-Research the history of the Nicaraguan contras during the 1980s. Were the contras the evil force described in Animal Dreams, or were they freedom fighters opposing communist tyranny as many in the United States believed?

-Research the subject of industrial pollution in the United States and the methods that different communities and environmental groups have used to combat it. What methods are people using today? What is most effective? What is being done to cut down on industrial pollution currently?

-Research the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and show how they are reflected in the character of Doc Homer.

-Some reviewers have argued that the character Loyd Peregrina is too perfect-he is too good to be true-and this is a flaw in the novel. Do you agree with this verdict? Are the male characters in Animal Dreams presented as convincingly as the female ones?

-Is Doc Homer a sympathetic character, or is he someone the reader is likely to dislike?

-Which sister, Codi or Hallie, appeals to you the most and why?