Suburban Mosaic

The Year of the Dog

By Grace Lin

3rd Grade – 5th Grade

Discussion Questions

The Year of the Dog

  1. Do you think it would be confusing to have 2 names as Grace/Pacy does?
  2. When Grace meets Melody in school what are the things they have in common? Are the things they have in common related to their nationalities or not?
  3. Why do you think Grace’s mother likes to tell her stories about her family and childhood? Does anyone in your family tell you stories about their childhood? Do you like to hear stories about the past?
  4. What traditions do you have in your family that are similar or different than in Grace’s family?
  5. Why do you think Grace doesn’t like the food at Melody’s house? Have you ever had a similar experience – not liked the food at a friend’s house? What did you do?
  6. In the book Melody and Grace do not have a good report from their science teacher. How do they feel about this? Has anything like this ever happened to you? Why do you think the author didn’t have them win a blue ribbon for the science fair like they wanted to do?
  7. How did Grace feel in the TAC camp after Melody had left? After the girls in the art class were mean to her she didn’t tell her parents or the teacher. Would you have kept it to yourself too?
  8. When Grace says “To Americans, I’m too Chinese, and to Chinese people, I’m too American. So which am I supposed to be?”  How would you answer her?
  9. At the end of the story Grace and Melody write New Year’s resolutions. Do you write New Year’s resolutions for the next year too? Would you share some with the group?
  10. What did you like best about this book? Who was your favorite character? Why?

If you liked this book you may want to read the sequel, The Year of the Rat.