A GUIDE FOR READING GROUPS SECRET IN ST. SOMETHING
By Barbara Brooks Wallace ABOUT THE BOOK
Robin has lost both his parents, and life with his stepfather is brutal. He decides that he must run away and live on the street, but he also must protect his baby brother. Robin becomes a shoeshine boy and discovers a secret which will change life for both of them forever. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
• In this book Robin is shown as part of several families. Before the book begins, he had his parents and at the end of the book he has a new family. What makes a family? Were the shoeshine boys a family when they lived in St. Something?
• Why didn't the boys take money from the poor box? What is a poor box?
• There are some good people and some evil people in this book. Discuss the fact that neither good nor evil are always poor or rich.
• Robin had been afraid of the boys before he got to know them. Why do you think we fear people we don't know? Is it important for people to get to know those who are different from them?
• Who did the boys think was the "landlord" of the church? Why? Do you think this was a good way to think about it?
• Robin was a shoeshine boy. What other ways did people in the book make their living? (Ideas: Rent collector, pawnshop owner, sewer, landlord, janitor.) ACTIVITIES
• Draw a picture of the tenement where Robin had to collect rent. Rememb