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Themes

Community sure isn't simple in A Day No Pigs Would Die. For one thing, there are lots of different communities, from the townspeople to the nearby farmers to the kids at school. But here's the thing: the Pecks don't really seem to fit in anywhere. They're different because of their religion and because of their strict, plain way of living. So for the Pecks, successful community seems to be a complicated, delicate dance between being "neighborly"—that is, sharing, caring, and other touchy-feely stuff—and keeping juuust the right amount of distance.

Questions About Community

  1. What do you think is the most important community to the Peck family? Can a family be a community? How do you define a community?
  2. Do you think needing to be part of various communities (the school community, the town community, etc.) threatens the Peck's way of life at all? Do they have to make any compromises to cope with community expectations?
  3. The Peck family members are in many ways outsiders in their world. Can you think of anyone else in the book who is an outsider in some way?
  4. If there were a kid like Rob Peck in your school, how do you think he'd be treated? Do you think he'd fit in? What would you think of him?
  5. Why don't we hear much about the Shaker community?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The most important "community" in the book is a community of two—Rob and Papa. All the other communities in Rob's life are secondary to his relationship with Papa.

The people of the larger community like and respect Rob's father (as evidenced by the turnout at his funeral), but mostly because their values aren't really all that different from his own.

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