An ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Readers, Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Prize and a Publisher's Weekly "Flying Start" book Amy Curry's year sucks. And it's not getting any better. Her mother has decided to move, so somehow Amy has to get their car from California to the East Coast. There's just one problem: since her father's death Amy hasn't been able to get behind the wheel of a car. Enter Roger, the son of a family friend, who turns out to be funny, nice . . . and unexpectedly cute.
But Roger's plans involve a more "scenic" route than just driving from A to B, so suddenly Amy finds herself on the road trip of a lifetime. And, as she grows closer to Roger, Amy starts to realise that sometimes you have to get lost to find your way home. . . Praise for Amy & Roger's Epic Detour 'One of the most touching, irresistible, and feel-good road trips I've been on in a long, long while. Amy & Roger is a book to love.' Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist 'A near-perfect summer read that should leave readers with a thirst for travel and romance.'Publishers Weekly, Starred Review 'This entertaining and thoughtful summertime road trip serves up slices of America with a big scoop of romance on the side.' Kirkus Reviews 'A classic literary road trip is what Matson delivers in high style…if all road trips were like this, nobody'd ever stay home.' BCCB 'An emotionally rewarding road novel.' School Library Journal
Reading Group Guide
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Discussion Questions for Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
1) Define “epic.” What made Amy & Roger’s road trip epic? In what ways was it epic for Amy, and in what ways was it epic for Roger?
2) Morgan Matson incorporates receipts, playlists, emails, notes, etc. throughout the novel. How did this influence how you read the story? Did you like this technique? Discuss other ways Morgan Matson made the book especially appealing and engaging to the reader.
3) Each chapter begins with a quote. To what extent did you keep these in mind as you read the pages that followed? How did the quotes serve to propel the story? Share some of your personal favorite quotes, and what they mean to you.
4) Compare and contrast “regular Amy” to “Amy!” What does the exclamation point in the latter connote? Do you think “Amy!” could ever really exist? Do you ever feel like you could have another side to you, too?
5) How did the flashback scenes in Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour help you better understand Amy and her family? What did you learn about her relationships with her mother, brother, and father? How did these flashbacks make you feel, as a reader?
6) We don’t hear the details of Amy’s father’s death until the very end of the book. Why did Morgan Matson keep these details from us for so long? What effect did this have on how you interpreted Amy’s situation?
7) Throughout Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Roger is trying to convince Amy to buy a new pair of sunglasses. She finally buys a pair when she and Roger are visiting Graceland. What do the sunglasses symbolize over the course of the novel?
8) The first time Amy said, “my father died” was to Walcott, a guy she’d just met, whom she probably wouldn’t see again. Why did she choose to open up to Walcott? Conversely, why was Amy avoiding Julia, her best friend?
9) Amy and Roger experienced a journey together, literally and metaphorically. Describe their respective journeys, and how you think (or don’t think) each completed his/her journey. When was a time that you have embarked on a journey? How did you measure whether or not your journey had been competed?
10) What was Bronwyn’s role in Amy’s “journey?” Do you agree with what she did with Amy’s clothes? How would you have reacted, if you were Amy?
11) Roger is fascinated with world explorers. In what ways is he an explorer, himself? What do you think this character trait suggests about Roger?
12) What qualifies as home? Consider Walcott’s explanation: “You don’t have to go away to know where your home is . . . Everyone knows where their home is. And if you don’t, you’ve got problems.” Now think about Drew’s theory: “I guess then your home is the people in it . . . Your family.” What does home mean to Amy? Why does the realtor’s sign, “Welcome HOME” bother her so much? What does home mean to you?
13) Amy and Lucien share an important scene together while in Kentucky. In what ways did Lucien invoke a turning point in Amy’s journey?
14) At what point do you think Amy and Roger’s relationship changed? Were you surprised?
15) Discuss the ending of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. Do you think Morgan Matson leaves us hanging, or do you consider the story to have been “wrapped up” sufficiently? What do you think happens with Amy and Roger, down the line?
This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Morgan Matson is the New York Times bestselling author of six books for teens, including Since You’ve Been Gone and Save the Date, and the middle grade novel TheFirefly Summer. She lives in Los Angeles but spends part of every summer in the Pocono Mountains. Visit her at MorganMatson.com.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK (July 7, 2011)