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Discussion Module

Bottled Up
Jaye Murray

Publishing Information: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2004
ISBN: 0803728972/0142402400 (PB)
: 220
Ages: 15 & Up

A high school boy comes to terms with his drug addiction, life with an alcoholic father, and a younger brother who looks up to him.

Subject Headings & Major Themes:

Drug Abuse
Family Problems
High Schools
Substance Abuse Education

Awards & Reviews:
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2005

School Library Journal, June 2003, p.146

Discussion Questions and Ideas:

  1. Tell how you think Pip feels when his brother is hurt.
  2. What factors/people do you feel helped change Pip?
  3. Do you believe that cycles of abuse/violence can be broken?
  4. How does each one of us discover who he/she is as opposed to who he/she thinks she should be?
  5. Contrast the statements Pip makes with his actual thoughts.
  6. We all have responsibilities and expectations placed upon us, so how much do we control our own lives?
  7. Give an example of how different choices might bring different consequences.
  8. Pip has become "bottled up," how does he begin to open up?
  9. What do you think Pip is most afraid of?
  10. Who do you think helps Pip the most?
  11. Talk about how the different members of Pip's family deal with his abusive father.

Related Websites:
Family Problems
The Psychology Shop -
National Domestic Violence Hotline -
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence -

Substance Abuse
Lesson Planet's Lesson Plans for Teaching about Drug Abuse -
Drugs & Teen Substance Abuse by Focus AS -
Children of Alcoholics Foundation -
National Association for Children of Alcoholics -
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence -
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration -
Self-Awareness Quotes -
National Mental Health Association -

Amaryllis by Craig Crist-Evans, 2003 (2005 RITBA Nominee)
Brothers by Julian Thompson, 1998
Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zusak, 2001
Miracle's Boys
by Jacqueline Woodson, 2000
River Danger by Thomas Dygard, 1998
Shadow Boxer by Chris Lynch, 1993
Timon's Tide
by Charles Butler, 2000

Family Problems
The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin, 1998
Margaux with an X
by Ronald Koertge, 2004
Shooter by Walter Dean Myers, 2004
by S.L. Rottman, 2004

Blood Relations by Chris Lynch, 1996
Blue Mirror
by Kathe Koja, 2004
The Moonlight Man by Paula Fox, 1986
Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez, 1996
Rules of the Road
by Joan Bauer, 1998
Things Change
by Patrick Jones, 2004
We All Fall Down
by Robert Cormier, 1991
Whistle Me Home
by Barbara Wersba, 1997

Drug Abuse
Angel Dust Blues by Todd Strasser, 1981
The Beast by Walter Dean Myers, 2003
The Hanged Man by Francesca Lia Block, 1994
Stoner & Spaz by Ron Koertge, 2002
The White Horse by Cynthia D. Grant, 1998

About the Author:
First-time novelist Jaye Murray is a social worker who lives in New Rochelle, New York. She received her Master of Arts in Writing from Manhattanville College May, 2004.

| ©2004 - Rhode Island Teen Book Award Committee | Aaron Coutu, Chair