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Book Club Kits: The Magic Fish

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

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by the New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • Booklist • Publishers Weekly

Tiến loves his family and his friends…but Tiến has a secret he’s been keeping from them, and it might change everything. An amazing YA graphic novel that deals with the complexity of family and how stories can bring us together.

Real life isn’t a fairytale.

But Tiến still enjoys reading his favorite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It’s hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tiến, he doesn’t even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he’s going through?

Is there a way to tell them he’s gay?

A beautifully illustrated story by Trung Le Nguyen that follows a young boy as he tries to navigate life through fairytales, an instant classic that shows us how we are all connected. The Magic Fish tackles tough subjects in a way that accessible with readers of all ages, and teaches us that no matter what—we can all have our own happy endings.

Discussion Questions

  1. What main ideas or themes does the author explore?

  1. What did you think of the art style? How did it support the story?

  1. What feelings did this book evoke for you?

  1. Which character in the book would you most like to meet? And the least?

  1. Which scene stuck with you the most?

  1. Did you find Tien’s obsession with books relatable?

  1. Were there times you disagreed with a character’s actions?

  1. What did you think of the book’s title? How did it relate to the story? Was it relevant?

  1. What did you think of the representation of Vietnamese culture and beliefs? Did you develop a better appreciation for Vietnamese heritage?

  1. How did Tien’s struggle with being both Vietnamese and gay make you feel?