The Pirate’s Ruby Discussion Questions
• When they were children, Kim and Mary formed a special bond that lasted into adulthood. Do you have childhood friendships that continue as an adult? What makes these friendships so special?
• The media are full of stories about childhood bullying. Most of these stories focus on boys. Yet, as Kim and Mary found, girl bullies can be every bit as destructive. Discuss the difference between boy and girl bullies. How would you advise your own children to deal with bullies?
• Kim wonders why pirates like Stede Bonnet captured public imagination when they were essentially bullies, thieves and murderers. Why do you think people are attracted to the notion of pirates?
• Brittany treasured the pirate’s ruby amulet in part because it had been passed from generation to generation. Discuss the role of family heirlooms – jewelry and otherwise – in your family.
• Psychologists have determined that people are better able to process information if it is told in story form. Throughout the book, the author weaves stories about gemstone history, legend and lore. What were your favorite gemstone stories from the book? Which stories surprised you?
• At the end of the book, Kim has the opportunity to seek revenge on the bully from her childhood. Yet she chooses to not reveal Brittany’s real heritage. Do you agree or disagree with Kim’s decision?
• What was your favorite part of the book?
• Who were your favorite characters? What traits attracted you to them?
• Just for Fun: The author uses the two dogs to provide comic relief in the book. Yet Rorschach clearly plays a major role in Kim’s life. What are the dogs or pets in your life? How do they help you cope with life’s ups and downs?