The Boat Runner
by Devin Murphy
Discussion Questions:
1. Jacob Koopmanís mother is an organist, his brother is a brilliant painter, his father an inventor, and his uncle a mysterious fisherman. How do the identities of Jacobís closest relationships shape his own identity? How does that identity change over the course of the novel?

2. On page 25, Jacob describes himself feeling ďlike a meek little Iím-sorry machine. Iím sorry, Iím sorry, Iím sorry, Iíd chant ... Iíd do this to try to keep the peace between everyone, though I hated every time the words crossed my lips.Ē When does this aspect of his character create challenges for him? How does his action or inaction shape his fate? When does Jacob first make a choice of his own?

3. Why is storytelling so important to Jacob? In what ways does the idea of storytelling surface in this novel? What do the recurrent Thump -drag stories add to the novel?

4 .Most war stories portray allies and enemies, but in The Boat Runner, things are not as clear cut, and each character is held morally responsibility for their own actions. What do you think the author hoped to achieve in doing this?

5. Of all the losses Jacob sustains in this story, what is the one loss that changes him the most? What is Jacobís greatest personal strength?

6. Jacob Koopman is complex character and is often shown in private moments struggling to do whatís right. What are some of the moral dilemmas Jacob must face? In what ways do the labels hero or villain describe him?

7. How does the persecution of Jews reveal itself in this book, and how does Jacob react to encountering this? Do his reactions change over the course of the novel?

8. Consider the idea of borders in this novel. The physical location of Jacobís town sits on the edge of two countries as well as on the edge of land and water. Jacob is also on the border between boyhood and becoming a man. What are some of the other borders that Jacob encounters? How are these borders significant in understanding his character?

9. In what ways does the sea and shipping become an essential part of the novel? How did Uncle Martin and Jacobís missions aboard ship complicate the story?

More Reading Suggestions
Popular Books
If you have a passion for reading and, like most, have no time to find the right book, browse the most popular books trending right now. They are all page-turners, and they all let you escape from reality.

Popular Book-  The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Song of Achilles
By Madeline Miller
A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, THE SONG OF ACHILLES is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer's enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously...More


Popular Book-The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
In this entrancing novel "that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all" (Kirkus Reviews), a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the...More


Popular The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient
by Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman's act of violence against her husband-and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive. Alicia Berenson's life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter...More


Popular Book- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Circe
By Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child-not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for ...More


Popular Book- The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
The Unhoneymooners
By Christina Lauren
AFor two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime-maybe even love-in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies. Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky ...More


Visit Our Blog
Browse A Little
Follow Us On Pinterest
Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter
PBR book reviews and Reading guides for book clubs
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Pintrest Follow us on InstaGram
Visit out Etsy Shop
10 Books I Can't Stop Recommending
Etsy Happy Halloween