10. Mattie has a strained relationship with her parents which stems from their overprotection of her as well as their bankruptcy and eventual departure from the Flint Hills. Though she loves them, do you think she was too hard on them? In the end, she and her dad come to an understanding. Do you think their relationship will grow from this point on? Why or why not?
11. There is a moment in the story when Gil visits with the hired hand about Gil's relationship with his dad. This is an important turning point for Gil, and it's also where the book gets its title. What advice does Jake give Gil?
12. Gil has to deal with mistakes from his past, some that are particularly difficult. How could he have managed his problems better so that such heartache wouldn't have occurred in his family? Have you ever made any mistakes in the past that you wish you could erase?
13. Mattie refuses to leave the Flint Hills for California. Some say that if you love someone, you'll do anything for them. Is this true? And if so, should Mattie have given up her dreams in order to be with Gil?
14. The boy in the hospital plays a big part in Gil's understanding of God's forgiveness. What does the boy learn and why is he able to get through to Gil when nothing else could?