The Last Summer of the Death Warriors takes place in the dry, mountainous
landscape of Las Cruces and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Describe how
the landscape interacts with and affects the story. Why is the desert
landscape appropriate for this story?
When Pancho arrives at St. Anthony’s, he has a strong suspicion
that his sister was murdered. What evidence does Pancho have for
this suspicion? Does he gather more evidence as the story unfolds?
How would you describe Pancho’s relationship with his sister
Rosa? When she’s alive? After she dies?
What kind of relationship did Pancho have with his father? Can
you point to places in the book where the memory of his father influences
Pancho’s primary motivation through the book is revenge for
his sister’s death. How does his desire for revenge manifest
itself? Do you think Pancho’s anger increases or decreases
as the story progresses? What happens to his desire for revenge as
he becomes involved with D.Q., Marisol, Josie? Do you find that Pancho
is a likable character, despite his anger? If so, what makes you
sympathetic towards him?
What role does boxing play in the book? Why is boxing so important
If revenge is Pancho’s primary motivation, what would you
say is D.Q.’s? What is his goal? What doe he want to accomplish
in what he believes are the remaining days of his life? Does he succeed?
If you had a form of terminal cancer like D.Q., would you react as
Describe the relationship between D.Q. and Pancho? What is Pancho’s
initial reaction to D.Q.? Do you think their relationship changes
over time? Compare how Pancho feels towards D.Q. at the beginning
of the book and at the end?
How would you describe D.Q.’s faith? Do you think he believes
in God? In life after death? How would you compare D.Q.’s faith
Compare D.Q.’s views toward his illness and its treatment
to Helen’s (D.Q.’s mother). Would you say that Helen’s
perspective is more optimistic than D.Q.s? If you were Helen, would
you act the way she does in the book? Do you agree with Helen that
healing requires hope? Do you think that D.Q. has hope? If so, what
does he hope for?
What role do you think that Johnny Corazon plays in the story?
What is the significance of the ceremony between Pancho, D.Q. and
Johnny Corazon out in the mountains? What kind of healing, if any,
do you think takes place during that ceremony?
Do you think that Pancho is in love with Marisol? If so, how does
he deal with the fact that D.Q. is in love with her as well? What
happens between Pancho and D.Q. when Marisol comes into the picture?
Do you think that D.Q. is justified in feeling angry towards Pancho?
Do you think that Pancho does the right thing in forgiving Robert
Lewis’ life? Why does Pancho decide not to kill him? Why does
he write in his sister’s diary at the end?
Do you think the book has a hopeful ending? Do you think it is
better for D.Q. to return to St. Anthony’s? What is the significance
of Pancho and D.Q. sharing a room together?
What is the significance of the Death Warrior Manifesto? Why is
D.Q. writing it? What is a Death Warrior? Do you think that Pancho
and D.Q. live up to the principles of a Death Warrior?