The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon Discussion Questions

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Looking for a thought-provoking young adult love story for your class or reading group? 'The Sun is Also a Star' provides charm and topics for reflection. Use these questions to help your students discuss the story, literary elements, and social issues.

The Sun Is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a Star is a whimsical love story interlaced with a plethora of issues ripe for group discussion. After your high school students read this novel, challenge them to think through a wide variety of discussion points, considering both the way the author deals with issues and their own views.

Questions about the Story

  • Our introduction to Natasha is a detailed description of her room. What does this reveal about her character?
  • What is the role of Daniel's brother Charlie in the story?
  • How do the brief windows into the stories of minor characters enhance Daniel and Natasha's interactions?
  • Which character's story did you find to be most convincing? Whose story was most surprising?
  • How are Charlie's and Daniel's motivations different from their father's?
  • In the context of an entire life, what did Daniel and Natasha's one day mean?

Questions about Literary Elements

  • The title is taken from a line in the book. Why do you think the author chose this particular line for a title? Is it a fitting title, or would another excerpt better sum up the story?
  • What does the epigraph tell you about the author's intentions?
  • The prologue begins with Carl Sagan's idea that to make an apple pie from scratch you must first create the whole world. How is this relevant to the novel?
  • Why do you think the author chose to structure the text in this way, with the continually shifting viewpoints in short bursts?
  • How do musical and literary references shape your understanding of what the characters are experiencing?
  • Did you find the epilogue to be believable?

Questions about Social Issues

  • Both Natasha's and Daniel's families experienced the clash of living between two cultures. How did each member of the family deal with this issue? How can you deal with this issue in your own life, or help peers who are dealing with this cultural clash?
  • What are the differing views of fate, religion, and supernatural intervention expressed by various characters in this book? Whose views most closely match your own, and why?
  • Natasha and her family are deported for being undocumented immigrants. Immigration is an issue that has held the spotlight over and over in the United States. How does putting a face and a story to immigrants affect your understanding of the political issues involved? Do you have personal experience (your own or someone you know) with immigration laws? How does your personal experience affect your reading of this novel?
  • What do you think about interracial relationships? Why is it an issue for some people? What should a couple like Daniel and Natasha do about the negative reaction of others?

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