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Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide


"All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr



• Boy Scouts removes openly gay leader/employee restriction
• Sarah Thomas first woman NFL referee
• Supreme Court rules states cannot ban same-sex marriage



Anthony Doerr’s son grew up during the ten years it took to write the novel. Doerr made the connection between the magic of cell phone and the power of the radio during WWII, spent time in St. Malo during a book tour, and was inspired by Iraqi curators who protected treasures from looters and war.


Featured Reader Wanted!

Featured Reader

– Share your key take-away about inclusion in this book in a sentence or two.
– Write a paragraph or two (up to 250 words) to describe your thoughts on exclusion/inclusion in the book, why you related or did not connect with the book, and why you think reading, inclusion and dialog about inclusion matter.
– Identify the name and website address of a cause you support with an inclusive mission.


WW2 German radio savant connects with blind French resistance girl


Frederick, the nerdy vision-impaired weak link in a German boot camp, is the only person willing to stand up to prevent water torture.


World War II-centric novel that has very little to do with America or Americans. Historical fiction meets mystery thriller.


544 engaging pages or 16 hours.


Find Common Ground. The “enemy” is a person just like you are.


This is a WW2 story that centers around the inspirational French resistance and German soldiers who are not all monsters or robots. We see the sordid side of Russian soldiers. Americans are not central to the story.


Bake rolls and hide a message in each one.


“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”


Turn out the lights, turn on the radio. Decorate with shells. See who can tell the difference between a faux diamond and the real thing and who can pick a lock. Have some binoculars by the window for bird identification.


Give an example of something you heard on the radio – or online – that had a long-lasting influence on you.
Combatants depersonalize their enemies. How can you personalize people on the other side of a cause you strongly support?
What did you learn about blindness from this novel? German military training of boys? Russian involvement in WWII?
What’s to be learned from the acts of defiance by women of the French resistance who outwitted German oppressors?


Check out the diamonds and whelk shells at the closest natural history museum until you get to the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. If you make it to France drive, don’t walk, to St. Malo and see the Chateau de Saint-Malo, a castle/museum with a lookout tower. Essen, Germany was practically leveled during World War II; the nearby boroughs of Kettwig and Werden are more like the Essen of the novel.


Potentially a future Netflix series


“Cloud Cuckoo Land” (2021) by Anthony Doerr.

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