1. When Emily Jane opened her birthday present and found the fake crocodile skin shoes instead of the boots she wanted, she was angry and upset. Have you ever wanted something really badly, and not got it? How did you feel? What did you say and do? Can you think of a more helpful way to express your feelings?
2. Seeing a pair of boots in a shop window made Emily Jane think she would be happy for ever if she owned them. Do you think she would have been happy ever after, if she had them? If not, why not? What do you think makes people happy?
3. What are the differences between your school and Claude’s? Schools like Claude’s do exist in real life. Does that make you feel any different about your school? Do you think all children should be able to go to school? Why (or why not)?
4. Grace’s dad would have got better quicker after his accident, if he had money for better treatment. When was the last time you, or a member of your family, went to see a doctor or a nurse? How would you feel if you had to pay to see them, or for medicine to get better, and your family couldn’t afford it?
5. Emily Jane wonders if her ancestors were taken from The Gambia to be slaves. Imagine if you were Emily Jane. How would you feel? What do you think about slavery? How should we treat other people?
6. Why did Ayisha’s husband do something he knew was both illegal and dangerous? How do you think you would feel if you wanted to take care of your family but couldn’t find a job? What would you do? Do you think it is ever right to break the law, even if you are very poor?
7. Emily Jane and Jenna raised a lot of money for children in need, with help from family and friends. Is there something you could do to help people less fortunate than yourself, perhaps with help from a group you belong to, or your school?
8. Feelings of hate were making Isatou miserable, angry and bitter, but praying helped. She also talked to a friend about her problems. Sometimes in life, awful things happen. Do you think prayer might help? Who do you talk to about your problems?
9. Not everyone in Africa is poor, but Emily Jane’s experiences helped her understand that many people don’t have as much as she does. In what ways do you think that was helpful for her?
10. If you could choose to go on one of Emily Jane’s adventures, which one would it be? Meeting Grace on the shore of Lake Victoria; visiting Claude in Rwanda and seeing the crocodiles hatch; finding oysters with Ayisha in The Gambia; spending time with the children in Congo; or going to the crocodile pool in Katchikally with Isatou? What about that adventure, and the book as a whole, did you particularly like?