Reading Group Guide
Discussion Questions for:
by Jessi Kirby
1. On page 12, Anna reflects, “[T]he water had become the place where I felt most at home.” Where do you feel most at home? What are the qualities that matter most in feeling at home?
2. Describe the picturesque setting of Moonglass. How does the setting influence the story? Which elements of the setting strike you as most important?
3. The ocean was an omnipresent, though ever-changing, feature in Moonglass. Think back to how Jessi Kirby described the ocean at various points in the book. In what ways did the “mood” of the ocean reflect the “mood” of the book?
4. When Joy tells Anna the legend of mermaid tears, she concludes, “It’s stories like that that make the little things beautiful,” (p. 87). What does she mean by this? Consider some of the childhood stories you grew up with. In what ways does Joy’s remark hold true in your own life?
5. Questioning is a prevalent theme throughout the story. Anna’s father stops telling her about her mother because Anna stopped asking about her. Joy introduces her class by inviting students to ask questions about their new course material. Joy later comments to Anna, “Answers to most of our questions do exist. You just have to ask them,” (p. 122). What are the most important questions you’ve faced in your life? How have you gone about answering them? How did you go about asking them in the first place?
6. Anna and Jillian both, at times, refer to their running as running from something. What was Anna running from throughout the course of Moonglass? How might this story represent a journey for Anna, more figuratively speaking?
7. What roles do the supporting characters in the book (Ashley, Jillian, Tyler, Joy, the crawling man) play in Anna’s journey?
8. Anna’s mother assigned special significance to the words “beauty, grace, and strength.” What do you think those words meant to her? What did they mean to Anna? If you were to choose three words that hold special meaning for you, in your life, which would you choose, and why?
9. Anna asks the crawling man, “Do you believe things happen for a reason? Or do you think everything is just coincidence . . . ?” (p. 213). How would you answer this question? What experiences have you had that support your response?
10. What does Anna’s red moonglass symbolize in this story? What does it mean to Anna? What lessons does it teach? What messages does the moonglass convey in general? Why do you think Jessi Kirby chose to use it as the title for this story?