Discussion Questions — Smashing Castles

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Smashing Castles

  1. What was your initial impression of Akira? How, if at all, did your opinion change?
  2. How would you describe Akira’s relationship with her sister?
  3. How was Mark’s relationship different with each of his daughters?
  4. How did Akira’s autism diagnosis affect her family’s attitude and actions toward her, first as a child, then as a young adult?
  5. What role did Dyon serve for Akira, even though he lived thousands of miles away? Why does she feel so comfortable with him?
  6. Why did Akira feel like she was a visitor in her own house?
  7. What were the underlying causes of Annie’s acting-out behavior with her sister?
  8. When Mark was together with both daughters, did the level of verbal abuse going on between the two girls change? If yes, why?
  9. How did Akira hope her surgery would impact the family?
  10. Reflecting upon Mark’s response/lack of response in creating a respectful environment for the family to interact, what would you have done differently?
  11. Why did Akira endure such verbal abuse? What happened when her core belief was disputed by her dad?
  12. How did the life coach play a meaningful role in Akira’s life?
  13. What are the life coach’s core beliefs about raising and teaching children? Tell why you agree/disagree with her thesis.
  14. What was the driving force that finally convinced Mark to find an apartment for Akira? Why do you think he waited so long before acting?
  15. By the end of the book, how do the following people change, if at all: Akira, Annie, Mark, life coach?

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