1. The term "character arc" refers to the changes and growth a character experiences through the course of a story. Discuss the arcs of the Dreamhouse Kings characters from their introductions to the last page of Frenzy. Who changed the most? In what way?
2. After all was said and done, David believed that staying in the house so they could fix the future was the right thing to do. Do you agree? Have you ever done something because it was the right thing to do, even though it was dangerous or other people thought it was foolish? What?
3. Time travel is such an odd idea--something that no one has ever done--that many people, including scientists and authors, have very differing views about it. Have you read any other books that involved time travel? How was it depicted differently than the way it worked in the Dreamhouse Kings?
4. Where didn't the Kings go in history that you would have liked them to go? What would have happened to them there?
5. Through the terror of losing their mother and having to face all the dangers of the worlds, the King family learned how much they love and need one another. How do you show your family that you love them? Is there anything you can do differently that would express your love even more?
6. Some of the Kings' "work" to find Mom didn't pan out; for example, Toria and Dad went to Los Angeles and discovered that Phemus was from Atlantis, but Xander and David found it out by going to Atlantis at almost the same time. The author wanted to show that not all of our efforts lead to the solutions we're looking for. Sometimes they seem wasted. Has that ever happened to you? Because we don't always know how to fix something, we have to try different things--some of which will have great outcomes and some of which will fall flat. How do you feel about that?
7. Some of the mysteries of the house aren't explained and some problems aren't resolved. For example: Will the Kings really fix the future? How? Is Taksidian gone forever? Why was Taksidian using slaves f rom Atlantis (and not from somewhere else) as helpers? Why and how are the Kings (and their forbears) responsible for fixing history? The author had two intentions in mind for leaving these things unanswered: (1) To encourage each reader to use his or her imagination to "fill in the blanks"; and (2) to show that life's puzzles aren't always answered. Some things we learn in time . . . other things we never understand. What are your thoughts about this? Do you prefer stories that are neatly wrapped up, or ones that leave you wondering about some things?
8. In your opinion, what is the "purpose" of the house?
9. The "theme" of a story is the underlying message or messages about life the author is trying to convey. It is the lesson or moral of the story, such as Love conquers all. What do you think the theme of the Dreamhouse Kings is? (There can be more than one.)