What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
In 1947, teenage Evie, smitten by a handsome ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on her stepfather Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome changes her life and that of her family forever. This title is recommended for ages 13 and up.
Genre: Death, Grief, Romantic Relationships, Understanding Self
2010 National Book Award Winner
2011 YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
5 Copies of What I Saw and How I Lied
1 Audio Book Copy of What I Saw and How I Lied* (5 CDs)
1 Discussion Guide. This discussion guide contains discussion questions, activities and other information to foster discussion of this book. You will also find information on starting and running a book club and other information. You may make copies of any of these materials. Please do not write on these materials and return all pages, books, and contents of this kit.
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What I Saw and How I Lied Discussion Questions
These questions have no right or wrong answers. Just think about and respond thoughtfully. Please share your own group’s discussion questions and comments by emailing email@example.com. Be sure to check the library’s teen pages at www.btpl.org for additional questions and comments from other book groups.
Questions furnished by Scholastic Publishing.
About the Book:
Evie is happy to have her stepfather home from the war but wonders why Joe insists on taking them on a vacation to Florida. Once in Palm Beach, Evie becomes enthralled with the other guests at the hotel — especially Peter, an attractive soldier from the war who has a mysterious connection to Joe. After Peter’s tragic death on a boat with Evie’s parents, she realizes that her family’s web of lies may have turned deadly. When Evie’s parents are suspected of murder, Evie becomes the only one who can save her family from destruction. Will she have to sacrifice her morals and possibly much more to protect her family?
Set the Stage:
Use the following to get the students ready to read:
• Read the title of the book to students and ask them to predict what it means
and how it might fit into the story.
• Show the cover of the book and ask students to guess what the red lips and lipstick
may symbolize in the story.
• Describe the setting of the book to students and lead a discussion about what the
United States was like just after World War II.
After reading the book, discuss the following:
• Mrs. Grayson says in the book, “The war gave us so much, in a funny way, didn’t it? It gave even the
small-minded among us something to do.” Describe what Mrs. Grayson meant by that statement.
• Why did the Spooners and Graysons have different feelings about the war?
• What did Mrs. Grayson do that made Evie think she was a spy? Was it likely during that time period
that she could have been a spy?
• How did Evie feel about the Graysons being asked to leave the hotel? After getting kicked out of the
hotel, Mrs. Grayson said to Evie,”I’m glad you saw it, Evie, it’s a good thing for someone like you to see.”
What do you think she meant by that?
• How did Evie’s feelings for her mother change after the pre-trial inquest?
• Why do you think Evie chose to lie about the events surrounding Peter and his death?
• How was Evie and Margie’s relationship different after Evie returned from Florida? Why did Evie feel
differently toward Ruthie after returning from Florida?
• Why do you think Evie chose to give Joe’s suitcase of money to Mrs. Grayson? How did that probably
affect her relationship with Joe?
• In the story, Evie and her friends idealize smoking. What do you think was influencing them in their
neighborhood and society? How do you think cigarette advertising and the treatment of smoking is
different in the media today compared to post-World War II?