Discussion Questions for Shatterworld

1. Chapter One
Have you ever felt like your life was "over"? Why does Rejoice feel like that?
It has been said that hurting people hurt people. Who is hurting in chapter one?

It is said that children are a gift from God. Is Makepeace a gift? Is Rejoice? Is Stronghold?

2. Chapter Two

An alien who has different sensory organs than a human has would sense the world differently from a human. What does Ur-Veena sense that humans cannot?  Closer to home, how is the world of a dog different from that of a human?

3. Chapter Three

Has the idea of living in a commune ever appealed to you? Most communes fail within a few years of starting. Why?

Would you want to live in this commune? Why or why not?

The names parents give their children are given for a variety of reasons, including tradition, fashion, and personal taste. Why did the people of this community take and give the names they did?

Is there a person in the Holly family you identify with?

4. Chapter Four

What would it be like to have children that start life as plants?  Some of the life cycle of the Shatterworld aliens is based on that of the jellyfish on Earth.What do you know about the life cycle of jellyfish?

5. Chapter Five

What does Rejoice think of the native of Shatterworld?  What does the native/alien think of her?

6. Chapter Six

To Ur-Veena, Rejoice is the alien. Is it possible for him to understand her?

7. Chapter Seven

Rejoice and Stronghold have two very different approaches to life. What are their approaches? How is it that siblings can be so different? How hard do you try to understand what another person is thinking? Is it possible to understand a person whose mindset is different from yours?

Where do people's desires come from?

8. Chapter Eight

 A hexagon is a shape with six sides. Why do Ur-Veena and his people use a base six math? Why do humans use a base ten math?

Do you think Ur-Veena is brave?

9. Chapter Nine

What does Brother Hammer want? What does sister Guthry want? What does Mother Holly Want? What does Father Holly want? What does Stronghold want? What does Rejoice want? What are they doing to get what they want? Are any of them succeeding in getting what they want?

What disciplines do the people of the colony engage in? Why?

What does Brother Smith want?

10. Chapter Ten

What is a stink pusher? Later on, hexacrabs call stink pushers edge pressers. Why do they use those words?

11. Chapter Eleven

Would you be excited to discover a lost library?

Have you ever tried to learn a foreign language? What is the hardest part of learning another language?

What are some of the things Stronghold complains about? Does it help to complain?

12. Chapter Twelve

What is Ur-Veena happy about?

How did the library become lost?

13. Chapter Thirteen

Does the colony have a problem? If the colony does have a problem, what do you think it is?

14. Chapter Fourteen

There were two boats at the hexacrab cluster. One took Ur-Veena to the colony. One stayed behind. Why do you think one boat stayed near the cluster?

Why is Ur-Nissi following the boat?

What are some of the dangers the hexacrabs face?

15. Chapter Fifteen

How is seeing different from being told?

What were Brother Zystra and Brother Hancock doing near the cluster and Bull's Eye Island? What did the hexacrabs think they were doing?

Why did Ur-Nissi attack Brother Hancock?

Elder Wu is the man learning and translating the hexacrab language. What does he do after Ur-Veena attacks Stronghold? Do the colonists understand why the hexacrabs are attacking? Who gets hurt?

Why is Elder Smith angry? Why isn't Brother Hancock angry?

Why doesn't Rejoice know what Christmas tree ornaments are?

What does Brother Resolved Hancock offer to do?

16. Chapter Sixteen

Why is Ur-Nissi angry?

Once a year, children swim back to the cluster they were born in.What do the hexacrabs do during child come season?

The torpal is a predator something like a shark. The hexacrabs use echolocation to detect when a torpal is coming. What on Earth uses echolocation?

17. Chapter Seventeen

The Elder and Deacon board denied  Rejoice's request. How did she respond?

18. Chapter Eighteen

How do the hexacrabs train their children?

19. Chapter Nineteen

Is it okay for parents to keep secrets from their children?

If you were trying to build a perfect society, what rules would you put in place? Do you think everybody would follow your rules?

How did Brother Hancock respond to the news that a killer asteroid was going to hit their new world and kill everybody?

How did the hexacrabs respond to the news? Do you think they understood what Brother Hancock told them?

Do you think Brother Hancock understood Rejoice?

20. Chapter Twenty

Ur-Veena wants to go to the other side of his world and into the atmosphere and space. Why?

Why did humans go into space?

21. Chapter Twenty-One

Why does Rejoice think God will help her find a way to save the colony and the hexacrabs?

22. Chapter Twenty-Two

What is the swimming stone?

23. Chapter Twenty-Three

Does God always want us to do what we want to do? How can we tell when what we want to do is God's will?

If you can't have seagulls, can you be happy with puffins?