Book Discussion Questions

(from www.thehighesttide.com)

  1. Does The Highest Tide remind you of other novels? If so, which ones and why? If not, what makes it unique?
  2. At one point, Miles comments that adults are usually more interested in what kids are going to become than what they are. Is Miles an extraordinary child or is he simply another example of the innocent wisdom of children that adults often overlook?
  3. The characters in this book are a study in contrasts: Milesís best friend is an elderly housebound woman, his first love is an unstable older girl, and his own parents are as indifferent as he is impassioned. What can we learn from such starkly contrasting individuals, and how do their relationships shape the book?
  4. Why do you think Miles and Florence are so close? What do they offer each other? And what does Kenny Phelps, Milesí foul-mouthed sidekick, add to the novel? Humor? Realism?
  5. Miles has a knack for rescuing people and creatures, or at least trying to. Recall as many rescues or attempted rescues as you can. What does this trait tell you about Miles?
  6. Channel 7ís story about the "remarkable Olympia boy" makes much of Milesí gift for finding and seeing marine life that others canít. Florence, too, knows what others canít know. What does the novel say about this ability to see or know things others canít? Is it a gift or a particular kind of attention?
  7. The novel is rich with imagery and metaphors. What do you think the giant squid symbolizes? What metaphors or symbols stood out for you?
  8. Do you think this novel carries an underlying environmental message? If so, what is it?
  9. Near the end of the story, Miles says, "In the space of a summer Iíd learned that everything was changing, including me." How has Miles changed during the summer, and why?
  10. In the final scene, Miles and Angie ride the outgoing tide in her canoe, and Miles quotes Rachel Carson: "For all at last return to the sea Ė to Oceanus, the ocean river, like the ever flowing stream of time, the beginning and the end." Angie tells Miles that she and the sea will wait for him. In what ways is the scene symbolic? What possible interpretations does it suggest?

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PageTurners Book Discussion Groups

The joy and satisfaction you get from reading a really good book is multiplied many times over when you can share your thoughts and impressions with others. Timberland Regional Library began its PageTurners Book Discussion program in 1997 to provide adults the chance to join in exciting conversations about books.  

Book discussions are held monthly at most of the 27 Timberland libraries.  Check the list of PageTurners Book Discussion groups or ask at your library. If your local libraryís PageTurners program is currently inactive or meets at a time that does not work for you, let your library know about your interest.

Revised 05/25/10