Resources for Students and Teachers
You can also checkout the “Frequently Asked Questions” section here.
- Some of the characters in this book see Samantha as a stereotypical snobby cheerleader, but she doesn’t see herself that way. Is she really like that? Why or why not?
- Samantha has a certain amount of resentment towards Cassidy. Is her resentment justified? How much of Samantha’s resentment comes from her jealousy toward Cassidy? Do you think Cassidy is a likable character or not?
- Samantha thinks it will be easy to go two weeks without insulting anyone. What do her friends’ reactions about the bet tell you about her? About them? Is being uncritical easy or hard for most people? Why is it so easy to concentrate on people’s negative aspects?
- After Samantha discovers the flyers about her SAT scores, she takes revenge. Was she wrong to take revenge, or just wrong to take revenge on Amy? Is revenge ever justified? What’s the difference between taking revenge and standing up for yourself?
- Samantha had to take her psychotic cat in for shots, and it clung to her head the whole way. Do any of you want this cat? Because this scene was based on my obnoxious cat, Shady, whom I am persistently trying to give away.
- Samantha didn’t want to tell her mother about her SAT scores because her mother “expected her to do things flawlessly.” Does Samantha’s fear of disappointing her mother make their relationship better or worse? How can high expectations help a person? How can they hurt a person? When Samantha’s mother finds out the truth what is she upset about?
- What does Samantha realize about herself because of her bet? What does Logan realize? How does the bet change their relationship?
- When Samantha finally has the opportunity to criticize everything, why doesn’t she? Is she thinking about Rick or about herself when she decides not to retaliate against him? Was it the right decision? Why or why not?
- Do you think the right person won the election? Why or why not? Who would you have voted for?
Enrichment activity: Pretend you’re going to write a sequel for this book. Whose point of view will you tell the story through? What do you think happens next to the characters?
I was asked so many times for a sequel to All’s Fair in Love, War, and High School, that I wrote a follow up book called Revenge of the Cheerleaders. Write a synopsis for your sequel and see how yours checks out with mine.
Samantha and her friends are involved in a school election. Talk about the democratic process and then hold an imaginary election (for the next US president, astronaut, ambassador to Mars, official time traveler, etc.). Have students come up with campaign speeches explaining why they’re the ones for the job.
Samantha makes a bet that she can go two weeks without insulting people. Have kids try a similar experiment then write a report about their experiences.
- This book has the same characters as All’s Fair in Love War and High School but the story is told from Chelsea’s point of view instead of Samantha’s. Why do you think the author chose another character as the main character? How does seeing people from a different character’s viewpoint change the way you see people in the story?
- Because their father was an alcoholic, Chelsea has always looked after her sister. Is it a good or a bad thing that Chelsea took on a parental role in Adrian’s life? Chelsea’s mother asks her to keep an eye on Adrian. Should Chelsea have this responsibility? To what extent should brothers and sisters watch out for each other?
- Although Chelsea is a cheerleader and popular at her school, she sometimes feels alone, harassed, misunderstood, guilty, and insecure. Is being popular any guarantee of happiness? What makes a person happy?
- Chelsea’s mother had a bad marriage and thus is extra worried about Adrian dating Rick. She says,
- “Bad boys have a certain attraction, but they grow up to be bad men, and we all know where that leads.” She meant my father. He was the type of fate we had to keep Adrian from. (Pg 31)
- Is it right of the mother to let her past experiences influence her opinion of Rick? What is the difference between gaining wisdom from your past and being judgmental?
- Chelsea is not only mad at Mike for seeing her friend, Naomi, behind Chelsea’s back, but Chelsea is also mad at a lot of the football players because they knew what was going on and didn’t tell her. Was she justified in her anger? Considering her past behavior with Travis, was she being hypocritical? Do you have a right to be angry at people for hurting you when you’ve also hurt other people in the past?
- Is Rick a sympathetic character at the beginning of the book? Has your viewpoint of him changed by the end of the book? Why or why not? Chelsea likes him more at the end of the book. Has Rick changed or has only her viewpoint of him changed? In what other ways has Chelsea changed during the book?
- Because Chelsea is pretty and popular, Adrian feels like she’s second best—that when Chelsea walks into a room suddenly Adrian becomes invisible. Whose fault is it that she feels that way? Can you love someone and still be competitive with them? Can you think of a time when Chelsea was also competitive with Adrian ? Is it ever good to be competitive with your friends or family?
- Chelsea believes that confidence and a good attitude are more important than beauty when attracting guys. Do you think she’s right? Do you think her experiment was an accurate one?
- Chelsea keeps embarrassing herself in front of the cute guy she wants to impress. Isn’t life just like that? This may not be the best book discussion question, but hey, it’s true.
- Chelsea knows Tanner thinks she’s a college student and doesn’t correct him. Samantha says, “It’s almost the same as lying.” Do you expect people to be absolutely honest with you? When if ever, is it a good idea to withhold information? Would you be angry if someone withheld information from you?
