Sparks Like Stars
by Nadia Hashimi
Discussion Questions:
1. Did you find the book engaging right from the start? Or did it take some time to become invested in the story and characters?

2. There are many themes in this book: love, the meaning of family, living in a war-torn country, searching for answers and trying to find peace, starting a new life, grief, survivor guilt, the compassion of strangers, the culture of Afghanistan, and women in Afghanistan. Which theme did you want more of? Less of?

3. Do you think the author presented believable characters? Did she change your opinion of Afghanistan women, especially the modern-day Afghanistan woman? Did you have a favorite character? Least favorite character?

4. Did you learn anything about Afghanistan's history or the relationship between the United States and Afghanistan? Did the story change your viewpoint of anything?

5. Sitara suffers from survivor guilt, with haunting memories of the day of her family's murder. She's on a journey to reclaim her heritage and accept what happened. How has this shaped her life in a good way? What do you think the negative impact of this experience was?

6. Did any character make you angry? Did you relate to all the characters?

7. Why do you think the guard helped ten-year-old Sitara? How did you feel about Shair re-appearing in her life many years later when Sitara is a doctor, and he is her patient? Do you think she treats him fairly? Why isn't she grateful he helped her escape?

8. Antonia made sacrifices when she adopted Antonia. Why do you think she did it?

9. The book highlights the early foster care system. Discuss how this made you feel? Do you think it was realistic? Do you think the current foster care system has any of these issues?

10. Could you sense the author's deep passion for her country and culture in the writing style? What do you think her most meaningful message was?

11. This is a long book. Were there any sections that needed to be shorter?

Discussion Questions by PrincetonBookReview
(Feel free to use with attribution)

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