Opportunities to Affect Reading Guides

Each month the Opportunities to Affect in fellowship! magazine suggests a book related to a missional formation topic. Reading group study guides are available each month to help lead group discussions about the book and its relationship to the missional topic of the month.
The 2014-15 reading list features historical novels, fiction, memoirs and non-fiction. Each book relates to current advocacy and missions topics and will both enrich and challenge as you explore these important issues.

Download the 2014-15 Reading List

NeverFallAugust 2014

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

A powerful historical novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace, Never Fall Down is the unforgettable story of Cambodian advocate Arn Chorn-Pond, told from his point of view as a young boy. The story follows his journey to survive the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979 and the labor camps of the Khmer Rouge.

Download a copy of the Reading Group Discussion Guide for August.

InventionWingsSeptember 2014

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment and expression will leave no reader unmoved. 

Download a copy of the Reading Group Discussion Guide for September.

BrokeUSAOctober 2014

From the author of the New York Times Notable Book of the Year Drive By comes a unique and riveting exploration of one of America’s largest and fastest-growing industries—the business of poverty.

Download a copy of the Reading Group Discussion Guide for October.

BreakingNightNovember 2014

Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray

Breaking Night is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets and who eventually made it into Harvard. The book is an unforgettable and beautifully written story of one young woman’s indomitable spirit to survive and prevail against all odds. 

Download a copy of the Reading Group Discussion Guide for November

MountainsEchoedDecember 2014

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but also brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor and sacrifice for one another. 

Download a copy of the Reading Group Discussion Guide for December.

BigTruckJanuary 2015

The Big Truck that Went By by Jonathan Katz

In this visceral first-hand account, Katz takes readers inside the terror of the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, the devastation visited on ordinary Haitians and the monumental—yet misbegotten—rescue effort that followed. 

Download a copy of the Reading Group Discussion Guide for January.

FlightBehaviorFebruary 2015

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Set in present day Appalachia, Flight Behavior concerns a young wife and mother who experiences something she cannot explain. Her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. 

Download a copy of the Reading Group Discussion Guide for February.

AskNoQuestionsMarch 2015

Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos

(Young Adult novel) Since emigrating from Bangladesh, fourteen-year-old Nadira and her family have been living on expired visas, hoping to realize their dream of becoming legal U.S. citizens. When Nadira’s father is arrested and detained at the U.S.-Canadian border, it’s up to Nadira to be strong and bring her family back together.

Download a copy of the Reading Group Discussion Guide for March.

WalkingDarkApril 2015

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor

Taylor asks us to put aside our fears and anxieties and to explore all that God has to teach us “in the dark.” Through darkness we find courage, we understand the world in new ways and we feel God’s presence around us, guiding us through things seen and unseen. 

Reading group discussion guide will be available March 1.

OrphanTrainMay 2015

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life.

Reading group discussion guide will be available April 1.


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