I’ll Give You the Sun
1. How did you feel about the narration style? What did you like/dislike about it? Who’s storyline did you enjoy the best.
2. Although the teens in this story are twins, their problems are essentially issues that arise among all siblings. If you have a sibling, do you sometimes feel like your parent favors the other? Out of spite, Jude didn’t tell her brother he was accepted to art school, have you ever done anything like this to your sibling or has it been done to you?
3. When they were 13, Jude was popular and Noah was the loner. At 16, their roles flip flopped. What events in their lives caused this?
4. The narration style gives the reader a different perspective of Jude. Did you like her during Noah’s portion? How did your attitude change about her once you heard her story? Authors purposely choose their writing style. Why do you think Nelson chose to tell Jude and Noah’s story this way?
5. Describe Jude’s relationship with her mother. Do you have an equally contentious relationship with your mother?
6. Describe Jude’s relationship with her grandmother. How she affect Jude when she was alive and after she died?
7. Noah says, “Once after a particularly toilet-licking Noah the Broken Umbrella Talks, when he laughed and said if Jude weren’t my twin he’d be sure I’d come about from parthenogenesis (conception without a father), I snuck into the garage and keyed his car.” The Broken Umbrella Talk is mentioned a couple of times, what does that mean?
8. What is Noah’s fascination with Devil’s Drop?
9. When Jude and Noah are 13, they are spiteful towards each other. Why do you think they behave this way?
10. On pages 255-257, Noah and his father eat at a restaurant. On page 257, Noah’s father reminds him of how they used to watch animal shows together but Noah doesn’t remember this; he only remembers the bad times. Why do you think Noah focuses on the bad times?
11. On page 315, Jude recalls the last conversation she had with her mother when her mother asked, “Do you want to be that girl?” What is “that girl?” Based on Jude at 16, how has this final statement affected her?
a. On page 317, Jude reinterprets “that girl.” What his Jude’s reinterpretation?
12. What role does art play with Noah and Jude?
13. What other themes did you see in this novel? Fate? Superstition?
14. Do you think the ending was realistic?
15. Do you have a favorite quote or moment in the book?
16. Noah says he can see souls and he and Jude have one soul that they share: a tree with its leaves on fire. What does he mean by this?