111 pages 3 hours read

Neal Shusterman


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2007

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Reading Context

Use these questions or activities to help gauge students’ familiarity with and spark their interest in the context of the work, giving them an entry point into the text itself.

Short Answer

In Chapter 27, a group of boys discusses morality, a major theme in this novel. One boy, Emby, cites the law as a justification for his argument. Another, Connor, responds, “Just because the law says it, that doesn’t make it true.”

Emby replies, “Yeah, well, just because the law says it, that doesn't make it false, either. It's only the law because a whole lot of people thought about it and decided it made sense.”

Consider this debate in the historical context of practices that were considered legal at the time in which they took place. What rings true about the two boys’ statements? What rings false or requires a more nuanced examination?

Teaching Suggestion: This broad topic can be narrowed down to large-scale historical events, such as the Trans-Atlantic slave trade (or human slavery in general), the Holocaust, or other instances of human rights violations around the world. These suggested topics will hit close to home within the context of the novel but may skew the debate to one side given the benefit of examining history through our modern lens.