Degrees of Deceit Book Club Questions

1. College admissions and academic integrity issues have been in the news. How do you think lack of academic integrity affects society in the long term?

2. Texas’s “top 10 percent law” was created to base college admissions on ability rather than factors that had been rejected as unconstitutional, such as race. The law’s unintended consequence has been a focus on a single number, class rank, in admissions. Consider what this focus on one number does to academic integrity in high schools. Can you think of a solution?

3. Did a building ever make you uncomfortable? A location? Why do you think you reacted that way?

4. Would you like to see ghosts? Have you ever seen a ghost? Tell your story.

5. Teenagers, according to research, don’t have fully developed brains and can’t always foresee long term consequences for their behavior. What punishment do you think is appropriate for the malefactor in the book?

6. Do you think overprotecting children can stunt their ability to face difficulties in life?

7. What age do you think a child is an adult? Do you think 18 is reasonable given that alcohol and credit cards are restricted until 21 because of poor understanding and decision making? Why or why not?

8. Taking “Ground Zero” in New York as an example, do you think events ‘mark’ a location? In what way? Would you erase the emotions created by that location if you could?

9. Is it too easy today to attack someone anonymously via social media? From trolling to character assassination via Twitter, the internet allows for people to be attacked on little more than a whim. What safeguards would you implement to protect people whose jobs may vanish with their reputation because someone took offense at nothing and unleashed a mob?

10. Do you think a university education is worth its cost? Why or why not?