For December's Book Club, we read the book 24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling. Julianna, Lucy, Natalie, Nicole, and Rileigh were present. This is what we discussed!
1. The home lives of the four main characters are all very different. Which one do you think is most like your home life? Why?
2. Why do you think Bo is a bully? What do you think you should do when you see someone being bullied?
3. What do you think Rossi means when she asks Gus if he’s going to let someone else’s actions define who he is? Has anyone ever made you feel bad about yourself? How do you handle those feelings?
4. What examples of teamwork can you find in the story? Do you think any of the four characters could have survived if they’d been alone?
5. Why are Gus, Rossi, Jessie, and Matthew so poor? Have they made choices that have caused their poverty?
6. Rossi collects scrap metal from the desert and sells it to the scrap yard so she can maintain her dirt bike. Do you have to pay for any of your own things? If so, how do you earn the money to pay for them?
7. Do you think people look down on others due to their poverty? How do you view others who have less than you?
8. The story is told in the first person, from Gus’s point of view. How do you think the story would change if it were told from Rossi’s, Jessie’s, or Matthew’s points of view? What if it were told from Bo’s point of view?
9. Can you find an example in the story of a time when Gus, Rossi, Jessie, and Matthew each sacrifice something to help someone?
10. Gus often uses humor when talking about his living situation. Why do you think he does this?
11. Why does Gus believe acing the SAT is his only way to get into college? What does this reveal about the extra challenges people face when they are born into poverty? What do you think it means to be born with privilege?
12. Think about the setting the author has chosen. How does it affect the way you read the story?
13. Why do you think the author chose to tell the story in an hour-by-hour format?
14. The Gus we meet at the beginning of the story is different from the Gus at the end. How is he the same, and how has he changed? How have the other characters changed?
15. How do the relationships between the four main characters change from the time they enter the mine to when they finally make it out of the cave? What do you think caused these changes?
Rank this book from 1-5.
"After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting--things don't just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door."