The suggested discussion questions for Missing Max by Karen Young are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
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1. Jane and Kyle faced parents’ ultimate fear—a kidnapped child. Do you think a strong faith is essential to coping with tragedy? What about people who aren’t believers?
2. Christine tried to persuade Jane that faith would help her through this nightmare, but Jane hardened her heart. Have you known a friend going through a terrible tragedy? How did you help?
3. To cope, Jane volunteered at Child Search, a group who helped other people who’d lost a child. Kyle felt rejected and withdrew into his job. Melanie acted out with rebellion and anger. Each coped in different ways. Was there a better way to deal with tragedy? Or was the situation simply too horrible? How would you cope in a similar situation?
4. Jane’s career suffered when she neglected her job by throwing herself into volunteering at Child Search. Have you experienced a situation that affected your job performance? How were you able to get beyond that?
5. Max was taken when Melanie turned her back briefly. As a parent, have you done the same thing? Looking back, do you recall a careless moment when the unthinkable could have happened, but thankfully didn’t?
6. Was it believable that Melanie got pregnant to “replace Max?”
7. Were Jane and Kyle’s reaction to Melanie’s pregnancy typical of most parents?
8. What theme came through to you when reading Missing Max?
9. What is your belief when dealing with the age-old question: Why do bad things happen to good people?