- Do you think the media or politicians purposely sensationalizes stories to get more attention? Can this sensationalizing contribute to unreasonable fear in the population?
- It is often said people fear what they don’t understand. Can you think of something people fear because they don’t understand it? Do you see parallels in the book to current discussions around vaccines and immigration?
- Consider the police detective’s response to Fr. Ingall’s death. Is his response understandable? Is it ethically right or wrong?
- People sometimes change positions on a topic only when they realize it affects them personally. This happens with the character of Loriana in the book. Do you find that to be true today?
- Several of the characters on both sides of the medical issue central to the book are parents trying to protect their families by any means necessary. Examine both sides of the issue. Would you do what these parents are willing to do?
- Is it wrong to achieve a social good by illegal means as Mr. Tilitchovski is trying to do?
- The teenage character Jeanette is driven to fight against the Allergen Children because of the damage done to her family. Do you think she is entirely responsible for her choices? Should her parents bear some responsibility for the choices she makes?
- The character of Karim is portrayed as a hot-headed teenager. Compare the nature of his actions to the actions of Jeanette. Is he just as guilty as she is?
- If Jeanette deserves to be charged with her crimes, should Karim also be charged? What is the difference between their actions?
- If the events in the book happened today, what is the likelihood that the public at large would accept the ‘treatment’ needed for the Allergen Children to enter society? How do you think the world would respond?
- In Depth Question requiring addition reading: The letter from Robert Louis Stevenson quoted at the beginning of the book inspired the book. Read the full letter by Stevenson. How is Fr. Ingall like Fr. Damien? What similarities do you see?
Degrees of Deceit Book Club Questions
1. College admissions and academic integrity issues have been in the news. How do you think lack of academic integrity affects society in the long term? 2. Texas’s “top 10 percent law” was created to base college admissions on ability rather than factors that had been rejected as unconstitutional, such …