Lumberjanes Discussion Questions

May’s GreatAce.Club’s pick was Lumberjanes from an awesome writer/artist, Noelle Stevenson! If you’ve watched the new She-Ra, it’s the same person! We’ll be reading the first trade edition, which included the first four issues. Rather than try to divide up a comic book, we are instead going to break it down and take a look at different elements. We’ll be looking at:

  • Week One: Characters
  • Week Two: Setting
  • Week Three: Plot
  • Week Four: Tone, Theme, and other literary things!

I hope you’re as excited as I am for something new and different! Let us know what you think of doing comics; we would definitely love to do more and maybe even do another Lumberjanes trade edition!

Lumberjanes Chapter One Badge

I am absolutely a character driven reader; some of my favorite books may have a weak plot, but the characters are *chef’s kiss.* How do you feel about characters? Who is (or are) your favorites in these beginning chapters? Let’s talk about them!

-How are we introduced to the main characters? What do we immediately learn about them?

-How do the characters’ physical appearances match with their personalities? If you don’t think they match, how do they play against them?

-What are your initial thoughts about the Roanoke Cabin? Jen? Rosie? Barney and the other boys?

-What are some unexpected things we learn about each of the characters? Did anything really surprise you?

-The Lumberjane characters definitely do not suffer from sameface or tokenism. How are each of the girls different and how do they use their differences to be stronger together? How do they surprise each other and the audience?

-What are each girl’s strengths? Weaknesses? How do they lift each other up to overcome and grow together?

-Which characters seem to have the strongest relationships? Do you get a romantic sense from any of them? Share your shippy thoughts!

-”xxx to the max!” is a common quote the characters say. How do they each embody that quote? Do you think their friendship is “to the max”?

-What relationships do you want to see grow? Who do you want to learn more about?

The setting of a book can make or break it sometimes; is it a real place? If so, does the book meet the feeling of that place? Is it a made up place? Choosing where a book or comic is set can absolutely effect how the plot progresses and what types of conflicts the characters will face. Even in a fun comic series, the authors made choices about the setting and that’s what we’re going to discuss this week!

-Lumberjanes is set in a summer camp. What implications does this have for the plot? What kinds of imagery do we usually associate with summer camp and childhood?

-How does adding an element of scouting change the summer camp setting?

-The comic opens with a description of the Up All Night Badge; how does starting in the middle of the night set the scene? Set a tone?

-The camp sign has “hardcore lady types” nailed over the original name; is this significant? What does it mean for the camp? How does that change the expectations?

-Does the main cabin being called the Roanoke Cabin foreshadow anything?

-In what ways are the woods like normal woods? How are they different?

-How does the underground cave give each girl a chance to shine? What purpose could the challenges the setting presents have?

-What differences are there between the boys’ camp and the girls’ camp? Why are they potentially significant?

-How do the Lumberjanes react to each new place? Do you think their reactions are propper? Why or why not?

-What traditional camp settings would you like to see more of? Is there a place the girls have been that you want to learn more about?

-Did you notice anything interesting or fun in the background?

The plot of a book is, well, the book! It’s what happens! But there are always nuances; rises and falls before the climax, the falling action. Comics face the added struggle of needing to build on each issue to a larger climax, while often having smaller ones in individual issues. I chose to discuss the plot this far into May because I’m hoping everyone has had a chance to finish the first edition, so there shouldn’t be any spoilers!

-The comic starts out with an action scene. How does this set the tone for the rest of the plot? Do you think that it sets it up right and gets the reader ready for lots of action?

-How does Rosie introduce more of the mystery? What does she set up for the rest of the book?

-How are the badges a good way to frame each chapter? In what ways are the badges significant to the plot?

-How does each chapter build to the next?

-Most chapters are self-contained stories that are part of the greater plot. What other adventures do you think that the Lumberjanes will go on? What is the main plot? What do you think the Lumberjanes will find as they explore more?

