The Lovely Bones
Chapter Questions
Chapter 1
1. How old is Susie Salmon?
2. In what year does the book begin?
3. What has Mr. Harvey built in the cornfield?
4. Who is Len Fenerman?
5. What happens to Susie at the end of the chapter?
6. What could Susie have done differently in this chapter to prevent what happened?

Chapter 2
1. Describe Susie's heaven.
2. What was Susie's dream while she was still alive?
3. Who is Holly? 
4. Who is Franny?
5. What are the two things Susie wants to happen?
6. How do each of Susie's family members deal with her disappearance? (see below)
  • mother
  • father
  • Lindsey
  • Buckley
7. What possessions of Susie's do the police find in the cornfield?
8. (a.) Who do the police first suspect of Susie's murder? (b.) Why? (2 possible reasons)
9. What causes Susie's mother to finally break down in tears?
Chapter 3
1. (a.) Who does Susie touch on her way from Earth to heaven? (b.) Describe this person.
2. What does Susie want to be when she grows up?
3. What gift does Susie receive for her eleventh birthday?
4. What is Mr. Salmon's nickname for his wife?
5. What is different about Susie's mother when Susie takes her picture?
6. (a.) What is Mr. Salmon's hobby? (a.) How would Susie help with this when she was younger?
7. Susie appears briefly to her father. Explain this scene.
Chapter 4
1. How does Mr. Harvey cover up the crime?
2. What does Susie tell us about Mr. Harvey's past?
3. How does Susie's narrative perspective help the novel? In other words, what are we able to see that we would not be able to if the narrator were someone else?
4. Where does Mr. Harvey take Susie's body?
5. What does Mr. Harvey build in the backyard?
6. What does Mr. Salmon start to think after his interaction with Mr. Harvey?
Chapter 5
1. How is Mr. Salmon dealing with Susie's death?
2. (a.) What is "walking dead syndrome"? (b.) Who is suffering from this the most?
3. Why do you think Mrs. Salmon hates hearing Buckley call her "Momma"?
4. What do we learn about Mr. Harvey from Len Fenerman's visit to his house?
5. What does this line mean? "Though unaware of it, he had begun a list of the dead." (66)
6. (a.) Who is Samuel Heckler? (b.) Why does he come to the Salmon house for Christmas?
7. How does Mr. Salmon use Monopoly to explain Susie's death to Buckley?
8. How do Mr. and Mrs. Salmon differ in how they cope with Susie's death?
Chapter 6
1. What has Ruth done that has made her teachers angry?
2. What does Susie mean when she describes Ruth as "the quietest kind of rebel" (77)?
3. Why do Ruth and Ray suddenly become friends?
4. How would you describe Mr. and Mrs. Salmon's relationship in the months following Susie's death?
5. What does Ruana Singh advise Mr. Salmon to do?
Chapter 7
1. Why do you think the author included the passage about the grave rubbings and the dead knight (91-92)?
2. What happened to Buckley while Susie was babysitting him?
3. Why do you think the author included this flashback to the babysitting scene?
Chapter 8
1. What are the "not still dreams" that Mr. Harvey has (96)?
2. Why do you think chapter eight is included in the novel?
Chapter 9
1. Describe Susie's grandmother.
2. How does Susie's grandmother change the attitudes of everyone in the house?
3. How does Ray say goodbye to Susie?
4. What important piece of information does Grandma Lynn give Lindsey at the end of the funeral?
5. How does Lindsey react when Grandma Lynn gives her this piece of information?
Chapter 10
1. How has Ruth been coping with Susie's death? (What kinds of things has she been doing?)
2. Where do Lindsey and Samuel go for the summer?
3. According to Franny, what does Susie need to do in order to be truly happy in heaven?
4. What is the final project they must complete at camp?
5. (a.) What is Susie's ideal weapon for the perfect murder? (b.) Why?
Chapter 11
1. Why does Mr. Harvey kill animals?
2. When he goes down to his basement, what is Mr. Harvey trying to avoid doing?
3. (a.) Who is Claire? (b.) Explain what happened between Mr. Harvey and her.
4. Why does Len Fenerman visit the Salmons' house?
5. Why does Mr. Salmon go into the cornfield at night?
6. What happens when he is in the cornfield?
Chapter 12
1. (a.) Who does Buckley run to when the family discovers Mr. Salmon is not in the house? (b.) What does this tell us about Buckley's relationship with his mother?
2. Why does Mrs. Salmon want to hear Len say "my daughter's murder" (147)?
3. What is your opinion of Abigail so far in the novel? Explain why you feel this way.
4. Describe Mrs. Salmon and Susie's relationship when Susie was young.
Chapter 13
1. Describe Mr. Salmon and Buckley's relationship in this chapter.
2. Why do you think the author repeatedly mention the chores Mrs. Salmon does around the house? (making lunches, ironing and folding clothes, etc.)
3. What is Mr. Salmon's reaction when he sees Lindsey shaving her legs?
4. When Mr. Salmon and Lindsey talk in the bathroom, what unspoken request does Mr. Salmon make?
Chapter 14
1. When Mr. Harvey lies to people about his past, how does he create his fake wives?
2. Why does Mr. Harvey go to Valley Forge Park?
3. What does Lindsey envision when she sneaks into Mr. Harvey's house?
4. Who is the youngest victim Mr. Harvey has attacked?
5. What does Lindsey steal from Mr. Harvey's house?
Chapter 15
1. What advice does George Harvey's mother give to him?
2. What lesson does George Harvey learn from the experience with the three men coming after his mother?
3. How does Mr. Harvey explain the drawing of the hole in the cornfield?
4. Why does Mrs. Salmon have an affair with Len?
Chapter 16
1. Why do Ruth and Ray kiss?
2. Why do you think Mrs. Salmon has no interest in attending the memorial for Susie?
3. Who attends the memorial?

