Our staff readers have prepared this list of discussion questions for those reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Later this week we will be introducing staff reading the book and they will begin posting their own thoughts on these questions. We hope you will join the conversation!
Discussion Questions for Little Bee
1. The first thing Little Bee shares with us is, “Most days I wish I was a British Pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming.” What do you think of the travel barriers that most people face while traveling? What would you do about it?
2. On page 9, Little Bee explains “We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” Which characters are left with scars, both physical and emotional? Do they find them as beautiful as Little Bee does? How do they embrace their scars? Are there any scars in your life that you embrace?
3. On page 9, Little Bee says she “credits a small bottle of nail polish for saving her life” while she was in the detention center. Is there any object or act that helps you to feel alive and beautiful, even when everything else seems to be falling apart? How do you find an escape from the bad moments in life?
4. Little Bee notes several instances where she has trouble with the double meaning of words in the English language (like “scum” on page 12). Has there been a time you have misused or misunderstood a word that has a double meaning?
5. When Little Bee left the farm she felt her sister with her. Do you ever feel that loved ones are with you when you are embarking on something big or new?
6. Little Bee often times mentioned how she would imagine telling the story of what was around her to the girls back home. Do you ever find yourself in situations where you have to sit and think about how you would explain it to people in your daily life? What did you think about how she would explain some of the differences (i.e. the coffee table not made of coffee on page 127)?
7. On page 180, Little Bee says “I have noticed, in your country, I can say anything so long as I say that is the proverb in my country. Then people will nod their heads and look very serious.” Are there any sayings from your culture that could be used as a proverb?
8. “If everyone gave 10%, we wouldn’t need to give asylum.” (Page 208.) What are ways that citizens can be involved in serving each other outside of governments?
9. At the end of the story, Little Bee tells Charlie her real name, Udo, which means peace. She asks Charlie if he knows what that means. What do you think of her definition of peace? What does peace mean to you?
People to People International’s Global Book Club is a way to connect with your global community. Global Book Club members communicate about valuable, international topics and gain unique insight and understanding of various cultural views in relation to those topics. For more information on People to People International, visit www.ptpi.org
The opinions expressed by PTPI staff and other book club members are entirely their own and are not necessarily the views of PTPI or its Officers, Board of Directors and Board of Trustees.