Study Guide

Homeless Bird Lies and Deceit

By Gloria Whelan

Lies and Deceit

There must be a lot of pants on fire in Homeless Birds—it seems like everyone is lying in this book, especially Koly's cruel mother-in law, Mrs. Mehta. First she hides the fact that her son is terminally ill, then she steals Koly's pension and tries to get her paws on her precious silver earrings. Last but not least? Mrs. Mehta deceives Koly about her plans to ditch her along the route to Delhi. Yep, that's a lot of lies—and we've only looked at one character. Throughout this story, people don't hesitate to deploy deceit to get their way.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Is there a difference between the lies Mrs. Mehta tells and the ones Koly does? Why or why not?
  2. Track Koly's lies throughout the book. Whom does Koly deceive in the book and what patterns do you notice? What goals does she have when she lies?
  3. How does lying affect the relationships in the book? How does Koly feel when she learns she's been lied to?

Chew on This

Homeless Bird argues that lying can get innocent people hurt, abandoned, and emotionally wounded, so you should never ever do it.

Sometimes lying is necessary, and Homeless Bird argues that there are times when you need to lie in order to protect yourself—and this is okay.

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