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Book Club Reading Questions

Book Club Questions for Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange | WellRead's April 2024 Selection

Book Club Questions for Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange | WellRead's April 2024 Selection

WellRead's April 2024 selection was Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange. Following its unforgettable characters through almost two centuries of history, from the horrors of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1865 to the aftermath of a mass shooting in the early 21st century, Wandering Stars is an indelible novel of America's war on its own people.

Use these discussion questions to engage with the book further, whether in a book club with friends, or just on your own as you digest the story. 

Reading questions for Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange:

  • The prologue of Wandering Stars lays out an unflinching history of colonial violence – one that is not all that different from Australia’s story. It’s confronting, but necessary. In what ways did this prologue set the tone for the rest of the story?

  • Before we get to the Red Feather boys in Oakland, we’re introduced to their ancestors. What similarities did you see between those ancestors’ lives and the Red Feather boys’ lives? In what ways does history repeat itself and converge?

  • Orvil Red Feather is a beloved character from There There – how did you feel about him in this story? If you’ve read There There, did you find your opinion of him changed? Why?

  • In an interview with Esquire, Tommy Orange says, “Addiction has shaped and mangled and scarred my life, but also perhaps enriched it, even while threatening its livability”. In what ways did you see addiction pushing and pulling at the lives of those in Wandering Stars?

When talking about his experience in therapy, Orvil sums up trauma by saying “A bad thing doesn’t stop happening to you just because it stops happening to you”. In what ways do we see the trauma that happens to Jude Star in the mid-1800s continue to ripple through the generations?