-Book one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. How does the ending introduce new and interesting conflicts to the series?

-What do you think the central conflict is or will be? Do you think that it will end up being more of a person v. person, person v. nature, person v. supernatural, or do you think the central conflict will have more to do with the campers
growing as people?

-What do you hope to see in future issues?

-What, in your opinion, is the best part of the book?

There are a lot of little things in this series that I feel like we need to discuss! Noelle is known for their characters basically all being some form of queer; if you’ve seen She-Ra, then… yeah. She plants deliberate clues and being queer is often part of the theme he puts into their work. Themes of friendship, love, growth, and bonding are all important, as is the tone she chooses for the comic to have. Let’s talk about everything else about this comic!

-If you haven’t already, make sure you have read the Message from the Lumberjanes High Council. How does this message go along with organizations like the Girl Scouts? How are the Lumberjanes like a scouting group?

-Why is it important to have a group like this for young girls? How does our real life past of limiting women to being housewives and indoors impact the comic?

-What is substantial about the “then there’s a line about God” in the pledge?

-The Lumberjanes are not exactly a summer camp and are more than just a scouting program. What could be the significance of this? How does roping the supernatural in with scouting/camp add to everything?

-In what ways do the beginning chapters reference fairy tales? And how do they turn those tropes on their heads?

– How do the Field Manual pages help set the scene for each chapter? Do you read the page to get a sense of what the girls are doing or just jump right into the action? In what ways do they allow us to learn more about the Lumberjanes as a whole?

-How does the book turn common tropes on their heads? References?

-What significance do the three eyed animals have? How many did you notice?

-How are the boy scout characters a good foil to the Lumberjanes?

-Many instances in the comics do not go as expected, such as April being a great arm wrestler or the yetis being bribed with cookies. What does that do for the comic? How does it go along with our expectations in real life?

-What themes are you really enjoying about the comic? What do the writers and artists build into each issue and keep going?

-How would you describe the tone of the comic? Did you laugh a lot? Did it seem serious or mysterious?

-What kind of symbols are we seeing so far? What is significant about Molly getting the bow and arrow? How are bows and arrows a part of mythology and legend, or a part of the strangeness presented in the woods?

-What tropes are you enjoying? What tropes are you enjoying seeing turned on their heads?

Be sure to pick up Volume 1, new, used, kindle unlimited, or even check if your local library or comic shop has it!

We will see in you in the #GreatAceClub tag on tumblr, twitter, facebook, instagram, or goodreads. Basically wherever you wantta be your bookish self!

Hello World – Great Ace Club Discussion Questions

The Hello World Discussion Questions are here! GreatAce.Club is our sister book club. It mostly reads asexual books by asexual authors for asexual readers, but has expanded to read really whatever our host Amy wants. Because great books are great books and aces can do whatever they please. April’s book was Hello World, the first in the .Exe series!

Brew up that cup of coffee because it’s discussion time!

GreatAce.Club - Coffee Time! - Hello World Paperback Discussion Questions

Suggested Reading Schedule:

  • Week One – Prologue through Chapter 4
  • Week Two – Chapters 5-11
  • Week Three – Chapters 12-19
  • Week Four – Chapters 20-26
  • Week Five: Chapter 27 through Epilogue

Hello World Week One Discussion Questions

Hello World deals a lot with technology, data, and what it means to be a person living with that. What do you think about the world we are currently living in?

What do you think is more important, convenience or privacy? How much privacy should society be willing to give up to feel safe? To have information and necessities at their fingertips?

It’s a common trope in media for a character to be motivated to save a loved one. How do you predict Scott will undertake this going forward?

Like all good techy books, Hello World takes pieces of technology that already exist and create logical extensions from them. What technology can you see existing now or in the near future that we’ve experienced in these first few chapters?

We are already getting a sense of what Scott and Sonia’s relationship will be. What can you pick up on how they will befriend each other, or more? What are your predictions about their relationship?

What sort of qualities do you think UltSyn wants for its HIDs?

