1)Who did you think had taken the boys? Did your opinion change as the story progressed?
2)‘His generation don’t have the innocence of those before. They don’t believe people are inherently good. They’ve grown up with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, the worst of humanity streaked across their screens.’
Connor refers to the negative impact of social media on his generation. What do you think the positives are? Discuss.
3)Everyone in the book has a secret. Do you think this is true of most families?
4)‘“Chicken.” Tyler had tucked his elbows into his waist and flapped his arms like a bird.
‘“I’m not scared,” Connor said. But he was.’
Connor has been involved in an incident that has left him with a huge amount of guilt and regret. What are your thoughts on peer pressure? Can you understand why people, particularly children, succumb to it?
5)Which character did you have the most empathy for and why?
6)‘When the boys were small they had a Stretch Armstrong action figure. They’d each tug on an arm, laughing as the limbs grew and grew, wondering if he would snap. I feel like that toy now. Wishing I could snake one arm out around Connor and keep the other one here around Kieron.’
Lucy feels torn between her children. When Tyler went missing do you think she should have left Kieron in hospital and gone to Connor?
7)‘This is not just Kieron’s illness. It’s everyone’s.’
Discuss the impact a sick family member can have on the rest of the family. Do you think this family could have communicated more effectively?
8)‘Connor knows that after this – for he has to believe there is an after – he will be more vigilant, more inquisitive. The car waiting at the lights, the one speeding in a residential area – who is driving them and what hidden cargo are they carrying? Connor will always wonder.’ If the news is to be believed crime is all around us and yet we very rarely see it. Why do you think this is?
9)The local radio station asked people to tweet their thoughts on the missing boys using the #TheTaken. What are your opinions on social media being used in this way?
10) Were you satisfied with the ending?