The Naked Mole-Rat Letters

The naked mole-rat letters by Mary Amato

When her father begins a long-distance romance with a Washington, D.C. zookeeper, twelve-year-old Frankie sends fabricated email letters to the zookeeper in an attempt to end the relationship.

Book Worms Discussion Date: October 29, 2009

Discussion Questions

  1. How private should letters and e-mails be? Is there ever an excuse for spying on someone in your family? Do you think you could be tempted to listen in on a conversation or read someone else’s mail?
  2. Why was Frankie trying to break up this relationship? Why was this so important to her? Who was she trying to protect?
  3. How could her father have handled the situation differently? Do you agree with Ayanna’s decision to keep her correspondence with Frankie private? Why or why not?
  4. Frankie and her brothers all go by nicknames. Are you or have you ever been called by a nickname? What was it and did you like it?
  5. Sometimes Frankie tells lies. In what other ways is she dishonest? In what ways is she honest?
  6. When does Frankie begin to like Ayanna? Why?
  7. Ayanna teaches Frankie about the behavior of naked mole-rats. What else does she teach Frankie?
  8. How does the father change? What forces him to change?

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