently writing a novel and maintaining a blog where you can read her thoughts on writing and education. 

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