Discussion Questions for Fist Stick Knife Gun by Geoffrey Canada

The Las Vegas Non-Fiction Book Group meets tomorrow to discuss Fist Stick Knife Gun – a Personal History of Violence by Geoffrey Canada.  These are the questions I will use to keep the discussion going.

Why do you think Canada begins his story with the description of the incident with the jacket when Geoff says he “first became aware of violence”?

Why do you think that the incident with the boy with the ringworm made Canada lose his “innocence” regarding trust and friendship?

In Chapter Three Geoff talks about some of the “rules” of the street regarding fist fights and tells about the fight he had with David. What are your thoughts about what he learned from it?

How do you think Canada’s experience help him understand what to do when he was working at the school in Boston and he had a situation with two boys who were anxious to finish a fight they had started?

What do you think about the incident where Kevin has to “prove himself”? What did he prove, and why was it important to him?

Do you think it is significant that Geoff never had his finger fixed?

How did Canada’s gun influence him and why did he feel he needed it?

What is your opinion on the data suggested by Marian Wright Edelman and her oganisation?

What do you think of the Beacon Schools? How do they help?

Why do you think that the USA is the leader of killing it’s own children in the Western World?

Canada and two girls walked away from a shocking, violent scene. Explain what happened and their reaction to it. What do you think about their choice and why?

Discuss Canada’s suggestions of the actions that he thinks the government must take to reduce this violence. Do you think they can work?

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