GREAT! I've been getting many requests for suggestions for book club chats. While there aren't any prepared discussion questions per se, I bet you can come up with some yourselves if everyone has read the novel--a dozen should jump off the page.
HOWEVER, I did see the following question posted on Goodreads, and the answers readers suggested can offer a jumpstart along with some of my notes to guide you:
Do you think there are enough issues for a good book club discussion?
Topics might include:
- -life during the Great Depression
- -value of such an historical novel for perspective of current hard times
- -the Dust Bowl and other ecological issues then/now and our part in it
- -human's relationships with and obligation to animals (and other humans)
- -treatment of blacks in those times
- -treatment of women in those times
- -treatment of very elderly in "old folk's" homes
- -zoos vs. circuses--then/now (be sure to read Author's Note)
- -tolerance of lying and stealing in desperate times
- -the unanswered questions about the Old Man's past and why Author left us to wonder
- -how childhood shapes us and how much power we have to change it
- -endangered/extinct species then and now (why it matters: Old Man's pigeons; Author's Note)
- -power of storytelling (why Woody is writing down his story and why it matters; see TED talk quote in Author's Note)
• And, again, be sure to read the novel's Author's Note, for points mentioned above but also for overall spurring of discussion: I tell why I wrote it, how I uncovered the true story and especially about how/why today's best zoos have turned into conservation organizations.
Hope this helps your book club discussion. Have lots of enlightening fun!