Reconstructing Amelia Week 3 Questions/Discussion!

recon ameliaWe are at week 3 in our discussion! Some of us have finished. Some have not. The library is still holding at least 1 person back from getting the book!

But- we are here. We are almost finished. YAY!


Week 3 Thoughts:

1. The principal- why did he target Amelia for the truth about the Magpies? Was it because Amelia is the good girl? The honor student? Or was it because Kate is not involved in the school- like some of the other’s parents- and might not in the position to complicate the principal’s life?


2. The school is closing ranks, circling the wagon. Why? Because they have blood on their hands and they know it? Or is someone higher than them pulling puppet strings?


3. Money. It makes the world go round. What is the problem with money in Reconstructing Amelia?


4. Is Amelia being “catfished” in a sense? #nospoilers- just let me know if you have a feeling.


5. Dylan and Zadie- best friends till the end? Or is Dylan a pawn? Or is Zadie the real pawn? Again #nospoilers- just thoughts!


6. How hard is this for Kate? To find this stuff out? To know that Amelia was being bullied?


7. Why is the principal less concerned about Amelia actually dying on school grounds- and when the word “bullying” was mentioned- it seemed to get his attention?


***Note: I have not read the last chapter of the assigned reading for this week. I USUALLY read the night before I post the questions- and I read most of them last night. But I still have 1 more to read- so more questions may be added.


13 thoughts on “Reconstructing Amelia Week 3 Questions/Discussion!

  1. Carrie Rice says:

    Quwstion #1 is a REALLY good one. I never thought about him targeting Amelia because of Kate being absent. I just figured he really thought Amelia was a good girl and might confide in him. I was hoping she would open up to him!! He sEems like the only one at that school with any dang sense.

    • Carrie,

      TY! It just seemed like he was targeting Amelia, in part, because of Kate/absence. I think he was also targeting her b/c of her good girl rep- and even maybe some quid pro quo- Amelia tells about the Magpies- he writes her recommendation.

  2. 1# -I agree with Carrie Rice – The Princepal does seem to be the only one actually concerned about stuff that happens…

    6# -Kate is probably numb at this point… the things she is learning are hard for any mother to handle – especially after loosing your ownly daughter.

    5# – Zadie… I can’t go into details without ruining it… but I’d gladly punch her in the face with a kitchen tool of some sort. lol. I didn’t like her from the very begining and I don’t understand why Amelia put up with her.

    • Johannah,

      1. Yes, I think the principal does seem to be the only 1 concerned about stuff that happens- and yet, he also seems to knuckle under pressure of other parent’s expectations/wants. IDK- just thinking aloud.

      6. Agreed. Kate is numb & mad as h*ll about things with Amelia (the school, her own lack of knowledge abt Amelia).

      5. Zadie. She’s a character I LOVE to hate. I think Amelia put up with Zadie simply for Dylan.

      • 1. The Principal needs to find another job. lol. One where he’s compassionate about SO much he’ll do anything to make sure the job he’s doing is the best of his ability. Right now, I don’t think he’s doing that.

        6. If I was a parent and blind sided and ignorant of what my daughter was into… I’d be pretty angry at myself. This is something Kate has to deal with for the rest of her life, you know? It’s horrible.

        5. – FULLY agree.

      • Ms Johannah,

        1. I don’t necessarily think the principal is a bad guy. I think he needs to be in a school that has less “back door parental involvement” b/c I think these parents are not above threatening and greasing palms to get what they want. But I do think he needs to grow a backbone and deal with the fallout if he does not go along with the parents.
        So maybe he does need a new type of job 🙂

        6.Yes! Kate is going to have to deal with Amelia/what happened rest of her life. Finding out what happened will help some- but the pain will never go away.

        5. YES!

  3. Just finished reading Part 3 and all I can say is WOW…this is an intense book!

    #1: I hadn’t thought about the principal targeting Amelia b/c Kate isn’t an involved parent, but that does make sense…hmmm. I think it could also be because he knows Amelia won’t go running to either the group or her mom about the potential “blackmail.”

    #2: I definitely think the board, which seems to be comprised of some of the Maggies’ parents, is pulling some strings. I’m curious to see how this plays out…and what about the whole benefit thing? I’m kind of appalled that Zadie’s mom is still going through with it despite Kate asking her not to…something fishy there.

