Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
The book opens with Antonias letter to the Vatican offering herself as the Patron Saint of Figs and Fig Trees. Reread the letter and make a list of the things you know or assume about Antonia from the start. After you finish reading the book, go back over the list. Was your perception of Antonia on target?
If you were to be a patron saint, what would your specialization be? Write a letter making your case and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discuss Antonias two main aspirations (to become the first living saint and to get her first kiss from the right boy). On the surface, these goals seem very different, but do they have anything in common? What are your aspirations?
In the beginning of the book, Antonia introduces her cousin Veronica as the evil nemesis in her life (p. 8). Does Antonia let her feelings for Veronica affect her actions? How? Do you have someone like Veronica in your life?
Antonia also has a best friend, Maria Romano. Examine their friendship and write a list of the attributes of a best friend in the style in which Antonia writes her lists.
Andy Rotellini and Michael McGinnis are the two boys in Antonias life. Compare and contrast them. Do they share any characteristics? What are their good points and bad points? How does Antonia decide which boy is right for her?
Discuss Antonias desire to be the Patron Saint of the First Kiss and Kissing and the fact that it was her kiss on Mrs. Bevalaquas cheek that seemed to precipitate Mrs. B.s miraculous cure (p. 62). Do you think this is coincidence or are these aspects of the story linked?
See Antonias guide To Become a Saint You Must Complete the Following. (p. 37) What are the possibilities of sainthood for Antonia?
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Square Fish.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.
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