Schedule 2013
The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean

Just Kids Discussion Questions

Once again our unusual book selection requires some creative composing of questions. As far as we can tell there’s no other ones out there in the web world. Of course, we freely share our discussion questions, but please consider including a credit and link to our website.

  1. Was everyone somewhat familiar with Patti and Robert before reading this book? Have you heard her songs/ seen his artwork/photography? If so, how did this book change your idea of them?
  2. This is a love story, but Robert is bisexual. How is this a traditional relationship? How is it a very unusual one? Did Patti sacrifice her happiness for Robert?
  3. Both Patti and Robert became extremely successful in their lives. What drove them to their success? Was luck involved? Is it unusual for people so young to be so driven and confident?
  4. How did a lack of money and resources play into their lives? Would having money at a young age (perhaps getting it from their parents, etc.) have ultimately robbed them of the experiences that shaped who they became? Does being handed things dissuade creativity and drive? What does this say about today’s youth?
  5. When do you think Robert became aware of his sexuality?   
  6. Is New York responsible for their success in a way? Imagine if they had met and lived in St. Louis, for example?
  7. How did knowing that Robert dies of AIDS at an early age shape your reading experience? Was there a tragic vein that ran throug the story knowing that he would die young?

Robert Mapplethorpe

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Just Kids Discussion Questions by Susan R. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


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thank you for these. i'm leading a discussion in may and having trouble thinking of good questions. i may 'borrow' a few of these ;)

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