Book Club Talking Points

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.
  • Sylvia’s suicide.
  • 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.
  • Charlie’s death.
  • 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
    Violet.
  • 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.
  • The sheriff’s style of justice.
  • The tornado that brought people together.
  • What we can accomplish when we work together.
  • What was Ivy’s greatest life lesson?
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