#TeacherGuide for The Caretaker of Tree Palace
- Why does Catherine think the scraggly woods are a “palace”?
- What losses does Doodles face in the book? How does he cope with them?
- Which character in this book is most like you? Why?
- Re-read the scenes of Doodles at school. Have you ever had fears like his? How did you deal with them? What do you think would be the right thing to do in these situations? Why?
- At what point did you feel that you knew what Doodles’ character? How did your perception of him change over the course of the novel?
- Which character would you most like to be like? Why?
- How did the story of the birds parallel the story of the boy?
- What sacrifices were made by characters for other characters? Examine the motives behind those sacrifices.
- What do you think the author wants you to get out of this book?
- Is there a “Tree Palace” in the world that you feel you haven’t learned to see?
(Is there something that others think is great, but you just don’t see why?) Explain.
- How do we learn to appreciate other people’s perceptions of things when we don’t agree with them?
- Write a scene of Doodles entering Tree Palace twenty years in the future. Include sounds, sights, smells, thoughts and emotion. Have him make an important choice.
- Re-read “The Invitation” at the end of the book. Express your impression of how you see Tree Palace through the arts (e.g., drama, visual arts, music, writing, etc.)
- Research the effects of land development on the environment. Write a paper proposing solutions to the problems that arise out of that practice.
- Gentle says: “Worry not, my young. We neither plant nor harvest, yet we are provided for. This hunger shall carry you to flight one day. But for now, see how your father flies to you.” Write an essay explaining the significance of this statement.
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