1. Sam’s mother told him that he was given extraordinary eyes because he was going to lead an extraordinary life. What do you think of her approach to his condition of ocular albinism?
2 .”God did not make you different, Fernando. He made you special.“
Sam teaches the same lessons to Fernando as his mother did for him. Do you think that we are like our parents? That we become like them in our old age? Have you said things that your parents said to you?
3. Sam’s moms’ religious beliefs influenced how she raised Sam. She fought to get him into Our Lady of Mercy school when he was denied admittance because Sister Beatrice thought Sam would be a disruptive to the learning environment at the school. What do you think of Sam’s mom with meeting the principal and how she handled the situation?
4. Which character did you like the most? Which character did you like the least?
5. Were there any parts in the book that you found unrealistic?
6. David Bateman bullied Sam when he was young at OLM school and later he reappears in Sam’s life when Sam is an ophthalmologist. How well do you think Sam handled his nemesis? What would have you done in Sam’s place?
7. The book was based on a family that was Catholic. Did you find the book too religious?
8. Sam, Mickie and Ernie were best friends. Why do you think they remained best friends? What kept them so tight knit?
9. The book contained many themes such as bullying, racism, friendship, family, and discrimination to name a few. Which theme impacted you the most?
10. “Don’t ever think of yourself as being something less than the person you are because of your eyes, Sam. If you do, people will take advantage of it, and you’ll find yourself doing things you don’t want to do.“
Sam’s dad gave him good advice in the above quote. Why do you think Sam decided to wear brown contacts after he left St. Joe’s? And why did he decide not to wear them anymore years later?
11. When Sam’s dad had a stroke, Sam questions his faith. Sam’s mom said it was ‘God’s will.’ Have you ever been tested or questioned your faith?
12. Given the title of the book, The Extraordinary life of Sam Hell, did you think Sam led an extraordinary life? And what does an extraordinary life entail?
13. What did you think of the ending?
14. After reading The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, who would you recommend it to?
Enhance Your Book Club:
Check out author interview with Robert Dugoni talking about The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.