The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein


Group Members:
Suzanne Driscoll
Molly Dugas
Jacob French
Sarah Gabrielson
Sarah Wood
Carlie Woodson
Jen Erickson

Discussion Location: Ms. Erickson's room 608





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Clarifying Questions:

Theme:
• Did Denny's success with racing connect to what happened at home? (Directly/Indirectly)
• Do you think that animals can be reincarnated as humans?
• Were the chapters strictly about racing important to the plot of the story?
Setting:
• Does the rain on the race course also have a metaphoric meaning?
• Did the setting of the story play an important role in the story or could the book have taken place any where

Characters:

Denny:
• Why didn't Denny force Eve to the hospital when her pain got really bad?
• Why did Denny tell himself that Eve was coming home even after it was obvious she was going to die?
• Did Enzo effect Denny’s morale while he was having the custody battle?
• As you continued to read, did you notice a change in Denny's behavior and personality?
• Do you think Denny should have stayed home to care for his wife more than he did?
• Do you think Denny put racing before his family?
• Did Denny have a major flaw?

Enzo:
• How did eating the squirrel help Enzo cope with Eve's death? (165)
• What was the work that Enzo felt like he came to this earth to do? (257)
• Why did Enzo run when he found out that Eve had died? (164)
• Why does Enzo think so strongly that humans are trying to keep dogs domesticated? (19-20)
• Why does Enzo want to be a human so badly if he sees how much pain Denny goes through?
• Do you think Enzo's obsession with racing is actually because he loves racing or because he loves how excited Denny gets about it?
• Do you think Enzo really thought there was an evil zebra? Or do you think he forced himself to believe that so that he wouldn't have to deal with the thought that he hurt his family?
• How did you feel having Enzo as the narrator?

Eve:
• Did Enzo keep his initial opinion of Eve?
• Did Eve have an idea that she was sick in the beginning or was she really unaware of her ailment?
• Did you notice that Eve's rise in sickness seemed to coincide with Denny's failures in racing?
• Do you think Eve was a "good wife"?
• Do you think Eve would have stayed healthier more if Danny wasn't always gone?
• Did Eve come to love Enzo near the end of her life?

The Twins:
• Did the Twins have any good reasons to gain custody of Zoe?
• Did the Grandmother have as strong feels as about the custody of Zoe as the grandfather?


Zoe:
• How did Zoe's environment with her parents and Enzo effect her emotionally?
• Do you think Zoe got as much attention as she deserved/did she cry for it?
• How well did Zoe handle growing with out a mother?

Conflicts:
• Was the grandfathers purpose to smite Denny or did he really care about the well begin of Zoe?
• Did the life span of Enzo have any relationship to the issues Denny was having?
• Why did the twins want to take Zoë away from Denny after Eve's death?
• Was the conflict for Zoe like David vs Goliath, Denny being David the twins being Goliath?
• What was the importance of the conflict of Enzo vs the Zebra?

Quotes from the Book:
"There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose."


Outside Sourses:
http://www.garthstein.com/arr/
http://thewriterscenter.blogspot.com/2010/04/art-of-racing-in-rain-interview-with.html
http://www.topsellerbooklist.com/the-art-of-racing-in-the-rain-a-novel/