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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Out of the Night That Covers Me

1. In the long run was it best for John that he was not spared his struggles? Do you think children today are too sheltered? Not sheltered enough?

2. Was Aunt Nelda trapped in her way of life any more so than women today?

3. If you were spirited back in time to live in the story, which female character would you most want to be?

4. Did Uncle Luther have any redeeming characteristics?

5. The book did not end with everyone living "happily ever after." Were you satisfied with this ending? Do you think it was realistic?

6. What elements in the story point out the good and bad sides of small town life?

7. What do you think were the most important factors in precipitating the civil rights movement? Rank in order of importance, 1 being the most important. Rosa Parks--Martin Luther King, Jr.-Television--E.D. Nixon--The automatic cotton-picking machine--John and Robert Kennedy.

8. Did John's transition match, in any way, the transformation that was taking place in the South as it was drawn kicking and screaming into a new era?

9. Was there that much difference in the life of the poor blacks and the poor whites in this story?

Out of the Night That Covers Me
by Pat Cunningham Devoto

  • Publication Date: December 1, 2001
  • Paperback: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books
  • ISBN-10: 0446678023
  • ISBN-13: 9780446678025