by Sharon Creech

ruby_holler.jpg ABOUT THIS BOOK

Ruby Holler is a beautiful and mysterious place, deep in the country, a "basin in the hills....where cool breezes drifted through the trees, and where the creek was so clear that every stone on its bottom was visible." An older couple, Tiller and Sairy, live in the holler and are looking for new adventures, each of them hoping to set off on a trip. When they invite the "trouble twins," Dallas and Florida, to join them, all of their lives take new turns.

Literature Circle Questions

1. What are some of the rules of Boxton Creek Home? What are some of the punishments Dallas and Florida receive for breaking the rules?

2. What did the twins do that made the Hoppers bring them back to the home?

3. When Dallas is sent to the Thinking Corner, what does he think about? What does
Florida think about?

4. Why is Dallas more eager to go with Tiller and Sairy than Florida? What is he excited about?

5. When Florida and Dallas first arrive in Ruby Holler, they ask Tiller and Sairy a lot of
questions about their new home. What do the questions reveal about other places they’ve
lived?

6. Even though Dallas and Florida are twins, in some ways they are very different. Make
a list, comparing and contrasting the twins. Make the same list for Tiller and Sairy.

7. How do Dallas and Florida feel about not knowing what their parents look like? Are
there any positive aspects that either sees about not knowing?

8. How does Florida change over the course of the novel? Find examples of things she
does or says at the end of the book that she wouldn’t have done at the start.

9. Compare the Trepids and Tiller and Sairy. What is each like as a couple? How are their
views on children different? What kinds of secrets do they keep from one another?


10. Z is a very mysterious person. What kind of person do you think he is? What clues
does Creech give you to his character? Do you think he will become closer to the twins in
the future?

11. Would you like to live in Ruby Holler? Explain and discuss the positive and negative
things about living in a holler.

12. If you could give the twins one piece of advice, what would it be? How would it
change the story? What if you could tell the Trepids one thing?

13. Creech includes a lot of the characters’ dreams in the novel. Why do you think she
does this? Discuss how dreams affect the story and different characters in it.

14. Trust and honesty are important themes in this book. Who do you think the most
trusting characters are? Who is the least? Who is the most dishonest? Do you think
anyone in the book is unwisely trusting and honest? When and why? How does being
trusted change the twins?


Activities

1. Draw a map of Ruby Holler. Then try mapping an area of your town like Z mapped the
holler. Choose to mark down all the stones, trees, flowers, or what ever you choose.
Maps of Ruby Holler can include Tiller and Sairy’s house, their barn, Z’s house
nearby, plus the location of the tree the twins cut down, the bear bush, tickle-violets
and the picnic tree. Maps may also incorporate the neighboring town of Boxton
with the Trepids house, the dress shop, jewelry store and Cadillac dealership.
Where is the river Tiller and Florida take the boat? Where is the hillside Sairy and
Dallas hike?


2. Pick any two characters and write a diary entry that each might have written the same
day. Which characters would write diary entries with the same point of view? Which
ones would see things the most differently? Could two characters experience the
same event as to disagree completely as to what happened?

3. Illustrate a timeline of Dallas and Florida’s life before they lived in Ruby Holler,
creating a picture for each place they’ve been.