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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Orphan #8

1. Was Harry Berger wrong to run away? What might have been different had he stayed? 
2. What might have been different if Rachel could have told her friend Flo the truth about her relationship with Naomi?
3. Was Dr. Solomon wrong to use Rachel in her experimental study of the X-ray tonsillectomy?
4. In what ways did the Orphaned Hebrews Home benefit the children who grew up there? How were the children affected by that experience?
5. Was it selfish of Sam to leave Rachel in Leadville with their Uncle Max? Why do you think Sam keeps leaving his sister behind?
6. If Dr. and Mrs. Abrams had known that Rachel was “unnatural,” do you think they would have still been kind to her?
7. What do you think of the way Mrs. Hong treats Sparrow and Jade?
8. Is Dr. Solomon to blame for causing Rachel’s tumor, or should she be thanked for spurring Rachel’s discovery of it in time for treatment?
9. How have the medical attitudes about treating women with breast cancer changed since Dr. Feldman’s time?
10. Would Rachel have been justified in giving Dr. Solomon an overdose of morphine in revenge?
11. How do you think Naomi will react when Rachel tells her about the cancer and her upcoming surgery?
12. What other walls have people built around one another, or themselves, in the novel?

Orphan #8
by Kim van Alkemade

  • Publication Date: August 4, 2015
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0062338307
  • ISBN-13: 9780062338303