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We Deserve Monuments

We Deserve Monuments

When seventeen-year-old Avery moves to rural Georgia to live with her ailing grandmother, she discovers romance along with decades-old family secrets and a mystery surrounding the town's racist past.
We Deserve Monuments

Share this book

We Deserve Monuments is a story rooted in all types of relationships. As you discuss the relationships in the book, ask students to think about the types of relationships in their own lives.

Have them work in pairs to identify scenarios in the book where the situation called for building trust, showing respect, or gaining support between the characters in the relationship. They should note how the characters handled the challenge as well as offer their own ideas about what the characters could have said or done.

Then have students use what they’ve read and discussed to create some discussion cards to help others have conversations that help build strong relationships. For example, one card might present a scenario from the book about microaggressions and ask for discussion about what do you say when a friend launches a microaggression at another friend. Make these cards available to students or book clubs reading We Deserve Monuments or to spark conversation about relationships.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

  1. Why has so much of Avery’s family history been kept from her? How does the friction between Avery, her mother Zora, and Mama Letty affect Avery? What do you think is more important, sharing our stories, knowing the truth or keeping the peace?
  2. What are the effects of the legacy of racial violences and trauma in Avery’s family? How do you think this legacy will echo in generations to come? How do you feel about the justice left undone?
  3. What does this book say about grief? What are the different ways that grief shows among Avery and her friends and family members?
  4. In what ways does Avery change by connecting to her roots? What does she realize about herself and her friend group from DC? What do you think helps her find her own identity and authentic voice?

Related Resources

NPR interview with the author
Using Literature to Help Teens Develop Healthy Relationships from Edutopia

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