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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
  • freshman reading
Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective…but there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky’s haunting debut novel has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, grown into a cult phenomenon with over three million copies in print, spent over one year at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and inspired a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
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  • MTV Books | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671027346 | 
  • February 1999
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THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Perks of Being A Wallflower includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. 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.


Introduction

First published in 1999, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the aching, confusing, and glorious experience of being a teenager—all through the eyes, ears, and letters of the book’s narrator, Charlie. We don’t know where Charlie lives and we don’t know to whom he is writing. But Charlie’s haunting letters, addressed only to “Dear Friend,” bring readers straight to the heart of his struggles to fit in, to find the will to “participate” in life, and to cope with the realities of the larger world as he learns how to grow up.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Discuss the epistolary format of the book. Why do you think Chbosky chose to use letters as his narrative structure? How did this structure affect the book, both in terms of the story and in terms of your reading experience? How would the book have been different if Chbosky had written it in first-person or third-person narrative?

2. Who do you think Charlie was writing t see more

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About the Author

Stephen Chbosky
Photo Credit:

Stephen Chbosky

Stephen Chbosky wrote and directed the feature film adaptation of his novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he graduated from the University of Southern California’s Filmic Writing Program. His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at Sundance Film Festival. He wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed film adaptation of Rent; and co-created the post-apocalyptic television drama, Jericho. He also edited Pieces, a collection of short stories for Pocket Books. Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenChbosky.

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