This reading group guide for Substitute Me includes discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Lori L. Tharps. 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. Questions for Discussion
1. While waiting for the bus on her first day as a nanny, Zora recalls that both of the families she worked for in Paris were White, so “why was she playing the race card now . . . [she tried] to recall a time when she’d ever been more hyperaware of being Black in a White world” (page 46). Why does Zora feel this way now when she didn’t previously? What circumstances have changed?
2. If Zora is so concerned with what her family and friends think about her becoming a nanny, why does she accept the Carters’ job offer?
3. “As the words tumbled out of her mouth, Kate wasn’t sure where they came from. It was like there was a script in her head and she was just reading the words” (page 57). Besides, when she’s explaining that she’s ready to return to work, are there other examples of Kate saying or doing things she thinks are “right” but are not necessarily how she feels? Can other characters relate?
4. Why does Brad initially maintain a dis