Click here to download a PDF of the Common-core aligned discussion guide for THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria E. Andreu

  1. Why doesn’t M.T. want to be called by her full name?
  2. Why is M.T. so mad at her mother?
  3. What is the main theme of The Secret Side of Empty?  In what ways does the author explore it?
  4. The title references the secrets in the book.  M.T. has her one big secret, but what are some of the things other characters are keeping to themselves?  What do you think the author is saying about secrets?
  5. What are some ways in which M.T. makes things harder for herself?  If she was your friend, what advice would you give her?
  6. The Secret Side of Empty touches on the issue of what it’s like to be undocumented.  M.T. is in a situation she didn’t create.  In a way, adolescence is all about coming to grips on where you fit in in a situation that existed before you.  How is M.T.’s struggle similar to that of other teenagers?  How is it different?
  7. Martin Luther King’s quote is used in the book, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”  Why do you think that’s relevant in the context of this book?  Do you agree with that point of view?  Why or why not?


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