First-Year Text: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Download the Study Guide

Study Guide

  1. Why do you think the novel has the title it has?

  2. What did you like about this book?  Dislike about this book? Give examples of the parts you liked best and liked least.

  3. What part(s) of the book did you not fully understand? Did its content and/or graphic format make the book more interesting or did it confuse you? What were you able to do to gain understanding of the plot?

  4. Did reading a story about the 9/11 attacks bring up any strong emotions or memories for you?  How did this affect your reading of the book? 

  5. What did you think of Oskar’s interactions with the strangers he met on his journey?  What do you think was the author’s purposes in portraying these interactions?  Did any particular ones stand out for you? How did these interactions change Oskar and the people he met?

  6. The author weaves together the stories of multiple generations of Oskar’s family.  What do you think was the author’s intention in interweaving these stories?  What did you think of the relationships these family members had with one another?

  7. What do you make of the symbolism of the key in the book?  How did you feel about the final outcome of the search for the lock?  What effect do you think the author wanted to have with the conclusion?

  8. Some readers find the character Oskar to be too precocious to be believable as a nine year old?  Did you?  Why do you think the author portrayed him this way?  What impact would making Oskar 11, 12, or 13 years old have had on the novel? 

  9. Discuss how the book treats the subject of trauma, loss, and the process of grieving.  Are there any common themes that run through the storyline and the symbols found in this book?  How does trauma impact relationships? Is there any healing? Resolution to the grieving?

  10. In what ways do you think the process of discovery in the novel relates to the discovery process you are about to undertake at Baruch College in the next four years? How do you think you will change? How will that happen?

  11. Some have described the book as a big puzzle mirroring the way Oskar’s father used to share puzzles with him.  What do you think the author intended? Did you view it this way?

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Stephen Francoeur
he / him / his
Newman Library
Room 421
Baruch College
151 E. 25th Street
New York, NY 10010

(646) 312-1620