1. Mia and her parents are new to the United States. How does her view of America change throughout our story?
  2. Mr. Yao tells Mia to look out for “bad guys”. How did he determine if someone was “bad,” and what do you think of this?
  3. Why do you think Mia’s mother was trying to protect Mia by telling the principal they just moved from China?
  4. How does Mia treat her responsibilities at the motel? Do you think that is too much responsibility for one kid?
  5. Why do you think Mia is afraid to tell the other kids in her school she lives in a motel? Have you ever made up a story about yourself and why?
  6. When Mia’s mom says, “We’re immigrants. Our lives are never fair,” what does she mean by that?
  7. Lupe describes the “two roller coasters in America” to Mia. What do the rollercoasters represent? Can you think of examples?
  8. How do stereotypes harm different people in our story?  
  9. How does Mia stand up to the many injustices she witnesses throughout the novel?
  10. Our story ends with Mia and the others jumping into the pool. What do you think this symbolizes for them?