I run a book club. From time to time, I find it almost impossible to find good study guides/discussion questions for the books we are reading. So I thought I would share the study guides that I created myself and offer them for your use with your own book club. I do not mind if you use these, but would greatly appreciate feedback if you found them useful.
Discussion Questions for Uninvited by: Sophie Jordan
- What do you think of these stats? (Chapter One)
- Labeling and stereotyping is a major theme throughout this novel. The HTS carriers, like Davy, were automatically labeled as killers. Discuss the impact of this label on Davy. If you are labeled as a killer, will you become one? If you are labeled as a killer, is it easier to become one?
- Davy says to herself, “Zak will still be there. My real friends, they won’t change because I haven’t changed.” How does Zak react? Would you have reacted the same way? Davy tells Zak, “I’m still the same person. I’m still the same girl you loved yesterday.” Is she really the same person?
- How does only being with other carriers affect the carriers? How does it affect Davy? Does this breed murder? How would you feel to be caged with carriers?
- A government mandate is eventually passed that requires everyone to get tested. Assuming that all carriers were scientifically proven to be killers, how would you feel if our government decided to do this?
- When in the back of the car heading to get her tattoo, who did Pollock think Davy called? (She called her mom and Pollock was relieved.)
- Discuss Davy’s reaction to getting branded. How would YOU feel? Can you truly imagine it? Imagine someone forcing a needle into you and permanently staining your skin with ink, labeling you forever. How would you feel if someone you loved got tattooed this way?
- Discuss the CNN interview of alleged Texas gunman, Kevin Hoyt’s, classmate. (Tell us what he was like; are you surprised he did something so brutal and horrendous?) (End of Chapter 18)
- Sabina says to Davy, “we have it good here, right?” when referring to she and Davy being at the training center instead of at the detention camps. If you think you have something better than another group of people, do you feel better about your position? Are you more willing to accept some unfairness in light of the fact that your group gets the better portion?
- Davy remarks that no one taught her to play the piano. She did not even need to practice. It was just in her DNA. The kill gene is also in her DNA. If killing is in her DNA, why would this center even be necessary in order to teach her to kill? Is Davy “learning” to be a killer? What makes a person violent? Is it our environment or our DNA?
- Davy is faced with a tough decision towards the end of the book when she has to pull the trigger and shoot another carrier or let them shoot Sean. Is she right or wrong? Was it avoidable? How will this change her?
- Discuss Davy’s budding romance with Sean? Was it instant? It is believable? Sean spends the majority of the book telling Davy to fend for herself and warning her that he can’t always be around. Then suddenly, he is always around Davy, defending her. Why? What changes? Why do you think Davy is attracted to Sean?
Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor and outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
His point was that other German citizens, particularly members of the churches–had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.
Question: What role do you think Davy played in her own demise/arrest/persecution? In what ways was she complicit? In what ways were her family and friends complicit? Are they to blame? Why or why not?
In 1941, after a period of neutrality, Bulgaria allied itself with Nazi Germany. This was a decision partly motivated by the Bulgarian government’s wish to regain neighboring territories that it had lost in previous wars. Early in 1943, the government in Sofia signed a secret agreement with the Nazis to deport 20,000 Jews. The deportations started with Jews in the annexed territories. Between March 4 and March 11, soldiers rounded up thousands of Jews and prepared boxcars to take them to the Treblinka extermination camp in occupied Poland, where approximately 850,000 people almost all Jews perished. On March 10, boxcars were loaded with 8,500 Jews, including 1,500 from the city of Plovdiv. The bishop of Plovdiv, Metropolitan Kirill, along with 300 church members, showed up at the station where the Jews were awaiting transport. Kirill was a big, tall opposing man. He walked up to the SS officers and shouted lines from the Book of Ruth:
“Wherever you go, I will go! Wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God!”
By some accounts he even threatened to lie down on the train tracks if the Jews were not freed. The Jews were freed and returned to their homes. The Jewish population of Bulgaria at the start of WWII was 48,000. By the war’s end, it was 50,000, making Bulgaria the only country under Nazi rule to end the war with a larger Jewish population.
Question: How could one person make a difference? If Davy’s family or friends had stood up for her, refused to allow her to be taken away, how might things have been different? Why didn’t anyone stop them from taking her away? How would you have responded if you were Davy’s friend?