Study Guide

In The Woods Appearances

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If you judged In the Woods by its cover, you might think it was a camping guide, albeit one to the creepiest forest ever. (Essentials: flashlight, tent, mace, rape whistle…) Of course we're told not to judge books, people, or people in books by their covers, but that's exactly what a detective has to do. They have to check out the crime scene and the suspects to find clues. The truly successful detectives, however, are the ones who are able to look beneath the surface, who see beyond appearances.

Questions About Appearances

  1. How does Rob judge others by their appearance?
  2. How do the officers define themselves by how they dress? What do their clothes say about them?
  3. Why was Rob self-conscious about his appearance as a young boy?
  4. Are people stereotyped by their appearances in this book? Do bad guys look a certain way, while good guys look another way? Or does the book defy stereotypes (like ugly = bad)? How does this affect your reading of the story?

Chew on This

Rob is pretty superficial. He judges people by how they dress and is easily fooled by how they act, and he rarely tries to understand the why.

Cassie, as a female detective, is accustomed to being on the receiving end of misinterpretations because of her appearance. As a result, she tends to look a bit deeper into people to find their true selves.

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