When my daughter was young, we were in a Mother/Daughter book club that we loved. If you are in a book club and reading THE RUNAWAY’S GOLD, I’ve included some questions to use in your discussion. And if you’d like to ask me some others, just email me through my Contact Page.
Sam Livingston and Daa each hide coins, but they do it for different reasons. How were their reasons different, and what does that say about their characters? How were their reasons the same?
John desperately wants to leave Shetland, and Christopher just wants to eat. What do you think motivates John’s desire? Why do you think Christopher’s motivations aren’t the same? If you had been living at that time, what would you have wanted to do?
At the beginning of the story, Daa orders Christopher to “snuff out” Mr. Peterson’s sheep. Why do you think Christopher did what Daa told him to do? What would you have done in his place?
Christopher’s mother warns him about John, but later denies that she did. Why do you think she did this?
Why do you think Daa wants to be different from the other crofters of the island? Why doesn’t he like Reverend Sill and the Kirk?
Mary sneaks out of her house with Christopher on the first night they meet. Why do you think she trusts him? Would you have trusted him?
Malcolm’s frequent stays in Lerwick Prison keep him from being a good husband and father. Why do you think Netty sticks by him? Why does she put herself at risk by “borrowing” pig bristles and horsehair and bringing them to his window?
Why do you think John helped Christopher and Malcolm escape from Lerwick Prison?
Daa hoarded the pouch of coins to be used for gravestones chiseled with the Robertson name and for a family burial plot. Why do you think this was more important to him than feeding his struggling family?
Wallace Marwick and Billy Tweed play important roles in Christopher’s life. How are they different from each other and what about them is the same?
When Malcolm says goodbye to Reverend Sill at Culswick Broch, he promises to reform his ways. Yet, soon thereafter he steals banknotes from Mr. Plimpton’s sack. Do you think it was right for Malcolm to break his promise? Is it ever OK to steal?
Christopher agrees to deliver the bags of coins for Billy Tweed even when he is almost certain they have been stolen. Do you think he was right to do this? Would you have agreed to do the same thing?
What do you think Christopher and Malcolm will do with Sam Livingston’s map?