Jana is happy to do a zoom meeting or phone call discussion with your book club for both FLY LIKE A BIRD and THE CHILDREN’S TRAIN. Send a message through the CONTACT tab to schedule an event with Jana.
THE CHILDREN’S TRAIN
The story from the point of view of the children.
The story from the point of view of the parents.
The personality of the characters and how each one coped.
The trauma of loss despite freedom.
The willingness to help others who are
persecuted/refugees/different from us.
Belief in God despite all evidence to the contrary.
The struggle of reconnecting after tragedy.
Fighting hatred with our lives.
The idea of sending your children to live with strangers.
Mr. Frank’s suicide.
Bruno the dog’s role and his death.
Peter’s journey into manhood.
Is it best to stay together and die, or be saved?
England’s response and the United State’s response.
Eva and William, betrayal within the family.
The matrons at the prison camp. Betrayal within your people.
The rescue of Sloan and Mica.
The symbolism of soccer and the violin.
The torture of Eddie.
The meaning of the orange.
The death of William.
Marla’s family journey of loss and survival.
Peter’s fear and bravery.
Noah’s youthful genius.
The idea that victory is survival with love and appreciation, and music.
Would you have sent your children on the train?
FLY LIKE A BIRD
Did the birds really talk to Grandma Violet?
The community of a small town and the sense of belonging.
The wider concept of family.
The acceptance of people different than you.
The subtle injustices and who will stand up if they don’t affect you?
Is truth more important than protecting a child’s perception?
Can betrayal in families be forgiven?
The thefts of Luther and his skill of repairing things.
Uncle Tommy’s pranks on Uncle Walter and Edna Jean.
Grandmothers raising grandchildren. The sacrifices Grandma Violet made for Ivy and the sacrifices Ivy made for Grandma
The wisdom of Pinky and Mr. Norton in how to navigate the world.
Accepting the oddities of our families.
Angela being hidden during her pregnancy.
Use story examples to talk about combating violence by standing up for each other.
Russell and Angela and the kinship of cousins.
Ivy and Nick’s relationship.
Overt vs. subtle racism and how a community can fight it.
Cruelty and humanity, what decides how we will react?
Are children responsible for their parents’ actions?
Why was Ivy drawn to Jesse?
Miss Shirley and her mushrooms.
Ivy’s desire to be accepted by Maggie’s neighborhood.
Rosie Buckley’s dogs and surrounding herself with the clutter of her life.