Books to Go: For Book Groups


Mount Prospect Public Library offers book discussion kits specifically designed for book groups. Each kit may be checked out for six weeks and includes ten copies of a title, as well as a binder containing information about the book, biographical information on the author, and questions for discussion. To reserve a kit, contact the Fiction-AV-Teen desk in person, call 847/590-4070, or at This service is funded by Friends of the Mount Prospect Library.

Printable List of Current Books-to-Go Kits

Book Discussion Kit Guidelines

Book Discussion Kit Titles


Thought Provoking and Meaningful Narratives

Stories that focus on issues such as racism, sexism, immigration.

All American Boys book cover

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

Character-Driven, Realistic, Timely
Behold the Dreamers book cover

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

When Cameroonian immigrants Jendi and Neni Jonga find jobs working for a senior executive, the American Dream seems real. In the course of their work, they begin to witness infidelities, skirmishes, and family secrets, but it is in the aftermath of a corporate collapse that tragedy changes all their lives forever.

Thoughtful, Authentic, Compelling
The Other Americans book cover

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

Who killed Driss Guerraoui? Was it a hit-and-run accident, or was it murder — a brutal act against the Moroccan immigrant who might pose a threat to a neighborhood business? The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters from the community including family members,
investigators, suspects, reluctant witnesses, and the victim himself.

Complex, Suspenseful, Dramatic
Cover of The Turner House

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

The Turners’ house has seen thirteen children grown and gone, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. When the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage, the Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts – and shapes – their family’s future.

Vivid, Poignant, Sweeping
Vox book cover

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Marginalized in a near-future America where the government limits women to no more than 100 spoken words daily before outlawing women’s education and employment altogether, a former doctor resolves to be heard for the sake of her daughter.

Suspenseful, Incendiary, Chilling

Novels Inspired by Real Events

Fictional stories that are based on actual historical events.

American Spy book cover

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

A Cold War FBI intelligence officer joins an undercover task force to seduce a revolutionary African Communist president she secretly admires and comes to love. Inspired by true events this novel knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance.

Suspenseful, Insightful, Compelling
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek book cover

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Inspired by the blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the dedicated Pack Horse Library Service. Cussy is a book woman; she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a deep blue. Not everyone is keen on the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias.

Likeable, Engaging, Thought-Provoking
the only woman in the room book cover

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict

A beautiful woman escapes her Austrian arms-dealer husband to become Hollywood legend Hedy Lamarr while hiding a secret double life as a Jewish scientist and sharing vital information about the Third Reich.

Dramatic, Compelling, Surprising
Salt to the Sea book cover

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Winter 1945. Four refugees. Four secrets. Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies, war. As thousands desperately flee in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, but when tragedy strikes, they must fight for the same thing: Survival.

Haunting, Heartbreaking, Visceral


Stories with an element of the unknown that compel you to see how they end.

lady in the lake book cover

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

A divorced reporter in racially torn 1966 Baltimore triggers unanticipated consequences for vulnerable community members while investigating the murder of an African-American girl.

Dramatic, Thoughtful, Surprising
The Last Mrs. Parrish book cover

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Amber Patterson is tired of being a nobody: an invisible woman who melts into the background. She deserves more. Daphne Parrish, with her model looks, picture-perfect mansion and millionaire husband, Jackson, she has everything Amber wants. Amber’s envy could eat her alive. Before long, she has become Daphne’s closest friend, and is catching the eye of Jackson. But a skeleton from her past could destroy everything.

Twisty, Compelling, Intense
Little Broken Things book cover

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

When Quinn Cruz receives a cryptic message from her older sister, Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. But when a haunted-looking Nora shows up just hours later with a frightened young girl, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Intense, Atmospheric, Gripping

Lighter Options:

Stories that are warm-hearted with a happy outcome.

Ayesha at Last book cover

Ayesha at Last by Usma Jalaluddin

Ayesha Shamsi’s dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage as is custom. Then she meets Khalid, who is as smart and handsome as he
is conservative and judgmental, and she is irritatingly attracted to him.

Romantic, Upbeat, Engaging
Evvie Drake Starts Over book cover

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Young widow Evvie Drake and major league pitcher Dean Tenney, who has lost his game and needs a chance to reset his life, form an unlikely relationship when Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house.

Heartwarming, Charming, Humorous
Harry's trees book cover

Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen

Harry Crane, works as an analyst in a treeless US Forest Service office. When his wife dies in a freak accident, he makes his way to the remote woods of Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, intent on losing himself. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana. She, too, has lost someone and in the magical, willful world of her reckoning, Oriana believes that Harry is the key to finding her way back to him.

