For Book Clubs

I Love Book Clubs!

I enjoy meeting with book clubs, either in person or through Skype or Google Hangouts or even over the phone. Please use the form on the contact page to let me know you're interested.

Annie's Stories for Book Clubs

For a printable file, follow this link and look for the Discussion Guide on the left side of the page.

Grace's Pictures for Book Clubs

For a printable file, follow this link and look for the Discussion Guide on the left side of the page.

Grace's Pictures good for book clubs

1. What was Grace trying to capture in her drawings and later in her photographs?
2. What part did the streetcar accident play in Owen’s decision to become a police officer, and how did that help illustrate to him the difference in the classes?
3. Augustus Sherman, the Ellis Island photographer, said that he took photographs of immigrants at the immigration station because once they arrived at Battery Park, they shed their cultural garb. What is this symbolic of, and why do you think Grace did not do that with her tattered red petticoat?
4. What did Grace see in her Ellis Island photograph that she did not like?
5. While the Benevolents are a fictional group, this time in history gave birth to many real-life charities aimed at helping new immigrants. Why do you think groups like this often formed independently of larger institutions? What were they trying to accomplish that might have been unique?
6. The Hudson Dusters, a real historical gang, were viewed by the police at the time as relatively harmless. What peril did that gang represent that the police and the citizens of the time likely missed? And if they had taken the gang more seriously, what might have happened differently?
7. Why you think the Committee of Fifteen was formed? Did it have a chance to be effective? Why or why not?
8. How did the Brownie box camera change photography?
9. How did the voices in Grace’s head change once she started working for the Parker household?
10. How did Mr. Hawkins’s wise sayings influence Grace and eventually her perceptions of Owen?
11. What do you think was the purpose of the maid dances? Why do you think immigrants wanted to become Americans (and shed their old garments as soon as they arrived) and still hold on to their culture by holding dances like the Thursday night maids’ dance?
12. In the end, how was Grace able to find what she’d been looking for in the faces of the people she admired?