    #4: I’m thinking maybe…all along I had a funny feeling about that whole situation btw Amelia and Dylan…perhaps it’s another prank/hazing rite?

    #5: I think Zadie is hanging something over Dylan’s head and thus making her do whatever it is Zadie wants Dylan to do. I’m not so sure its a BFF kind of thing but rather another instance of bullying.

    #6: I can’t even imagine what Kate must be going thru as she is learning all this stuff. But, she did keep her secrets and that could be why Amelia felt weary about confiding in her – that and the fact that she was never around.

    #7: I think the principal knows what happened to Amelia – knows the whole story but was bought off….the new security system, the new confidentiality clause…

    • Carrie Rice says:

      Somebody PLEASE explain this strange/abusive relationship between Zadie and Dylan! It is beyond strange.

      • IDK yet- but I’m getting some ideas. Oh and you asked about Magpies/Maggies one day. Collectively they are known as Magpies- but individually known as Maggies (ex Maggie 1, Maggie 2)

    • Kristin T:

      1. Yes! Yes abt the blackmail. I still think Principal’s main motivation is because he perceives Kate to be uninvolved & less able to threaten him- but, that is also a good point.

      2.I def think the board is pulling strings. I also am not appalled about the suicide benefit thing (I mean I am- but not where Zadie’s mom is concerned.) I think this is even more like the whole Principal thing- Zadie’s mom does not think Kate’s got a spine to stand up to her (just my opinion).

      4. I’ve def got an opinion on the possibility of a “catfish” angle- I’m not sure if Dylan is part of a hazing ritual or not- but maybe.

      5. Yep- Zadie has something on Dylan. Their families are too intertwined to not have some dirt of each other. The only difference is that Zadie is a b*tch enough to use it.

      6. I think we can simply sum it for Kate: Life sucks right now. And will for a long time. Maybe forever.

      7. Yep- those parents have their fingers all over the new equipment and stuff. Logical assumption: Zadie’s stepdad. But- is he too logical of an assumption?

  4. I agree with the others that the principal targeted Amelia for info because she is a good girl and also I think he genuinely wanted her to do her best and be successful. Now, that you mention it, I do think his “blackmail” plot was because Kate is not involved in the school. He seems petrified of the parents association.

    It definitely seems that there are parents pulling strings. Before this section, I wasn’t sure how liable the school was with the club and gossip blog but since the bullying has moved on campus (and how did a teacher not notice?!?) I think the school is definitely liable.

    Bullying is a hot button topic and it was interesting how Kate’s use of the word affected the administrator. Teens committ suicide (and the admin is still thinking its a case if suicide) for a variety of reasons (all sad and tragic) but when the main cause is bullying it’s especially tragic because it could have been preventable. Schools become liable. As parents, we expect schools to be safe places for our children.

    I’ve always been concerned that Amelia is being catfished. It’s worried me.

    I think Kate must be feeling a lot of guilt. She’s also angry and looking for answers. It must be so awful to find that your child has gone through all these horrible things and you didn’t know it.

    The Dylan/Zadie thing is weird.

    Maybe because I’ve read this book more slowly than I normally would, but I have been so moved by Amelia and Kate.

    I hope I made some sense. I’m typing it out on my phone–on our way to Yellowstone.

    • Cindi-

      Yes, the principal does seem terrified of the parents organization. Do they have something on him? Or does he just know if he screws up here- he’s finished in schools of this caliber?

      I’ve thought basically the whole time the school had liability in this- but as the story goes on- I KNOW they did. When Amelia spoke to the school therapist- I know that convo is protected- but that protection does not continue past her death- IDK why no one has subpoenaed her to make her talk.

      Bullying is a hot button topic- and it should be. Everyone has a story of being bullied in some way (I think so anyway)- and schools can and MUST take action. The problem is this: In a day where so much is happening- and some of bullying is so subtle (with girls, that relational aggression thing can be hard to see at times). Is than an excuse? Absolutely not.

      Until reading this week’s reading, catfishing never occurred to me. Then I read something, or something clicked- and it was like “Hmmm….”

      Yes- Dylan/Zadie thing is weird. I’m wanting to know what their deal is.

      I *think* the Kate/Amelia storyline is touching and sad. Sometimes I wonder if the secrets weren’t there, or if Kate’s mother was less of a career role model and more of a maternal figure- how things would have been.

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