1. Why doesn't Mr. Salmon want to help Buckley build his fort?
2. What bothers Mr. Salmon about the family that moves into Mr. Harvey's old house?
3. What is strange about the story Buckley writes at school?
4. When the police return to the cornfield to investigate, what do they find?
5. (a.) What job does Mrs. Salmon get in California? (b.) What does she like about this job?
6. When Mrs. Salmon is in a gift shop or a cafe, what happens to her?
7. What is Ruth's special power? Provide an example where she uses this power.
8. Why does Len want to wait to inform the Salmons about the connection to Susie's murder in Delaware?
9. How does Hal Heckler make the connection between Ralph Cichetti's wife and Mr. Harvey?
10. Who does Susie reunite with at the end of the chapter?

Chapter 17
1. How do Samuel and Lindsey discover their future house?
2. What worries Lindsey about marrying Samuel?
3. What does Buckley see in the living room?

Chapter 18
1. What does Ruth envision when she is in Central Park?
2. (a.) What does Buckley use to stake the tomatoes in his garden? (b.) Why does this upset Mr. Salmon?
3. (a.) Who does Susie reunite with in heaven? (b.) When he says, "Don't worry sweetheart. You're so close", what does he mean? Close to what (261)?

Chapter 19
1. (a.) Where does Mrs. Salmon leave Susie's school photo? (b.) Why does she do this?
2. (a.) Why is Buckley so angry towards his mother? (b.) Why do you think Lindsey does not have that same anger?
3. Do you think Mrs. Salmon will stay with the family, or will she return to California? Why do you think this? (Your answer should be more than one sentence.)
Chapter 20
1. Why do you think Susie starts keeping a list of the living?
2. What does Mrs. Salmon think about whenever she encounters a strange man?
3. Why do you think Mrs. Salmon is startled when she hears the bell ring at the diner?
4. What was the turning point that caused Mr. Harvey's life to spin out of control?
Chapter 21
1. How was Joe Ellis affected by Susie's death?
2. Why do Ruth and Ray go to visit the sinkhole?
3. Why does Len Fenerman go to visit Mr. and Mrs. Salmon?
4. Where does Mr. Harvey go when he is out for a drive?
Chapter 22
1. What happens between Susie and Ruth at the beginning of the chapter?
2. Why do you think Susie chooses to spend her limited time on Earth with Ray?
3. Who does Susie call on the phone?
Chapter 23
1. Lindsey thinks back to Susie's first memorial. (a.) Who left the yellow daffodils in the field? (b.) Does this change your opinion of this character? Why or why not?
2. What is Mrs. Singh's complaint about her husband?
3. Why do you think Susie "had come to love [Grandma Lynn] more after death than [she] ever had on Earth." (315)?
4. What has Susie been waiting for during her time in heaven?
5. What does Hal Heckler buy for Buckley?
1. How has Susie changed from her first days in heaven to now?
2. What is the only thing about Mr. Harvey that appears unordinary?
3. What happens to Mr. Harvey at the Manchester diner?
4. How does Lindsey honor Susie's memory?
5. When someone finds Susie's charm bracelet and comments, "This little girl's grown up by now", what does Susie mean when she says, "Almost. Not quite." (328)?
6. What did you think of the book? Did you like it? Dislike it? Be specific and explain what you liked/disliked.