Discussion Questions for Night Journey by Murad Kalam
1. The area of Phoenix where most of the novel takes place is described as "little and laughable, a caricature of Los Angeles." How might the boys' lives have been better and worse if they lived in a city like L.A.? How are they shaped by the size and nature of their environment?
2. How do Eddie and Turtle react to the disappearance of their father? How do their reactions most significantly differ from each other? How does this desertion kick-start the events that make up the rest of the story?
3. Name the father figures encountered by Eddie and Turtle throughout the book. In what ways did each man help or fail the boys? Who among them had the best intentions? Who had the worst?
4. What is the importance of Eddie's involvement with the Nation of Islam? What specific changes come about in his life because of that involvement? Is his attraction to the group initially a spiritual one, a social one, or both? Does it remain that way? What does the impending Million Man March add as a backdrop to the rest of the novel?
5. What keeps Eddie from the same type of trouble that plagues Turtle? What formative events do most to shape Eddie when he is younger? What role does his talent for boxing play? What people or incidents influence the decisions, and how does this differ from Turtle's experience?
6. The novel is driven by many personal and social themes. Did you react to the book largely as a persona