Green Cover

1. The book is set in early 1990s Boston. What role does the city of Boston play in it? How does the political and cultural milieu of the 1990s affect the characters in Green?

2. What draws Dave to Marlon? What draws Marlon to Dave? Why do they click?

3. Did Marlon steal the Bird card? Was he protecting it? Discuss.

4. What does it mean to be “soft”? “Hard”? How do these concepts relate to race, gender, and sexuality for Dave? How is Dave’s portrayal of his own boyhood different from or similar to other coming--of--age stories?

5. Why does Dave talk the way he does? How did the vernacular affect your reading experience?

6. What do you make of Dave’s parents’ decision to send Dave to a city public school? What were your own middle school experiences like? If you’re a parent, or plan to be, how do you see your experiences impacting your thinking about where to send your own kids to school?

7. What is going on with Benno? What tension does he add to the novel? How does he impact Dave, and Dave and Marlon’s relationship, throughout the novel?

8. Dave isn’t just “the white boy,” he’s also Jewish. Does Dave’s Jewishness matter in Green? Why or why not?

9. What does Skip Taylor mean when he tells the students to focus on “systemic racism”? How is this different from personal prejudice, bias, or hatred?

10. What is the force? Does Dave’s definition of that term change throughout the book?

11. How do Dave’s feelings about whiteness—-his own and in general—-change as the book progresses? Does Dave mature at all by the end of the book? Does he regress? Discuss.

12. What does the title—-Green—-mean to you?

13. Why do you think things turned out the way they did for Dave and Mar? How might things have unfolded differently?

14. Will Dave and Mar’s friendship last? If yes, why do you think so? If no, why not?