76 pages 2 hours read

Mary Downing Hahn

All The Lovely Bad Ones

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2008

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Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay. 

Scaffolded/Short-Answer Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the below bulleted outlines. Cite details from the text over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. The importance of the written word is a motif in the novel.

  • Make a claim about the importance of the written word in All the Lovely Bad Ones (topic sentence).
  • Why did Miss Ada keep an account book, and why does she eventually try to hide it? Why does it matter that it will now be published? Why are the numbers on the stones not enough for the ghost children, and what do they want instead? Consider these questions as you discuss the book, the stones, and any other examples of this motif.
  • In your concluding sentence or sentences, summarize the general lesson or theme conveyed by the importance of the written word in this novel.

2. Consider the various roles played by the characters in the novels.

  • How does the novel present male and female gender roles? (topic sentence)
  • What responsibilities, attitudes, and abilities does the text assign to men versus those it assigns to women? How do the characters use language and emotion to try to force one another to uphold assumed or traditional gender roles? Discuss these points using specific details and examples of support from the novel.