Besides college job fairs, where do you think UltSyn looks for candidates?

Hello World Week Two Discussion Questions

Have I mentioned recently that I love Scott? Because I love Scott. Now that we are getting into the thick of things, there is so much more to discuss, especially as we start to see more discussion about Scott’s asexuality. Without further ado, let’s read!

As we begin to see more asexual characters in media (see: FuckYeahAsexual’s Character Database or even the Goodreads List), and as asexuality becomes seen more in the mainstream, creators may begin to think about how to incorporate asexual characters into their work. What do you think about how Scott talks about his sexual attraction? Does it match with your own feelings as being ace?

Sinclair and Tauber have so much deliberate representation in Hello World. How many casual LGBT+ characters can you pick up on? Is this something you think is going to continue in more mainstream books? Out of the characters mentioned in this section, is there anyone you want to learn more about? Anyone you want to see in future books?

HIDs are pieces of technology, but they are also people. This is definitely something that the people fighting against UltSyn have to deal with. Do you think that Scott or Terry or Jesse feel the same way about Sonia? What do you think about the morality of HIDs in general? If UltSyn is using them for nefarious purposes, what is the best way to fight back?

Discuss Scott’s choice to sell Sonia. Did it make sense at the time? What did Jesse get out of it besides money? Do you think Jesse is a double agent, or just in it for whoever pays more?

Scott almost immediately regrets his actions. What does this tell you about his character?

Sinclair and Tauber do a lot to humanize their characters, like Scott “pretending” to get a text. How does this make the book more relatable? When’s a time you’ve done something similar?

How many people in Hello World are “just doing their jobs” despite basically experimenting on other human beings? How is a reflection of the real world?

We finally get our first Sonia chapter! What do we learn about her from her actions in this chapter?

How is their relationship changing? What predictions do you have about them?

In between the fast paced action, Sinclair and Tauber insert moments of humanity, like shopping in Paris. How does that help us associate with the characters more? What can we learn about them in these moments of relative quiet?

What technology in this section have you seen happening in real life? What technology would you like to see?

What predictions do you have about the party? What are you hoping will happen?

GreatAce.Club - Hello World Paperback Discussion Questions

Hello World Discussion Questions Week 3

We left off last week with Scott and Sonia preparing to go to the fancy UltSyn party! What do you think they’re going to find there? Let’s read on to find out!

What do you think Scott found in the office?

Do you think all of Scott’s hijinks might spur UltSyn to tighten their security? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia in the future?

Could Scott’s background and experience with UltSyn and HIDs affect how he sees Sonia? Is seeing her as a person first different from how others would see and therefore treat her? Do you think Sonia is different from other HIDs? How could Scott’s treatment help her as well?

In what ways do Sinclair and Tauber use real life security hacks in Hello World? Which things stand out to you as something real people or companies should be concerned about?

After seeing this second HID, does to confirm any belief that Sonia is different? What do you think happened to make her different? What struggles might Scott have if this is how most HIDs behave?

It is easy to see that in universe, HIDs are not considered entirely human. Does this track with how real life humans act about each other? How might incorporating people and technology change society’s view of them?

What have we learned about both Scott and Sonia so far, using the humanizing sections of the book? How has this changed from the beginning of the book?

How does what UltSyn does match up with real world for-profit health care companies?

What do we learn about Scott’s motivations in this section?

Is Scott and Sonia’s relationship fair? Why or why not?

What might Sonia find in her search for her family?

We are ending on quite the cliffhanger! What predictions do you have about what will happen in Denmark?

Hello World Discussion Questions Week 4

Ready to pick up in Denmark? Who has time for an intro when there’s cliffhangers to get through!

How does Scott use his understanding of Sonia to track her? How does this compare to real life tracking and how could UltSyn also use this knowledge?

Do you think UltSyn sends people after Sonia who have knowledge of her life before being an HID? Would that help them or hinder them?