- Chelsea is trying to keep Adrian away from Rick for her own good. Is she in the right? Would she be in the right if Rick were a really bad person—perhaps even an abusive person? How do you know when you should step in and try and help a friend and when it’s better just to mind your own business?
- Would it surprise you to know that while the author wrote this story she briefly considered getting Rick and Chelsea together because they had good chemistry together on the page. What sorts of relationships are exciting to read about in novels? What sorts of relationships do you want in real life?
- After Chelsea tells the story about Travis to Tanner, she says that it is her fault that Adrian is the way she is. “She wouldn’t be this way if I hadn’t messed things up for her.” When Tanner finds out that Adrian blames Chelsea, he says, “That must be a power trip.” Chelsea wonders if he meant it was a power trip for her because she had the power to mess up her sister’s life or a power trip for Adrian because she could lay a huge guilt trip on Chelsea. What do you think he meant? Chelsea then wonders about her relationship with Adrian and who has the power. She also wonders if it’s wrong for her to want the power in the relationship. What do you think the answers to those questions are?
Rick writes some anti-cheerleading songs about Chelsea and her friends. Have students rewrite the words to one of their favorite songs so it reflects their opinion on something.
Molly and Polly are unpopular and treated badly by some of the other students at school. Talk about popularity and how we treat others. Have students write about a time they were treated badly by someone and also a time when they were treated well. If you have the students’ permission, share some of these stories out loud in class.
Write each student’s name on the top of an individual sheet of paper. Pass the papers around in class so that everyone has a chance to write something positive about every student in class. (Warning, if you do them all at once you’re likely to get a lot of short comments like: He’s nice. If you only do one or two names a day students are more likely to elaborate in their responses.) After all the sheets are done, hand them back to each student so they can see all the nice things their classmates have said about them.
- Tony reads a magazine article about qualities girls like in a guy. He thinks he can impress girls by pretending to have all of these qualities. Have students make a list of what qualities they want in a friend. Have them explain why these qualities are important, giving examples. If loyalty is important to them, was there a time when one of their friends either did or didn’t show loyalty?
- What qualities do they not want in a friend? What qualities drive them crazy?
- McKay is trying to help his dad out by selling Reverse Osmosis systems to people he knows. Have the students pick an object (real or imaginary) and either create a sales brochure for it or give the class a demonstration and sales pitch.
- This book is written with two first person viewpoints. Why do you think the author chose to write the story this way? How does having two first person viewpoints help the reader understand each of Cami and Josie’s thoughts about their fight?
- Josie wants to get a better wardrobe because she thinks it will help her be “in.” Is she right? Do clothes affect the way others treat you? Why or why not?
- Cami feels second best because Josie is in all honors classes and is better at basketball. Does that really make Cami second best? What criteria do we use to judge ourselves? What qualities and abilities are most important in a person? How is it dangerous to compare ourselves to others?
- Cami and Josie are loyal friends in the beginning of the book. What causes this to change? Have you ever had a situation in life where some person or thing was more important to you than a friend? Has a friend ever treated you like you were less important than someone/something else?
- Both Cami and Josie are stuck with science partners they don’t like. How do stereotypes affect our judgment of other people? What happens to change Cami and Josie’s minds?
- Younger siblings have a talent for embarrassing older siblings. I could tell you stories . . . Oh wait, I already did. If you think Jack is bad—hey, I grew up with three brothers. There ought to be a support group for people like me.
- Josie says that she plays basketball like it’s a game—to have fun. But Cami plays basketball like it’s war. She plays to win. Which way is the best way to play?
- Who do you think is to blame for Josie and Cami’s fight? Are fights between friends ever one-sided? How do you know when to end a friendship?
- While talking about not having friends, Frederick tells Josie, “Finally I just got to the point where I stopped caring what other people thought about me. That makes everything easier. You still feel alone, but it doesn’t bother you as much.” Josie isn’t sure whether that’s a good motto or a really sad way to live life. What do you think? When should you worry about what other people think?
- When Josie and Cami are trying to think of some revenge against Ashley and Erica, Daniel tells them, “If you’re worried about retaliating against someone, you get caught up in the wrong game and lose sight of your goal. You have to decide which battle you want to win, and concentrate on that.” What does he mean by this, and how does it apply to life?
- How do Josie and Cami become friends again? How do they show that they are now loyal to each other?
- Josie and Cami were given the assignment to write two poems about themselves. Have students write a poem about themselves.
- Cami idolized WNBA great, Rebecca Lobo. Have students write about their idols. Is it wise to idolize sports figures? Movies stars? Why or why not? Who are the best idols and why?
- Have students write a letter to their idol.
Book Discussion Questions
- When Charlotte sees Bryant at the mall with another girl, she tells Brianna about it. Was Charlotte making assumptions and spreading rumors or being loyal to her best friend? Have you ever done something with good intentions and had it backfire on you?
- Reese tried to break the law by shoplifting shoes for his mother. Was he right or wrong? Does his motivation (wanting to help his mom) make the act of stealing less wrong? Would you ever break the law to help someone you loved?
