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Discussion Questions for Lost in Dreams

  1. Lost in Dreams begins by introducing the concept of "A Season of Pebbles"
    1. In what ways is the bag of leaking pebbles so typical of Kim?
    2. How does Aleesha explain a "Season of Pebbles" and "prancing on pebbles"?
    3. Have you or a friend or family member ever experienced a Season of Pebbles? How did you get through it?
    4. How did you react when Kim said at the end of Chapter One, "I'm not expecting anything major to happen for a while"?

  2. Kim blames herself for something that's not her fault
    1. If you had been Kim, would you have blamed yourself for your mother's death? Why or why not?
    2. Think about something you or someone else has blamed you for. How was it different from Kim's self-blame?
    3. Did you deserve the blame? Why or why not?
    4. Describe the emotional struggles of dealing with unwarranted blame.

  3. Death is a horrible thing to deal with
    1. Have you ever experienced the death of a friend or family member? How would you compare the way you dealt with it with Kim's inability to?
    2. What was the real cause of Kim's fatigue problems?

  4. Guilt is unnecessary baggage
    1. Have you ever "worried yourself sick" about something you've done wrong? How did that worry affect your physical and emotional health?
    2. What's the worst thing you've ever been guilty of? Were you able to forgive yourself for it? Why or why not?
    3. Did you seek God's forgiveness? At first? Eventually? Never?

  5. After months of dealing with her fatigue problem, Kim seems to get over it almost instantly
    1. What frees her that way?

  6. The relationship between Kim and her father is an important part of this story
    1. If you've read Found in Translation, what was the relationship like between Kim and her dad in that book, and what was she determined to do when she got home?
    2. Kim wants to earn her father's love by doing everything she can to help him. Then her fatigue problem keeps her from doing so. What advice would you have given her about that?
    3. Kim is afraid she will lose her father's love after the accident if he learns that she's responsible for it. How realistic is her fear?
    4. Has anyone ever let you down so completely that you quit loving him or her? How did that make the other person feel? How did it make you feel?
    5. Have you ever been afraid to admit something to a parent or another responsible adult? Why?

  7. In Found in Translation, Aleesha is almost too good a person to be true and yet quirky enough not to be perfect
    1. What are some of Aleesha's good qualities in Lost in Dreams?
    2. What major changes do we see in Aleesha's character in Lost in Dreams?
    3. Some readers wish Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams placed less emphasis on race. How do you feel about that?
    4. Is Aleesha stereotypical or is she a well balanced character? Explain.

  8. Ministry is a major theme of this book
    1. Have you ever participated in any type of prison ministry? If not, why?
    2. Who was your favorite "insider" in this story? Why?
    3. How would you determine whether an insider is a genuine Christian or someone "playing the system"?
    4. Has the emphasis on prison ministry in this book affected your own outlook towards that kind of outreach? Explain.

  9. Jo and Alfredo have an interesting relationship
    1. What is the real basis of the relationship between Jo and Alfredo?
    2. How does their relationship change during the story?
    3. How does jealousy play a part
    4. What part does Alfredo's decision to follow Christ have on Jo?

  10. Jealousy can affect friendship in a horrible way
    1. What is the primary reason for jealousy among Kim, Jo, and Aleesha?
    2. Has jealousy ever affected any of your relationships? If so, how?
    3. If you had been in Jo's place, could you have given a friend bad directions to get her lost? What's the worst thing you would have been willing to do?
    4. How does Jo show she's learning to overcome some of her jealousy?

  11. Kim and Aleesha see problems Jo can't see
    1. How would you have tried to keep Jo and Alfredo from getting so close?
    2. Think about something you've done to try to keep a friend from making a terrible mistake. Did it work or did your effort backfire? Explain.
    3. How do you feel about not being able to "play God" and protect your friends and family from mistakes that are obvious to you but not to them?

  12. Part of the story deals with a person in authority who professes to be a Christian
    1. What real life stories have you heard about Christian ministers who have allowed sin to destroy their ministries and sometimes their lives? How has that affected your viewpoint of Christian ministers in general?
    2. Do you believe Chaplain Thomas was ever a Christian? Why or why not?
    3. What was your reaction to the warden's decision to take a reduction in position to become the new chaplain?

  13. Graham O'Reilly is a bit of a mystery to Kim
    1. How did you feel about Graham at first? Why?
    2. When did you start warming up to Graham? What made you start changing your mind?
    3. How did you feel about Graham once you learned the truth about him?

  14. Jo is on an emotional roller coaster because of her parents' marital problems
    1. How would you have dealt with the issue of Jo's parents' separation if you had been in her position?
    2. Think about a friend whose parents have had marital problems (or your own parents, if that's relevant). How has that affected relationships with other people?
    3. How has the uncertainty about relationships within the family affected you emotionally?

  15. Lost in Translation ends by talking about "prancing on pebbles"
    1. Why did the author choose to end the story with the "skunk perfume" episode?
    2. In what ways do you think Kim is better prepared for the future-no matter what it might hold-than at the beginning of the book?
    3. What do you think will happen to Kim upon her return home?

  16. Lost in Dreams isn't simply a book title
    1. How does the concept of being "lost in dreams" apply to you personally?

  17. Lost in Dreams was not the original title for this book
    1. Would Prancing on Pebbles have made a good book title? Why or why not?
    2. Is Lost in Dreams a better title? Why or why not?
    3. Why do you think the publisher preferred one title over the other?