BKMT READING GUIDES

Key to Everything
by Luesse

Published: 2020-06-02T00:0
Paperback : 352 pages
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After WWII and a family tragedy, Peyton Cabot seeks connection with his troubled veteran father by retracing the trip he'd taken from Savannah to Key West at the same age. The adventure forces Peyton to come to terms with his identity and decide how much he's willing to risk for the girl he ...
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Introduction

After WWII and a family tragedy, Peyton Cabot seeks connection with his troubled veteran father by retracing the trip he'd taken from Savannah to Key West at the same age. The adventure forces Peyton to come to terms with his identity and decide how much he's willing to risk for the girl he loves.

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Excerpt

one

April 1947
Though he couldn’t have known, nor ever guessed, Peyton Cabot had just witnessed a bittersweet kiss goodbye. There they stood, a man and a woman, in the center of his grand- father’s library, a mahogany-paneled sanctuary that always smelled of polished wood and old leather, parchment and pipe tobacco. It was empty now, with all the family outside for their annual picnic—empty but for these two. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. Peyton Cabot’s particular circumstances are extraordinary, but what elements of his experience do you think are universal to all young people transitioning to adulthood?

2. Who is the “hero” of this story—Peyton, his father, or his mother?

3. Of all the people he encounters on his bike ride down the Atlantic Coast, which is your favorite and why?

4. Is Finn a good influence or a bad one?

5. Which episode from Peyton’s journey says the most about the kind of person he is becoming?

6. Do you think it’s possible for a place to change a person forever? Has it ever happened to you?

7. What intrigues you most about a story—what the main character is doing or what he’s thinking/feeling?

8. Why do you think Peyton is so drawn to Lisa? Does it have anything to do with his family experience or is it just a young man’s attraction to a beautiful girl?

9. Besides your parents, do you have a relative who has influenced you the way Aunt Gert influences Peyton and his mother?

10. Why do you think Peyton comes to believe that the Cabots—his own family—aren’t a real family at all?

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