Discussion Guide for Broken Stone

20 Questions
A Study Guide for Broken Stone
created by Gabriele Goldstone

1. Katya’s farm in the Soviet Union became part of a collective? What is a collective?

2. Katya spent time in a Siberian Gulag. What is a Gulag?

3. What is a ration card? Why were they needed in the Soviet Union in 1931?

4. Where is East Prussia? Can you find it on a map? What is it called now?

5. Where is Königsberg? Can you find it on a map? What is it called now?

6. What is the mathematical problem of the Seven Bridges of Königsberg? Who came up with this math problem?

7. Do you think Katya’s papa should have kept his children with him in the Soviet Union? Why or why not?

8. What do you think might have happened to Aunt Helena when she returned to the Soviet Union?

9. What kind of horses was East Prussia famous for?

10. How have zoos changed since the 1930s? What happens to a zoo during war?

11. Who was Horst Wessel?

12. What was the famine called that Katya’s father and her dog Zenta experienced back in the Soviet Union in 1932-33?  How did it come about? What were its consequences.

13. Who or what were Bolsheviks?

14. Why do you think Hitler was so popular?

15. Compare technology from Katya’s time to the present-day.

16. Some books were banned during the Nazi times. Why? Are any books banned today? Should some books be censored? Why or why not?

17. Katya does a lot of housework. Do you do housework? What do like and what do you try to avoid?

18. Anni joins the League of German Girls. What was that?

19. Do you think Katya will be happy at her new job? Why or why not?

20. Are books still an important way to understand the world? Why or why not?

Extensions and Activities:

1. Find a recipe for “Königsberger Klopse” and try making them.
2. Try finding recipes and baking some of the following: pigs’ ears, räder kuchen, streusselkuchen, sandkuchen, bienenstich.
3. Trace Katya’s journeys on a map. What makes this difficult?
4. Visit a senior and ask them about their favorite recipe. Try to make it and share it with them.
5. Katya's stories are based on old family photographs. Find some of your own old photographs and write a story about them.

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