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The Perks of Being a Wallflower


The Perks of Being a Wallflower Cover



Reading Group Guide

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

By Stephen Chbosky

Discussion Questions

1. Why do you think Charlie wants to remain anonymous? Have there been times when you wish you could have, or did?

2. Would you be friends with Charlie? Why or why not?

3. What do we learn about Michael? Do you sympathize with Charlie's reaction?

4. What do you think about Susan's relationship with her boyfriend? When Charlie tells Bill, did you think Bill would call his parents? Do you think that was the right thing to do? What do you think of her parent's reaction?

5. Discuss Charlie's reaction to his brother and sister throwing a party. What did you think about the couple in his room? What about Charlie's response?

6. What do you think being a wallflower is? Do you agree with Bob's definition?

7. How do you feel about Patrick and Brad's relationship? Do you think Patrick is understanding of Brad's feelings? What chance at a relationship do they have? Do you think that you can have a 'true' relationship built on secrets?

8. Charlie mentions that his dad "had glory days once." What do you think Charlie's glory days will be? Do you think he is worried about not having any?

9. Discuss Charlie's family holidays. Are there elements that are universal to every family dynamic? Has anything about Charlie's family surprised you? Describe aunt Helen. What kind of person is she?

10. Talk about the mixed tapes in the story. Are you familiar with the songs and bands? Why do you think Charlie speaks about them so often?

11. Do you like that the story is told through letters? Do you feel you know the kind of person Charlie is? His friends and family?

12. Several important issues come up during the course of the book, ranging from molestation to drug use. How does Charlie deal with these? How have the issues affected his friends and family?

13. Charlie has a few breakdowns. Do you feel hopeful for him? How much of his past explains his present?

14. Charlie's friends are moving away at the end of the story. Where does this leave Charlie? Can he make new friends?

15. Bill is very supportive of Charlie. How does this affect Charlie?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 69 comments:

Cobie Quinlan, January 3, 2014 (view all comments by Cobie Quinlan)
Chbosky's story is well-written. I especially enjoyed reading it because of the charismatic style that the author has. I haven’t read many good books that are written in this ‘diary’ style. Since I am one to usually avoid those after experience, I found that after reading the first few pages, this one was different. Charlie was an honest, mature boy who seemed to see things differently. I loved his shy opinions and thoughts about things, and his cute way of writing that made me laugh reading some entries. Stephen Chbosky's style seems to be less descriptive, more philosophical, but still easy enough to read and understand. He uses interesting words I found myself sometimes looking up in the dictionary, but simple ones too that are comfortable to the reader. I immensely enjoyed reading "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and I’m looking forward to checking out another works of his.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Cristal, December 19, 2013 (view all comments by Cristal)
When I finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chybosky, I sat there in a stunned silence. The book was strongly powerful in a manner that diary or letter style books rarely achieve. There is usually a sense of implausibility in those types of books that Charlie's character completely negated. When trying to describe Charlie the mind suddenly reels, he's honest. Completely and utterly genuine in his perceptions and most of his actions. Charlie is also and emotional basket case that somehow manages to attract a special group of friends to him. A group of voluntary outcasts that go through the same problems teenagers face everywhere. Sex, drugs, relationships and acceptance figure heavily into everyone's lives, despite their personal beliefs on those subjects. I would like to mention Stephen's portrayal of Patrick, I was pleased to see the sbuject of homosexuality treated in such a plain manner. It was accepted as a fact and only the feelings invovled in the situations were important. I would recomment this book to a wide range of people, old or young, straight or gay, conservative or liberal. It was a pleasure to read and I enjoyed it immensely.
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(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
shallgal, February 1, 2013 (view all comments by shallgal)
This book it lovely! I encourage people to read it before watching the movie, it's far better. The plot allows for real character depth, and the story is very original. I found myself falling in love with this novel every time I picked it up!
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(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Chbosky, Stephen
MTV Books
New York :
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - General
Social Situations - Adolescence
Conduct of life
High school students
Epistolary fiction
General Fiction
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
February 1999
Grade Level:
7 x 5 in 6.93 oz
Age Level:

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.00 In Stock
Product details 224 pages MTV Books - English 9780671027346 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

This coming-of-age story absolutely shines. Charlie is your average teenager trying to navigate the treacherous waters of adolescence, yet he's so much more than that. Recognizing something special in Charlie, a teacher feeds him literature and tries to guide him into growth and maturity. Charlie has a bit more on his plate than he knows what to do with, however. Chbosky manages to dodge stereotypes while mining his characters for the real humanity underneath the surface. This tiny novella delivers a huge, heart-warming story. Teenage years have never seemed so poignant, nor so beautiful!

"Review" by , "The Perks of Being a Wallflower is part of an MTV Books series that targets teen-age readers. But it is more mature than most young adult literature and can be enjoyed by older readers as well."
"Review" by , "Charlie develops from an observant wallflower into his own man of action, and, with the help of a therapist, he begins to face the sexual abuse he had experienced as a child. This report on his life will engage teen readers for years to come."
"Synopsis" by , A series of letters to an unknown correspondent reveals the coming-of-age trials of a high-schooler named Charlie.
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