Crossing The Wire Discussion Questions

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

In 'Crossing the Wire', Hobbs explores the hot topic of immigration through the personal experience of Victor and those he meets along the way. Guide your middle or high school students in meaningful conversation by using these discussion questions.

Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs

Crossing the Wire is an in-depth exploration of immigration from the perspective of a teenager who enters the United States from Mexico in order to find work so he can support his family. Victor faces significant challenges and meets several people along the way. This book is a great way to open the discussion with your middle or high school students about the complexities of immigration policy, enforcement, and reform.

You may choose to use these questions to engage in a one-on-one discussion with a single student. Alternatively, you could provide a list of questions to student teams or use them as a springboard for a whole group conversation. When determining grouping, consider that students may face significant challenges in discussing these topics with one another. Determine whether some questions should be eliminated or addressed in a more closely monitored manner.

Crossing Connections

  • Do you think Victor will eventually encounter any of the people he met during his journey? Use the novel to identify and address each one individually. What do you think happened to each one of them? Do you think they were successful in their respective quests? Why or why not?
  • How is Victor treated by people in power during his journey (i.e. police, Border Patrol, Juvenile Detention Center staff, Jarra, etc.)? Do you think this book provides an accurate depiction of the experiences of someone crossing the border on their own? Which details are most realistic? Least realistic? Compare and contrast Victor's juvenile detention center experiences and those of immigrant children today.
  • When Victor arrives in Tucson, he finds out that Rico's brother recently left. Why did he leave? Do you think he should have been deported for his actions? Do you think he was guilty of wrongdoing or was unfairly targeted? Explain your reasoning. Do you think any incident of wrongdoing should result in deportation or are there different levels that should receive varied consequences? Explain fully.

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