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The Boy From the Basement
by Shaw, Susan
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1. Describe some of the abuse and trauma that Charlie endured while living in the basement. What did you think was the most horrible? How did Charlie survive?

2. What are some of the things Charlie has to learn to live outside of the basement and in the "normal" world? What things frighten him when he leaves the basement? How does Charlie grow and change over the course of the book?

3. Describe Charlie's hallucinations of the spider. What did these represent?

4. How would you describe Charlie's parents and their actions? Why do you think they did what they did? Were they evil, ignorant, or mentally ill? Do you think they loved Charlie in some way? Were you surprised that Charlie loved them?

5. Do you think Charlie will ever recover from his ordeal and lead a normal life? Why? What type of help will he need?

6. Would you describe Charlie as courageous? Why or why not?

7. This book portrays some very disturbing things. Did you find this book depressing or hopeful? Is it inspiring? Why or why not?

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