About the Book
In 1930, eight-year-old Abby Nichols lives with her quiet mother, angry father, and younger sister. But Abby’s world is changing fast, and she can’t imagine what her future holds. Soon there will be new siblings to take care of, a new house to move into, and new friends to meet. But there will also be goodbyes to say and hard choices to make. As Abby grows older, how will she decide what sort of life will fit her best?
- How is life different for Abby and her family once they move into town? Do you live in a city, suburb, or rural setting? Where would you prefer to live?
- Do you think Abby’s father treats people fairly? Why or why not?
- Why was Abby upset when her father got her a watch instead of a doll for her birthday?
- What reasons does Pop give for not wanting Abby to take the job that Miss Maynard offers her? What do you think his real reasons are?
- Abby’s father frequently says, “the subject is closed” when he does not want to deal with something. What subjects does he close the door on, and how do the women in his family react to his orders?
- Abby and her father have very different opinions of people. Explain their differences in opinion.
- Think of another book in which one of the characters has a disability similar to Fred’s. Were they treated in the same way that Fred was?
- What do you think of Abby’s decision to turn down Zander’s marriage proposal and move to New York City? What would you have done?
- Even though the family becomes wealthier, Abby’s mother does not want the children to be spoiled. Do you think she succeeds at this? Why do you think it’s so important to her?
- What do you think the title, Better to Wish, means?
Ann M. Martin Author Study
Ignite your students' love of reading with an Ann M. Martin Author Study and introduce them to the tween-pleasing The Baby-sitters Club and Main Street series, plus her stand-alone novels including A Dog's Life, and the Newbery Honor-winning A Corner of the Universe.