Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
blending the motifs of African folklore with an original new voice,
Nigerian born Helen Oyeyemi tells
a haunting story of twins and
ghosts, of a little girl growing up between cultures and colors, to
capture the mysterious power of myth to transform reality.
Powerfully imaginative and compelling, The Icarus Girl
for you next reading group choice. Here are some questions to enhance
Harrison has a Nigerian mother and an English father. How important is
Jess's mixed race? How important are these two very different cultures
- What is the significance of the "long-armed woman" who appears in
Jess's dreams? What does she mean when she says "We are the same"?
- Jess readily accepts TillyTilly's ability to alter Jess's reality.
Is TillyTilly a ghost, a demon, Jess's alter ego as Dr. McKenzie
suggests, or something else?
- How successful is Helen Oyeyemi at capturing the voice, thoughts
and fears of a troubled eight-year-old?
- Jess's grandfather tells her "Two hungry people should never make
friends." What does he mean? How important is Jess's grandfather to her?
- The ibeji statue's "aid" of Jess in the Bush does not constitute a
victory for Jess and Fern. What do you think happens at the end of the
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Anchor Books.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.