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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Three Little Words: A Memoir

1.What are the three little words of the title? Are these the words that you expected? Why are they so significant to Ashley and to the story? Do you think that Ashley would change these three words if she could? 

2.Why did fighting the Mosses become so important to Ashley? What was she hoping to gain? Was Gay and Phil's reaction to her efforts fair? Was the end result worth the effort? 

3.Ashley was always acting out toward Gay, and made a point of doing things that would anger or hurt her adopted mother. Why did she act this way toward Gay but not toward Phil? How did Gay's reaction to all this affect Ashley's behavior? Why did Ashley eventually stop acting this way? Was her behavior markedly different from a "normal" teenager's? 

4.Why did Ashley drug Gay and Phil? Why did getting caught upset her? Did her reasons for being upset change? 

5.Did Ashley always feel responsible for Luke's happiness and well-being? Is it fair to think that she should have? 

6.Was Lorraine a bad mother? Did various people perceive her mothering skills differently? Did her ability to be a good mother change over the years? 

7.The officials took Ashley and Luke away from their mother to keep them safe. Did this work? In what ways would they have been better off with their mother? What did they lose when they became foster children? 

8.Toward the end of the book, Ashley seemed to reconnect with her extended biological family more quickly and easily than with her mother. Why do you think this is? 

9.Were all of Ashley's experiences with foster families bad? Was there anything positive about her time in the system? Who was looking out for her? Who failed her? 

10.How did Ashley get involved with writing and public speaking? Why was this important to her? 

Three Little Words: A Memoir
by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

  • Publication Date: January 8, 2008
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1416948066
  • ISBN-13: 9781416948063