This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert. 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!
Braden has a promising career in baseball and works hard to achieve his potential. Did you play sports as a teen or have any extracurriculars with the possibility of “going pro”? Did you feel any of the pressures that Braden experienced?
1. Conviction explores some highly divisive topics and themes very much at play in our current world, including racism, religion, immigration and sexual orientation. Did you feel that the story offered a thoughtful portrait of these issues? And which themes in particular did you find the most or least compelling?
2. Did you ever find Braden’s father to be a sympathetic character? Why or why not?
3. If you were in Trey’s position, would you have left your little brother in Mart’s care? Was he being selfish, just trying to survive, or did he genuinely think his father wouldn’t abuse his brother?
4. Trey has a secret that he has spent years hiding from Braden and their community–did you guess what it was? Did it make sense to you?
5. Braden’s church community is tightly knit in an already small town. Did you get the impression that anyone realized Mart was abusive, or was his public image enough to protect him?
6. Do you agree with Braden’s decision on his testimony in court? Why or why not?
7. The ending is left somewhat open. What do you think happened?