What are some possible meanings of Sonia’s tattoo?

Does one person ever have an obligation or right to withhold information about another from that person? Would you want to know bad information about your past or prefer to leave it there?

Is Sonia/Lydia’s reaction to losing her family appropriate? How might someone dealing with grief react to the promise of losing their memories?

What implications does Sonia’s background raise about HIDs? About UltSyn?

”Sometimes, one act of kindness can change everything.” How does this quote really describe Scott?

At this point and after having several Sonia chapters, how is she different from other HIDs? What might this do to Scott’s expectations about his sister?

What were your thoughts and emotions as the scene with Victoria played out? Should Scott or Sonia have seen this coming? What could they have done to prevent it?

How does almost losing someone we love bring out our feelings? How do we see that in Sonia taking care of Scott?

How much of what Scott is going through is related to his physical wound, shock, and the mental toll of Victoria? What do you think will help him the most?

What do we learn about Sonia with her actions while Scott is hurt? Is what she did brave, foolish, or some combination?

What do you think would help get Scott out of his despair? Is it possible that even knowing it would be hard, he didn’t realize how hard it would be? Is he too close to this situation?

What do we learn about the HID program and UltSyn from Sonia and Victoria talking?

Could the first step of HID deprogramming be developing sarcasm? 2/2 HIDs say yes!

We get an opportunity to see more of Scott’s asexuality. How do you relate to this?

We are leaving this section off in one of the humanizing areas. What are we learning about Scott and Sonia? Where could their relationship be going?

What predictions do you have for the end of the book? What role will Victoria and Sonia play in working against UltSyn? Scott got his sister back; now what?

Hello World Discussion Questions Week 5

Amy here again, I’ve fully learned how to hijack the publisher’s accounts after reading Hello World! 😉 You know the posts that are like “when everything is wrapped up but there’s still a lot of pages left”? Am I the only one feeling that way about Hello World? If we stop here, they can all just live happily ever after, right? Just kidding! Let’s read on to see how Scott’s motivations might change and how Victoria will play a part in that!

Scott throughout the book very much claims to work on his own and to be in it for himself; but is he really? If his actions cause consequences that expose UltSyn, does that mean he did something selfless, even if he didn’t mean to? How much of his actions are actually selfish?

How does having Victoria back change him? How does it change Sonia?

We get to learn more about Terry and his crew in the last part of the book. Who are you hoping to see again in the sequel?
What benefits are there in having a secure home base? How can it also be a liability?

How many people in UltSyn do you think know about the system? How could the people of UltSyn be exploiting the system for their own advancement? How do people in real life do that?

How does needing to take down a computer system change the narrative of taking UltSyn down? How does this change the central conflict of the series?

Scott finally tells someone he’s asexual in this final section. How does this confirm the behavior and thoughts we’ve already seen? How does his description match or not match with your experiences?

What does Sonia’s reaction say about her?

What are some benefits of Scott being part of a group now? What might be some drawbacks?

How is the system different than what they expected?

Do Scott and Victoria get a happily ever after? What does coming home mean to both of them? To their parents?

How could UltSyn exploit this? How motivated do you think they are to do so?

Share your favorite parts of the book; what did you love the most? What do you hope to see in the sequel? Do you have any favorite quotes or characters? We’d love to see them here or in the #GreatAceClub tag!

Did you see any overarching themes or tones you found while reading?

What does the teaser chapter hint at in the next book? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia?

Can we peer pressure Art Over Chaos Publishing (wait a second…) to release the next book sooner? (Warning: Amy’s peer pressure is coming from inside the house!!!) Be sure to sign up for the newsletter at GreatAce.Club to be the first to see what May’s read is!

We hope you found these discussion questions about Hello World helpful to your book club, or just yourself looking to connect with fellow readers at your own pace. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Hello World, there hasn’t been a better time. New cover, and new teaser for book two included in the updated version. Catch you all later!

GreatAce.Club - Hello World Discussion Questions