Pre-Reading Activities & Research
1. Joseph Flood's mother is a drug and alcohol addict, and her addictions cause her to act in desperate and dangerous ways. Using an encyclopedia or a medical resource, research cocaine and alcohol. Specifically, what does each substance do to the human body, including the brain? What happens when people become addicted? Why are certain people susceptible to addiction? What are the warning signs? How do people overcome addictions?
2. Research homeless youths in America: How many are there? How do children and teenagers become homeless? Do they have certain factors in common, such as that they are members of a single-parent family or that one of their parents is addicted to drugs or alcohol or is mentally ill? Are there large numbers of homeless people in your area? What organizations or charities exist to help them? Discussion Topics
1. Joseph Flood tells his own story in Joseph; in novel writing, this is called a first-person narrative. Would the book have been different if another character told Joseph's story? Do you prefer hearing a main character express his or her views directly, or do you like when a third-person narrator describes them?
2. Joseph's mother's serious drug problem has forced her to enter a rehabilitation center many times. Do you know anyone who has been through rehab? What do you think happens there? Why do you think some people become addicted to drugs or alcohol?
3. "I hate