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Lit Circles - Primary: Game of the Goose

About the book

The Game of the Goose by Ursula Dubosarsky

'In her hand was a hinged wooden box with a black clasp. On the lid was a painting of a white bird with a long neck, its wings stretched out in flight. Fred rubbed in with her fingers, wiping away the dust. There were some words, written in gold. 'The Game of the Goose,' she read slowly. Fred felt strange. She shivered. 'Open it,' said Rowley.'


So begins the Game of the Goose. Fred, Rowley and Rabbit hardly knew each other before the game. But the game changed everything. It took each of them on an adventure – a terrifying, wonderful adventure of hoping and saving and living and dying. It was a journey that they would remember forever.

GENRE: Mystery and suspense


  • Magic
  • Caring for each other
  • Resilience
  • Fear and Courage
  • Competition
  • Hope

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Extension material


Questions for your circle

  • Each of the characters encounters adventures during the game and learns important life lessons from these experiences. What lessons are these?
  • Have you ever been involved in clubs like the one the children are making? What do you think of the rules of the children’s club? 
  • Why do you think Fred was so persistent in bullying Rabbit into handing over all his money and giving up the Noah’s Ark that he wanted? Is there some force beyond her control that made her so persistent?
  •  There are three pieces in the game – the key, the dagger, and the silver shoes – and three paths. What ideas are suggested by each of these pieces and different paths? What predictions can you make about what will happen as the children enter into the game? 
  • What do you think the meaning of the inscription is: ‘The race is not always to the swift, or the battle to the strong. But whoever hopes the most …’ ?