Welcome to the Discussion Post for Part 1 (Pages 60-103) of Stick by Andrew Smith.


1.  Early in Part 2, Stick compares his mother to two women, first to Emily (comparing their bathrooms) and then to Mrs. Lohman (Stick’s mom with a cigarette & knife in her hands, threatening him about spending time on the phone; and Mrs. Lohman telling him how they would love to have him over anytime.  Then comes Mrs. BuckLey and Stick’s comment: “Something was happening to me. Everything was changing.” Is it important for Stick to realize these distinctions, between his mother and other women?  Do you think women will ultimately play a larger role in his story?

2.  Oh, boy – did Bosten have a secret, or what!?  Did you see this coming?   How is it likely to impact the nature between Bosten and Stick, and the relationship between Bosten (and/or both the boys) and their parents?

3.  Saint Fillan’s Room.  It has to be mentioned – what do we think about this?  We talked last week about the parents being physically abusive, but this room adds a whole new level to it, doesn’t it?  Think about how the boys have to clean it – empty and scrub the pail – after they were beaten in that room and left there in solitude, sometimes for days at a time.  I have to ask again – what’s up Mom & Dad!?

4. At one point in this segment, Stick makes the point: “I wasn’t sure how punching someone would make me feel like having balls made a difference.”  Ironically, later on, he actually does get hit in the balls, hard, and finally stands up for himself by punching the guy in the nose.  Other than this being great irony, what does it say about stick – both his early statement and the fact that he finally stood up for himself?  Could it have anything to do with what Emily said about Stick making fun of himself?

5. Dad. We’re finally beginning to understand. So, it seems when he is drunk, his true nature and problem comes out – but only with Bosten.  Why do you think Dad confuses Stick for Bosten – and, if he hadn’t passed out, do you think Stick saying who he was would have mattered?  Now that Stick knows what’s been happening, and he and Bosten have talked about it, what next?


Don’t forget to check back next Saturday, when we will be discussing Part 2 (Pages 107-216).

July: Stick (Hosted by Roof Beam Reader)

  • 7/7: First (Part 1): Pages 2-59
  • 7/14: First (Part 2): Pages 60-103
  • 7/21: Next (Part 1): Pages 107-216
  • 7/28: Next (Part 2): Pages 216-292

Also, have you entered to win a copy of next month’s Andrew Smith book, Ghost Medicine

Head over to Not Now, I’m Reading for your chance!  The giveaway ends July 14th (today)!


  1. All I can say about Stick and women is that he must be hella confused. He’s got a terror for a mother, a wonderful friend in Emily, a beautiful second mother in Emily’s mom, a weird attraction to Paul’s mom…I would just give up and become a monk. 🙂

    I only saw Bosten’s secret coming because of your review. I’m not even sure I read the book blurb before I started it. I am definitely nervous for him because of his wack ass parents. That room…is horrifying. It reminds me of some terrible child abuse cases I learned about during my social work program. I have to admit to being very shocked when that episode with dad happened. It isn’t surprising, now that I think about it, but I wasn’t prepared for what it means in the grand scheme.


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