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TEACHER'S GUIDE FOR:

Perfect Liars

By Kimberly Reid
Illustrations by

Perfect Liars Discussion Questions

  1. In the beginning of the story, Drea has a strong independent streak, almost to the point of being aloof. Why does Drea struggle to make friends and to trust others? Why does her outlook change around friendship and camaraderie? 
  2. How does Drea’s perception of adolescents in the juvenile justice system change?
  3. Why is Drea ashamed of how her family attained its privilege? 
  4. What connection can be made between Damon’s choices (becoming a police officer) and Drea’s choices (in unrelenting pursuit of perfectionism) and the choices of their parents (being con artists)?
  5. Drea’s friends at the Justice Academy solve the problem with the very skills that led them to being in the juvenile justice system. What do you think the author, Kimberly Reid, wants readers to take away?
  6. Look up imposter syndrome and “Duck Syndrome.” Do either of these describe Drea’s experiences? Is her pursuit of perfectionism unique to Drea’s personality and internal pressures or are there systemic pressures as well? How might Drea’s gender contribute to her anxiety and stress in being perfect? Does Drea face additional pressures or unfair expectations to be successful because she is biracial in an elite, mostly white prep school?
  7. How are Drea and Xavier similar?
  8. Do Drea and Xavier see each other as equals? Why or why not?
  9. Examine the reasons that led to Gigi, Xavier, and Jason each being in the juvenile justice system. Do their actions define them as “bad” people? Does their involvement with Drea mean they are redeemed?
  10. Which characters do you particularly admire or dislike? 
  11. Unlike the students Drea meets at Justice Academy, she has had access to elite institutions, privileged experiences, and influential people. Does Drea make the most of these resources?
  12. Drea strives to be independent and self-sufficient. Does she achieve the freedom she seeks? Why or why not?  
  13. What impact do you think Drea’s experience in collaborating with the students at the Justice Academy might have on her view of her parents’ choices and lifestyle? 

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About This Title

Guided Reading:

Z+

Lexile:

940L

Interest Level:

Grades 8 - 12

Reading Level:

Grades 6 - 7

Themes

African/African American Interest, Biracial/Multiracial Interest, Breaking Gender Barriers, Families, Friendship, Multiethnic interest, Overcoming Obstacles, Persistence/Grit, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Teen Interest, YA interest

Collections

High-Low Books for Teens (Middle and High School), African American English Collection High School, Diverse Background English Collection High School, Sibling Collection Grades 6-12, English Fiction Grades 6-12, English Guided Reading Level W, Mystery and Suspense Collection, Young Adult (YA) Collection, Realistic Fiction High School, 2016 Book Collection, Pedro Noguera Diverse Collection Grades 6-8, Pedro Noguera Diverse Collection Grades 9-12

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