This reading group guide for Jesse: A Mother's Story includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Marianne Leone. The suggested questions 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.
Jesse Cooper was an honor-roll student who loved to windsurf and write poetry. He also had severe cerebral palsy and was quadriplegic, unable to speak, and wracked by seizures. He died suddenly at age seventeen. In Jesse: A Mother’s Story,
Jesse’s mother, Marianne Leone, shows readers that despite challenges along the way—including her struggle to integrate Jesse into the public school system—life with Jesse was more rich and joyful than anyone could have imagined. In his short lifetime, Jesse lived life to the fullest and brought unbelievable happiness to everyone he met. Jesse
is a heartbreaking, spirited, and poignant memoir, in which Marianne writes passionately about her family’s journey—the hope, challenges, grief, and love.TOPICS & QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
is filled with humorous scenes, such as when Jesse kicks a monk who is trying to bless him. Discuss the tone of the book and how Marianne was able to infuse her st