When Mystical Creatures Attack!

Book Club Discussion Guide of Mystery & Wonder


1. What is your favorite mystical creature?


2. What is the greatest socio-political problem of our time?


3. The book opens with a quote from Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Thoughts?


4. Is Ms. Freedman a good teacher?


5. Ms. Freedman aspires to use the power of literature to rescue students from lives of poverty and despair. Can literature save people? What book saved you?


6. In “Recipes for Disaster,” Methodist women reveal their inner lives through recipes in a fundraising cookbook. What recipe would you contribute to a community cookbook? What would it reveal about you?


7. In “Virtue of the Month,” Laura Freedman tries to pin down the logic of suicide. Is suicide ever a logical act? Can logic save someone from despair?


8. In “Elephants Never Forget,” Janice explains why she left Texas. What saved Janice?


9. Is Cody Splunk a hero? A good writer?


10. Dragons: real or not?


11. In “Uncommon Happiness,” Laura Freedman writes an advice column. Is Laura’s advice sound?


12. In “Like the Russian Said,” Laura Freedman initially identifies the unearthly character sitting on the gravestone as her mother’s ghost. At the end of the story, Laura addresses this character, stating, “I think you’re the devil.” How do you interpret the ghost character?


13. What is the meaning of the final story in the book (“The Apple”)? From your point of view, does “When Mystical Creatures Attack!” have a happy ending?


14. Dostoevsky’s parable of the turnip suggests that a person can be redeemed by the smallest act of kindness. What would be your “turnip”? What object would your guardian angel use to pull you out of the lake of fire?



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