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by Janne Teller

Nothing Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why does Pierre Anthon think nothing matters, and why does he choose the first day of 7th grade to announce it?
  2. Why does Teller use the brief "three statements" interjections throughout the book? (For example, "Victory is sweet. Victory is. Victory.") Seriously, what's that about?
  3. Which child do you think gives up the most meaningful thing, and why?
  4. Taering, the town in which Nothing takes place, comes from a Danish verb meaning "to consume or corrode." How does Pierre Anthon's statement lead to the consumption and corrosion of the characters?
  5. How could the pile of meaning actually be displayed in an art gallery? What might the people who look at it think it means?
  6. It's likely that at least one of the boys gave up his virginity at the same time as Sofie. Why do you think he (or they) didn't go crazy, too? What's the difference here?
  7. At what point do you think the sacrifices cross the line to things people shouldn't have to give up? What makes you say so?
  8. Why does it matter so much to Agnes if Pierre Anthon thinks her career goals are silly?

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