Reading guide for The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Year the Swallows Came Early

by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice X
The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2009, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2011, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Joanne Collings
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Discussion Questions

  1. In The Year the Swallows Came Early eleven year old Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson describes her house as a piece of See's candy, with perfect swirled chocolate on the outside, but sometimes hiding coconut flakes on the inside, all gritty and hard, like undercooked white rice. What does this mean? Is there anything in your life that is like this? What is it?
  2. How are the swallows, which return to San Juan Capistrano each year, symbolic of Frankie's mother?
  3. Eleanor says that certain foods remind her of special people and events. In chapter thirty-seven, she says that scrambled eggs remind her of talking to her Mama while the fog rolls in, and that Luis' tacos remind her of the swallows coming back. What foods remind you of special people or events? Why is this?
  4. Why is it sometimes so hard to forgive someone who has wronged you? What does Eleanor mean in chapter thirty-four when she wishes for her father to come home even after everything he'd done, when she says that her wish felt okay, and just a little bit free, like she could finally rest?
  5. Why is Eleanor happy when she finds out her father gave Mr. Tom his trailer when he could have sold it to pay her the money he owed her?
  6. In chapter twenty-seven, why does Eleanor say Mr. Tom was like a sign trying to point her in the right direction? What does she mean by this?
  7. Eleanor makes up menus to match different occasions. In chapter eight, she cooks fish sticks and creamed corn to get her mama to tell her the truth about her father? Make up a menu for the last day of school. What might be on a menu for the last of summer?
  8. Write a poem or a short story about the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano. For more information on the swallows, see www.missionsjc.com/swallows.html.

Kathryn enjoys visiting book club discussions.  To schedule a regular phone call or one using Skype, please contact the author: http://www.kathrynfitzmaurice.com/contact.html

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of HarperCollins Children's Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The World According to Fannie Davis
    The World According to Fannie Davis
    by Bridgett M. Davis
    Devoted daughter Bridgett M. Davis was always inspired by her mother Fannie, who provided stability,...
  • Book Jacket: Territory of Light
    Territory of Light
    by Yuko Tsushima
    Set in Tokyo during the late 1970s, Yūko Tsushima's Territory of Light chronicles a year in the...
  • Book Jacket: Unmarriageable
    Unmarriageable
    by Soniah Kamal
    Soniah Kamal makes no secret of the fact that her novel Unmarriageable is a retelling of Jane Austen...
  • Book Jacket: The Paragon Hotel
    The Paragon Hotel
    by Lyndsay Faye
    Lyndsay Faye's arresting The Paragon Hotel focuses on how disparate groups of marginalized people ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Half-Life of Everything
by Deborah Carol Gang

A beautifully written and uplifting debut novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Night Tiger
    by Yangsze Choo

    "Wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore."
    --PW, starred review
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
    by Anissa Gray

    A dazzling debut novel about mothers and daughters, identity and family.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Climate Report

The Climate Report

"The most comprehensive assessment of the effects of climate change on the United States."
–The New York Times

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

B I I T Eye O T B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.