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 a historical novel for perspective of current hard times
• The Dust Bowl and other ecological issues then/now and our part in them
• Human's relationships with and obligation to animals (and other humans)
• Endangered/extinct species--why it matters: Old Man's sky-blanketing passenger pigeons (pp. 2, 86, 238) & Author's Note
• Treatment of Blacks in those times vs. now
• Treatment of women in those times vs. now
• Treatment of the very elderly
• Zoos vs. circuses--then/now (See 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
• Red's "bucket list": The spectre of a weak heart/short life to fuel her culture-busting dream-chasing
• How childhood shapes us and how much power we have to change it
• My favorite: Power of storytelling (why Woody is writing his story and why it matters; see TED talk quote in Author's Note)
• 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. NOTICE: I've been told that the Kindle version, probably due to length, does not include the Authors Note, Historical Notes, or Acknowledgements. I did not know this until recently. So PLEASE get a print copy for the full effect!]
Have lots of enlightening fun!