This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez. Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)

P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!


Being the oldest female in the family, Naomi is thrust into a “homemaker” role. Some of her duties, like sewing new clothes, she genuinely enjoys. Do you have any “traditional” hobbies or duties that you particularly like to do?


1. This book deals with harsh racism and bigoted attitudes. How did you feel about Perez’s use of the period’s racist language?

2. Generally, the 1930s is not a popular decade in YA historical fiction. The poverty of New London and Egypt Town is pervasive and requires everyone to make massive sacrifices. Did you learn anything new about how people survived the Depression?

3. Do you think it would have been realistic for Naomi’s grandparents to take her and the children in?

4. How did you feel about Naomi and Wash’s relationship? How did you feel about the depiction of sex in the novel?

5. Out of Darkness is based on the story of a real-life tragedy. Did you know about the New London school explosion before you picked up this book? Did the ending surprise you?

This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.