“Above” Reading Questions

Some Book Club Discussion Questions for Leah Bobet’s “Above”

Cover photo of Above courtesy of http://www.leahbobet.com/fiction.html
Cover photo of Above courtesy of http://www.leahbobet.com/fiction.html

The “Monster”, “Sick”, “Freak”, and “Cursed” people in this book experience severe discrimination. How might their experiences relate to or reflect those of other groups in our society that are stigmatised or discriminated against?

Matthew or Teller is a story teller. Why are stories so important in this novel and how to they help a group of outcast people to find themselves and build a community?

This novel was full of smaller stories about each character. Which one appealed to you most? Why was it so appealing?

The characters in Safe were able to choose their own names. Why is this important and what do their chosen names say about them?

Trauma is an important factor in this novel. How are the characters shaped by their traumatic experiences?

Matthew or Teller’s experience of “home” is a space that is cramped, rank, and unexposed to the sky. How does our upbringing influence our ideas of homeliness?

Why is the telling of stories so important? How do Tales relate to ideas of secrecy and trust?

What did you think of the Whitecoats? Why might scientists and doctors be frightening for some people?

What ideas of “normal” did you question by the end of this book?

How has this book changed the way you view the medical profession?

Derek Newman-Stille

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