This discussion will take place in the library.

Group Members:

Bianca Roberts

Katie Reynolds

Casey Austin

Hannah Elrick

Abby Regan

Janet Lohmann

The Swedish really know how to make you cry!

1. Student Facilitator: Casey Austin

2. Protocols: Protocols are helpful to give everyone in the group the time and chance to speak. Use at least two protocols and customize them to fit your discussion.

  • One minute or less

  • Repeat, but only to agree


  • How did you like the book?

  • What passage(s) made an impact on you?

  • What questions still linger for you?

3. Discussion Questions:

What are the issues and ideas within this novel you’d like to discuss with each other? Be sure to consider various parts of the text (beginning, middle and end). Collaboratively create 15-25 open-ended questions that promote discussion and organize them logically. You can use them within a protocol or on their own.

Personal Response Questions -- These questions might address your personal reactions to the style and content of the novel and ask group members to share and compare.

  • How would you have handled a similar situation as the boy? Any similarities or differences in the way you would've handled/felt about it?

  • If you were Ann-Katrin, would you break the news that you were taken?

  • If you were ann-Katrin, how would you break the news?

  • Do you like how the book was written as a play in some parts?

  • Do you think he committed suicide or not?

Open-ended, analytical questions -- These promote multiple perspectives and don’t yield a single answer. They address the WHY and HOW.

  • What are the symbols and themes of the book?

  • Is he mentally unstable, and did that play a role in his response to the heartbreak?

  • Is Ann-Katrin a reliable or unreliable character (same as reliable and unreliable narrator- how mentally sound, believable, experienced, is she?)

  • How long do you think Ann-Katrin was cheating on him?

  • What is the sister's significance in the story?

Significant passage questions -- Observe, as you would in close reading, the qualities of the text and how the passage brings meaning to the novel overall.

  • Did he actually kill himself?

  • Is his name stated in the book?

  • Do you think that Ann-Katrin actually loved him?

  • Why did he poke holes in the condoms?

  • What was the point of his trip to the United States?

  • Why is he turning his love for Ann-Katrin into a play?

4. Culture & Context

We recognize that we're reading books that take place in different cultures than ours. What do you need to know about this culture that would give you deeper insight to the story? Use a Historical/Biographical approach and pose questions. The bullets below give you some places to start. Each group member should pose at least one question, and each group member should research a resource and post his or her findings that respond to the question. Post a resource for someone else's question. Label your questions and posts so we can see that everyone contributed to both steps.

History and political conflict of the nation depending on the time it takes place: historical articles or current news

Cultural or religious traditions:

  • More of a global theme that consists of first love and heartbreak.

Biographical information about the author

  • One of Sweden’s leading writers for young adults. Worked as a secondary school teacher until he decided to become a full-time writer.

Author information -- interviews, obituaries, statements

Book reviews

  • Heart's Delight was praised as an "affecting, uniquely constructed Swedish novel" by Horn Book reviewer Christine M. Heppermann.
  • Miranda Doyle, writing in School Library Journal, commented that "the novel's melodrama reflects the ups and downs of a first love and first breakup, and readers who want to experience a romance from a male point of view will find it appealing."
  • The Publishers Weekly critic reflects on Heart's Delight, calling it "a memorable presentation of a universal theme"
  • In Kliatt Claire Rosser dubbed it "passionate, romantic, and with a satisfying ending."

5. Pre-Discussion Processing

The purpose of this section is to sort out the basic fiction elements in the novel. We've put it at the bottom of your agenda, but it is the first place you'll start to work. This is a good way to check your understanding of the novel, and the group can use this information as a reference during the discussion. You can use your collective knowledge to answer these questions and build a foundation for your discussion so the conversation can focus on higher level issues.

Post on the wiki prior to discussion and include textual references wherever necessary

Characters - List a significant detail for each character

He/Him/His - Main Character of the book
Ann-Katrin - Another Main Character, Hearts Delight. His lover.
Mother -
Sister - Sister of Him. He is bribed by Ann-Katrin to leave
Nazi-Hans - Ann-Katrin's other lover
Gang - In his story/letters he write to Ann-Katrin
Jane - Sister of Tom, host family
Tom - Host boy of him
Mr/Mrs. Brown - Host Family

Setting - Locations and time periods:


Important plot events - Choose at least 3 significant plot elements and explain their importance

Conflicts - Identify and elaborate on the conflicts that drive the plot

Going to America

Narration (point of view) - Describe how the telling impacts the story

Told by him. He is telling his story in movie form

Important passages - Have at least 5 important passages on the wiki; a brief comment or question about how and why the passage is important should follow each

Him and him and him.
Who am I trying to fool? he thinks with tears in his
eyes. I mean: I think with tears in my eyes
It is, after all, about me.
His is me. I am him.
First-person singular: I.