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Before You Read the Story

  1. Can you describe a time in your life when you felt like you were unfairly judged? What skills did you use to cope?
  2. Technology – and its dangers – is one of SEND's major themes. Consider the role of technology in your life. How does it help? How does it hurt?
  3. Another important theme in SEND is forgiveness. Is it possible for someone you love to do something truly bad and still be forgiven? Why or why not?
  4. Think of a time when you saw or knew someone was being bullied. How did you respond?

After You Read the Story

  1. SEND opens with Dan facing a difficult choice - risk calling attention to himself to protect a stranger or walk away. What would you do in Dan's situation?
  2. The character of Kenny plays an important role in Dan's story. Why do you think Kenny exists? Do you think Dan loves Kenny?
  3. When Dan was thirteen, he did a bad thing. Does he deserve forgiveness? Why or why not?
  4. Consider a time when someone called you a name. How did it affect you? Several times throughout the story, Dan says he feels like he's been branded. Compare your experience to Dan's. How do the various names he uses to describe himself affect him?
  5. Throughout the story, Dan acts to protect others. First, he protects Brandon from getting beaten up. Later, he aids an injured baby. Why do you think Dan doesn't immediately try to protect Kenny from Jack Murphy at the end of the story?
  6. After Brandon takes a gun to school, Dan takes drastic action to prevent him from using it. Why do you think he didn't go to the principal or the police?
  7. Laws are only now being written to address cyber-bullying. Because no law existed for what Dan did, he was found guilty of distributing kiddie porn, sentenced to time in juvenile detention, and forced to register as a sex offender. Do you think his sentence was a fair and appropriate response to his crime? What would you have done if you were Dan's judge? How would you rewrite laws to address cyber-bullying?
  8. Discuss the role Dan's family – Mom, Dad, and Pop – play in this story. How have they influenced Dan's decisions? How do they support him?
  9. Discuss the old saying "Forgive and forget." Do you believe the key people in Dan's life truly forgave him? Whose forgiveness does Dan need the most?
  10. Dan says often that he 'killed' Liam Murphy but his therapist suggests that Liam was deeply troubled and Dan's viral internet pictures added to Liam's burden. What do you think led to Liam's suicide? Could it have been prevented?
  11. Do you think Dan and Julie reunite after the book ended? Would it be possible for them to leave the past in the past?