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Reading guide for One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon

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One of Our Kind

A Novel

by Nicola Yoon

One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon X
One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon
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  • Published:
    Jun 2024, 272 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl
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About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. Liberty is an ultra-wealthy, all-Black community. There is much controversy around the idea of self-segregation, but what are the merits to a concept like "separate but equal"?
  2. Racism and all the ways that it permeates our society are on full display throughout this novel. However, a secondary character is capitalism. How do the two interact?
  3. Everyone in Liberty's oligarchy has a harrowing tale of how their views on systemic racism came to be. Does it justify their extreme solution?
  4. Why do you think Liberty's founders choose to reassign ultra-wealthy Black people as opposed to folks who are more financially compromised?
  5. King's decision to move his family to Liberty is made in large part because of the untimely death of his brother, but how do you think the dynamic with his boss played into it? If he'd had more career autonomy, do you think he would've sponsored the procedure?
  6. Pregnancy is often used in the horror genre as a clock and also as a device to magnify the powerlessness of a situation. In what ways did Jasmyn's impending birth impact your reading experience?
  7. This story explores extreme strategies Black people adopt to survive racism. On one end of the spectrum we have Jasmyn, who copes by centering her entire identity around struggle and liberation. On the other end we have Catherine Vail, whose identity seems to be centered around leisure and purposeful aloofness. What is a healthy and balanced approach to managing the ills of the world?
  8. What is the role of whiteness in the novel?
  9. Racial reassigning aside, do you think a concept like Liberty is possible?
  10. How are Eurocentric standards of beauty used to foreshadow the outcome of the story?
  11. Given the option, would you take breaks from the oppressed intersections of your identity?
  12. With all the other mounting suspicion Jasmyn has, after Keisha came to dinner with a new hairstyle, would you have been nervous? Would you have done anything differently than Jasmyn?
  13. What do you think was the purpose of the psychological exercise Nina Marks gave Jasmyn?
  14. Who do you consider to be the victims in the novel? Is there a way to see everyone in the novel as a victim?
  15. The dinner scene in Chapter 18 exposes some of the founding members of Liberty's pain and perhaps gives us a glimpse into their reasoning. Why was this scene important to the book?
  16. As the genre of social horror continues to grow, what does this book contribute to the conversation?
  17. What was your reaction to the ending? Were you satisfied? Were you expecting it?

Suggested Readings:

Linden Hills by Gloria Naylor
Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow
Lone Women by Victor LaValle
The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Knopf. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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Beyond the Book:
  Black Utopias

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