- Charlotte won’t forgive the boys (and a lot of the girls) who treated her badly in junior high, but she wants to help people in need like Reese and T.J. Do you think she is charitable or uncharitable? Do you think being hurt by people in junior high has made her more or less compassionate? Have you ever had to forgive people who hurt you? How did you manage to do it?
- Kelly tells Charlotte, “Sometimes you can’t have justice and friendship. So you’d better make up your mind which you want more.” What does she mean? Do you think she’s right? Who does Charlotte’s inability to forgive hurt the most?
- In the book Charlotte sees a division between wealthy people and unwealthy people. At one point she even thinks wealthy people are less friendly. Does such a division exist in the real world? Why do you think so?
- At the winter dance Olivia mentions that she’s learned Latin. Is it really fair to make kids learn a language with five declensions where nouns can change to like, seventy different endings? No wonder the language is dead. Reasonable people everywhere killed it. I know this wasn’t really a book question, but still . . .
- Brianna and Amanda have many differences of opinion and fight a lot. How do they show their love for each other? Can people who disagree about important things still get along?
- Charlotte finally learns to forgive Bryant and to trust him. Unfortunately he shows himself to be untrustworthy. Was she wrong to trust him? When it comes to trusting people, is it better to be safe than to be sorry?
- In the beginning of the book, Charlotte is more concerned with justice than with friendship. Has she changed by the end of the book? How can you tell?
Charlotte likes to do service projects for the underprivileged. Have students design their own service project. They will have to write a description of the project and explain it to the class. Then vote on one that the class can do.
Charlotte believes that what you buy says a lot about yourself. Without telling them why you’re asking them, have the kids write everything they’ve bought in the last month. Does what is or isn’t on their list reveal things about their personality? Have the teacher create a fictitious list and ask students what the items tell them about the person.
Giovanna is accused and sentenced for a crime she didn’t commit. Talk about how the court system works and then hold a mock trial either for Giovanna or for some other literary figure. (Put Goldilocks up on the stand and let her explain why she’s really innocent.)Giovanna is involved in a lot of bad dates. Have students write their own bad date scene. What would be the worst date possible?
- When Jessica first meets Jordan, she makes assumptions about him based on his appearance. Is it wise or unwise to judge people based on their clothing? What does clothing say about a person? Do people classify themselves by the way they dress?
- Jessica wants to use trickery to win back her ex-boyfriend. Jordan wants to use trickery to get his parents back together. Are you ever justified in tricking people so that they’ll do what you want them to do?
- Jessica tells Jordan’s secret to her drama teacher. Why is it important to keep confidences? When is it a good idea not to keep secrets?
- Jessica starts to develop feelings for Jordon, but ignores them because she’s so focused on getting Brenden back. Are our goals always good for us to achieve? How do we know when we should give up a goal?
- Kate thinks everything good happens to Jessica. Don’t you just hate people like that? Okay, this isn’t a real book discussion question, but I thought I’d throw it in anyway.
- The school principal wants to put on a politically correct version of West Side Story so it won’t offend anyone with its views on racism, gangs, or violence. Was this the right decision? Why do you think so? Is it ever all right to offend people? Is it possible not to offend anyone?
- Jordan feels like his father chose fame and glory over love and his family. Did he? What choice does Jessica make? What would you chose?
- Jordan feels like his dad will always be more popular than he is, and doesn’t like being the son of a movie star. Would you like being the child of a movie star?
- Jessica went along with Jordan’s plan to strand his parents at the cabin even though she thought they’d be caught. Why did she do this? What would you do to earn forgiveness from a friend?
- Why didn’t Jordan’s scheme to get his parents together work? What did soften their attitudes toward one another?
- On the drive home as Jordan tells Jessica how hurt he is by his father’s actions, Jessica thinks, “Sometimes people show you wounds too big to be healed by words.” Has this ever happened to you? What do you do or say to comfort people you care about?
- After reading about the play, do you think it was a failure or a success? What makes anything a failure or a success?
Jessica has fame and glory on her to do list. Have students create a list of goals for themselves, and then have them write about what steps they’ll need to achieve these goals. Do goals change over the years? What makes our priorities in life change?
Jessica’s drama group is trying to put on a politically correct version of West Side Story. Have students pick a nursery rhyme, folk story, something from Greek mythology, or fairy tale and then create a politically correct version of it. (Are there seven dwarves—or are there seven vertically-challenged men?) Check out James Finn Garner’s books such as Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, Politically Correct Holiday Stories, or Once Upon a More Enlightened Time and read one of these funny stories to your students.
Talk about political correctness. Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
Read the first half of the opening scene of the book (where Jessica gets in the wrong car) and have the students write how they think the scene ended. Read some of their stories out loud. This is also a good time to talk to students about tone. Would the author have something horrible happen in the scene if the tone of the scene is light and funny? Find a scary scene from a book and read a little of that for comparison.
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