Chapter 1: How did you feel about the characterization of Bud and Molly? Are they believable? Do you think that a couple could provide a foster home like theirs?
Chapter 2: How do you feel toward Mike Turnat? Do you see him as a protagonist or antagonist? Why? Do you think he could become a likeable character?
Chapter 3: Are you beginning to feel a sense of place? As you read and envision places in the book, can you imagine visiting them?
Chapter 4: This chapter is set in the local high school. Is Mike fitting in or is he an outcast? What do you think was Mary’s purpose in writing this chapter? What ideas was she trying to get across?
Chapter 5: Does the title of the book relate to the book’s contents? What other title might you choose? Mary was instrumental in designing the book’s cover. How well does it convey what the book is about?
Chapter 6: What do you think of the characters of the younger boys in the family? Are their words and actions believable? Are they likeable? Do you get to know the other characters through them? What parts do they play in the plot?
Chapter 7: Does the book’s pace seem too fast/too slow/just right? If you could add or take away a section or part of the book, what would it be?
Chapter 8: Nikki has a flashback of her childhood as she lies on the kitchen floor. What does her stream-of-conscious memory add to the story? Does it make her a more pitiful character or do you admire her ability to withstand so much pain? Neither Mike nor Nikki act to help Trish. What does this say about them?
Chapter 9: Mike runs from the police without knowing the truth of Trish’s accident. How culpable is he for running? Why do you think Nikki did not call police but waited on someone to come to her?
Chapter 10: “He [Mike] caused pain the way he had known pain.” Is this a true statement about humans in general? Do you think Mike regrets his actions? What makes you say so?
General questions for after reading the novel:
- What did you think of length of This World So Fierce? If it’s too long, what would you cut? If too short, what would you add?
- How well do you think the author built the world in the book?
- Share a favorite quote from the book. Why did this quote stand out?
- How original and unique is This World So Fierce?
- If you had the chance to ask Mary one question about This World So Fierce, what would it be?