Topics for Discussion
1. What kinds of catastrophes, natural or man-made, could have brought about the destruction of an entire civilization, sending it back to a primitive state, like that of Gathering Blue?
2. Why might Kira's village remain in ruin, never regaining the glory and sophistication it once seemed to enjoy?
3. In what ways is the funeral ceremony at the beginning of the story alike or different than those we know?
4. When did you begin to suspect that Kira's mom did not die of a disease. When did you begin to suspect that her father is not killed by beasts? What clues are there?
5. How does the Way, the law that governs life in the village, seem similar and different from the laws that govern our lives?
6. How do the Guardians maintain control over the people in the village?
7. The Edifice is the only structure to survive the Ruin. What do you think it is before the ruin? How might it be significant that this building is the only one to survive? What clues are given that reveal its previous role?
8. How are Kira, Thomas, and Jo different from all others in the village?
9. Why have Kira, Thomas, and Jo been taken to live in the Edifice? Why are they not given to another family like other children who have been orphaned?
10. How is life in the Edifice different from life in the village? Why do you suppose this is true?
11. How is Arabella different from the other adults in the story? What forbidden truth did she reveal to Kira?
12. Why does the Gathering seem like a religious ceremony of some kind? What are the similarities and differences? What do you suppose is the purpose of the Gathering?
13. Why do you think the Singer is in chains? What might that symbolize?
14. Besides gathering plants that can be used to make blue dye, what symbolic meaning might be attached to the title, Gathering Blue? What is it that Kira is really seeking to add to the fabric of life in the village?
15. Why do you think Kira decides to remain in the village rather than leave to live with her father in the much nicer place where he has come to live?