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Book Club Kits: Gone

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young.

Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help. Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks.

And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers that grow stronger by the day.

In the postapocalyptic town of Perdido Beach, California, sides are being chosen; a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Powerful against powerless. It's a terrifying new world.

Discussion Questions

  • Why do different characters respond differently to the FAYZ? How do Sam’s, Caine’s, and Albert’s backgrounds shape the way they respond to the crisis?

  • How does Edilio respond to Quinn’s remarks about his ethnicity? What are the advantages of this sort of response? What are the disadvantages? Are there alternative ways Edilio could have responded?

  • Astrid tells Sam that he “faded” after the school bus incident (page 71). What do you think she means? Are there other incidents in the novel during which Sam “fades?”

  • While waiting for a pot to boil, Quinn tells Sam, “Maybe you can just zap it up with your magic hands” (page 168). Why do you think Quinn teases Sam about his power?

  • What does Albert mean when he thinks, “But if all they did was kill time, time would end up killing them” (page 196)? How does this statement apply to life in the FAYZ? Does it have any meaning in relation to your own life?

  • Why do you think Sam pictures his mother when he focuses his outrage (page 385)?

  • How does the theme of violence shape your impression of the story? What do you think Sam means when he says, “Ninth graders with machine guns: it’s hard to make that a happy story” (page 441)?

  • How does Sam’s leadership style differ from Caine’s? What does Sam want? How do his goals differ from Caine’s?

  • Even though Quinn has a clear shot, he doesn’t shoot Drake (page 496). Why do you think Quinn doesn’t pull the trigger? Does this choice make him a coward? How do you define cowardice?

  • Diana tells Sam, “The bad girl ends up with the bad boy” (page 550). Is Diana a bad girl? What do her relationships with Caine, Drake, and Jack reveal about her character?

  • Why do you think Sam suggests to Astrid that they send leftovers from their Thanksgiving meal to Coates (page 554)? Would you have done the same thing? Why or why not?

  • Do you think the novel realistically portrays the way kids would react if all the adults disappeared? Which parts of the novel do you find most believable? Which parts are most unbelievable?

  • What makes someone a hero? In the novel, who do you think is most deserving of the title hero? Sam? Mary? Astrid? In what ways do these characters differ, and in what ways are they similar in their heroism? What sets them apart from the other characters?

  • Will you read other books in this series? Why or why not?