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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Vanishing Act

1.    Each of the characters has a personal philosophy that colors how they view what happens in their lives. How do those philosophies explain who each of them is?

2.    Why does the author choose THE VANISHING ACT as her title?

3.    At the beginning of the story, Minou and her father find a dead boy. How does his presence help Minou and her father? How does he come to mean more to them than an unknown person?

4.    Discuss the setting of the island. Why did the author decide to set her novel there?

5.    Mama and Papa had different experiences during the war. What effects did their lives at that time have on them?

6.    What is the significance of the lighthouse? Why does Papa keep the light off?

7.    Minou’s grandfather sends many postcards to Papa. What message is the grandfather sending Papa and why does he send ones exclusively with the same art?

8.    Theodora is the founder of the island and has become a legend for the people who live there. How does her story affect each of the characters?

9.    Why did Mama disappear? What happened to her?

10.Are reason and magic compatible? How does Minou integrate both in her life?

The Vanishing Act
by Mette Jakobsen

  • Publication Date: September 17, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • ISBN-10: 0393062929
  • ISBN-13: 9780393062922