| Quote #1
Everyone in his family had always liked the fact that "Stanley Yelnats" was spelled the same frontward and backward. So they kept naming their sons Stanley. Stanley was an only child, as was every other Stanley Yelnats before him.
Family is both a blessing and curse (literally!). Stanley is able to keep the hope alive because, well, it's in his genes. But the narrator suggests that maybe this hope isn't always the best way to stay happy. What do you think?
| Quote #2
"If it makes you feel better to call me Mom, Theodore, go ahead and call me Mom." (5.36)
Why do the boys call Mr. Pendanski "Mom"? Is there something motherly about him? And one other thing: are they just making fun of this guy, or is there some comfort in thinking about D Tent as a kind of family?
| Quote #3
"What's in the box?" asked Squid.
Squid scowled. Awesome sentence, don't you think? But why does Squid scowl when he finds out that Stanley is writing to his mother? What does it tell us about Squid himself, and his relationship to his own family?