The Bordertown website has published a study guide, offering discussion questions and activities to help enrich students' group reading experiences. This looks really cool -- I love when good contemporary writing is used in the classroom, and Bordertown seems to me a perfect example of a good book to help discuss teenage issues and help kids learn how to take lessons from fiction and integrate them into their lives.
Some questions I particularly liked:
- Many of the characters in Welcome to Bordertown are leaving things behind in order to start over in Bordertown. Have you ever felt like there was a time when you were leaving something behind and starting over as well? How was your journey like and unlike the journey of the characters in the book?
- As romantic as it sounds, running away is usually not a good thing to do. There are many dangers on the streets for kids alone, and most kids never find their own Bordertown. What could you do to help someone who might run away?
- Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. Their slogan "We are the 99%" addresses their feeling that there is a 1% that controls a large and unfair percentage of wealth in the United States. If the Occupy movement made its way to Bordertown, what do you think its goals there would be? What would happen in an Occupy Bordertown protest?
- Which of your favorite songs would be played in a Bordertown bar? Why?