Finding something lighter to read was not the case for September. Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (commissioned link) was a tragic story, but it makes the readers think about how many people in their own community may need support during difficult times. And during the pandemic with loss of jobs, family, and support what many are going through is certainly difficult. If you read Dear Edward, take a peek at some of the discussion questions. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments and use with your own book club.
Dear Edward Book Club Discussion
- Part of the story line takes place with Edward and his family (mom, dad & brother) taking a flight from New York to LA. Some of the characters settle in keeping to themselves, and some get chatty sharing about their personal lives. Are you a person that tries to get to know people around you when traveling or do you keep to yourself? As each character’s story unfolded, which one drew you in the most?
- Edward’s friendship with Shay shows that bonds with others help people help a person through difficult times? What other themes are present in Dear Edward? Why does the author present those themes in the text.
- Which character could you relate to the most? Why was the character relatable?
- Uncle John and Aunt Lacey have a huge responsibility to care for Edward and help him cope. They make the decisions to keep the letters from Edward and each responds differently in the ways they feel are helpful while still dealing with their own grief. At what point would John and Lacey have to share this emotional weight? Were they right for keeping the letters a secret?
- Once Edward discovers the letters, he is not sure what to do, but decides to respond. How does his course of action help him begin to heal? What other things help people who go through tragedies?
- The letters reveal the hopes and dreams of the deceased. The family members ask Edward to live our the dreams of their loved ones. Why ask Edward for these impossible tasks?
- Edward receive 5 million dollars from the airlines for his loss. That is a large sum of money for anyone especially a young person. Why do you think Edward decided to do what he did with the money?
- This story is inspired by a true story of a plane crash where the sole survivor is a boy named Ruben. The author mentioned wanting to know what would happen to the boy and how he could continue on after his experience. Although the rest of the story is fictional, it made me think about how people in the community may need support after a tragic experience. In what ways can community come together to support one another?
Thanks to those that joined us in September on this collective read. Please share your thoughts in the comments. This is an ongoing, open discussion thread.
Check out all of 365 Days of New’s 2020 book club choices here.