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The Graduation of Jake Moon

About The Book

How can you love someone and resent him at the same time?

Jake Moon used to love the time he spent with his grandfather, Skelly, but that was before Skelly got Alzheimer’s disease. All of a sudden, it’s as if Skelly is the kid, and Jake has to be the grown-up. Much of Skelly’s care becomes Jake’s responsibility, and that doesn’t leave much time for a life of his own.

Then, one day Jake rebels, and the unthinkable happens. Has Jake discovered too late how much his grandfather still means to him?

Barbara Park, one of today’s most popular and versatile authors, has created a funny, honest, and unforgettable portrait of a boy struggling to understand this debilitating disease and graduate to a more sympathetic and accepting relationship with his beloved grandfather.

Reading Group Guide


By Barbara Park
Fourteen-year-old Jake Moon recalls the last four years of life with his beloved grandfather who has Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease; Grandfathers; Families; Responsibilities; School stories
- Do you understand how Jake can be so embarrassed by yet still love his grandfather? How would you react?
- How would your life change if someone in your family required constant care because of Alzheimer's? For what other reasons would someone require care?
- Why do Jake and his cousin James not get along? What do they not understand about each other?
- Using the contact information at the end of the book, begin to find out more about Alzheimer's disease.
- If there is a local Alzheimer's care center in the area, invite a caseworker, caregiver, or a family member to share their experiences and knowledge.
- Contact the local police department and television stations to discover how they approach a missing family member. What do they both need and how does their help differ?
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This reading group guide is for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Prepared by Julie Tomlianovich, South Central KS Library System
© William Allen White Children's Book Award

About The Author

Barbara Lynne Park was an author of children's books

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