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As Cool As I Am



Awards: Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award, Regional Book

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About The Author

Pete FrommPete Fromm

Pete Fromm has won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award a record four times, most recently for As Cool As I Am. His previous works include Night Swimming, How All This Started, and Indian Creek Chronicles. He lives with his family in Great Falls, Montana.

photo: Terry Fromm

Awards

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award, Regional Book

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Reading Group Gold

Discussion Questions

1. How does Chuck’s "word play" help forge a bond with Lucy? Might this suggest something about the role language plays, particularly invented language (pet names, homespun sayings, etc.), in our relationships?

2. Is Chuck a good father or a bad one? What points would you make to argue either side? Where do you come out?

3. How would life be different for Lucy and Mame if Chuck worked in Great Falls?

4. What about Lucy’s mother? A good or bad one? Why?

5. How does Lucy perceive her body and why? How does this perception influence other aspects of her life?

6. What parallels can you draw between what Lucy learns from her parents and what Kenny learns from his mother by virtue of the examples they set? How do the lessons gained from each shed light on the child/parent relationship? What does Lucy learn from Kenny’s parents? What does Kenny learn from Lucy’s?

7. What might this tale say about traditional roles of men and women in relationships? Who is really in control, Chuck or Mame? Lucy or Kenny? Justin or Lucy? Rabia or Jetter? Mrs. Crauder or Mr. Crauder?

8. What does the story suggest about the rituals, trials and tribulations of coming of age? Does this ring true with your own passage through that era?

9. It has been said that "absence makes the heart grow fonder." What would Mame and Lucy’s take on this be?

10. What do you envision Chuck’s life is like when he’s not in Great Falls? Is "absentee father" an oxymoron? Does Chuck truly love Mame? Lucy?

11. What might this story suggest about teen-agers having children?

12. Some have suggested that boys play around with love to get sex and girls play around with sex to get love. Do you agree? Would Lucy and Mame?

13. How would Lucy compare Kenny and Tim? What might this say about her? Kenny is presented as a small, skinny, wimpy kid, while Tim is big and muscular. What does Lucy’s attraction to each say about her?

14. Is Lucy more her mother’s daughter or her father’s daughter? Why? How about you? Why?

15. Where do you envision Lucy ten years from the story’s end? Mame? Kenny?

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