Heartbreaking, Touching, Optimistic
less book cover

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town? ANSWER: You accept them all.

Sardonic, Bittersweet, Engaging
Meet me at the Museum book cover

Meet me at the Museum by Anne Youngson

Anders, a widowed museum curator Denmark, has lost his wife and his hopes for the future. On an isolated farm in England, Tina is trapped in a life she doesn’t remember choosing. They are brought together by a shared fascination with the Tollund Man, subject of Seamus Heaney’s famous poem, and they begin writing letters to one another. From their vastly different worlds, they find they have more in common than they could have imagined.

Heartfelt, Gentle, Poignant
Rules for Visiting book cover

Rules for Visiting by Jessica Kane

At forty, May Attaway is more at home with plants than people. When she is unexpectedly granted some leave from her job, May is inspired to reconnect with four once close friends. She knows they will never have a proper reunion, so she goes, one-by-one, to each of them.

Hilarious, Quirky, Smart

Next-Level Discussions:

For groups that want to kick it up a notch! These are unconventional stories that aren’t your usual
discussion fare.

The bear and the nightingale book cover

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, a stranger presents a new father with a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. When mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the one who can keep the darkness at bay.

Lush, Atmospheric, Dynamic
Exit West book cover

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. Then they begin to hear whispers of doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously.

Haunting, Beautiful, Relevant
Land of Love and Drowning book cover

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

Set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world, three gifted siblings orphaned by a shipwreck off the Virgin Islands grow up to raise three generations from 1916 to the 1970s, adapting to the unique language, rhythm, and magic of island life over 60 years.

Spellbinding, Mystical, Haunting
The Memory Police book cover

Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

On an unnamed island, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses—until things become much more serious. Most of the island’s inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few imbued with the power to recall the lost objects live in fear of the Memory Police,
who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten.

Suspenseful, Disturbing, Provocative
Miss Iceland book cover

Miss Iceland by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Moving to 1960s Reykjavik to pursue her literary ambitions, an aspiring novelist moves in with her gay childhood friend only to be confronted by a small male-dominated community that does not believe women belong in the art world.

Atmospheric, Melancholic, Bittersweet

Books That Take You Back:

Stories that take you to a time and place in the past

Dear Mrs. Bird book cover

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce

An adventurous young woman takes a typist job to assist the war effort and lands in the employ of a renowned advice columnist before she begins secretly replying to heart-wrenching letters rejected as unsuitable.

Heartwarming, Charming, Plucky
The Grammarians book cover

The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine

“The Grammarians” are Laurel and Daphne Wolfe, identical, inseparable redheaded twins who share an obsession with words. They speak a secret “twin” tongue of their own as toddlers; as adults making their way in 1980s Manhattan, their verbal infatuation continues, but this love, which has always bound them together, begins instead to push them apart.

Endearing, Comic, Wry
The Orphan's Tale book cover

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail statio. When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Powerful, Poignant, Gripping
The Travelers book cover

The Travelers by Regina Porter

This book follows the experiences of two interconnected American families, one black and one white, against a backdrop of historical events from the 1950s through the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Sweeping, Compelling, Innovative

Authentic Stories and Experiences:

Narratives focused on actual events and people.

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers book cover

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

The first full-length biography of Fred Rogers tells the story of this utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories, and archival documents, the author traces Rogers’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work.

Uplifting, Enlightening, Inspiring
The Library Book book cover

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The author reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution: Our libraries.

Compelling, Detailed, Dramatic
Shrill book cover

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

Ferociously witty and outspoken, comedian Lindy West bravely shares essays from her own life, including her transition from quiet to feminist-out-loud, coming of age in a popular culture that is hostile to women (especially fat, funny women) and how keeping quiet is not an option for any of us.

Engaging, Humorous, Issue-Oriented
Wow No Thank You book cover

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

An acclaimed collection of humorous and edgy that highlight the ups and downs of aging, marriage and living with step-children in small-town Michigan.

Irreverent, Candid, Bawdy

Tales of Life as We Know It:

Fictional but realistic stories set in the present day.

The Almost Sisters book cover

The Almost Sisters Joshilyn Jackson

Leia Birch Briggs is single, pregnant, and unsure of her baby’s father’s name. Meanwhile, her stepsister’s marriage is unraveling, the deadline for her next comic book is quickly approaching and her grandmother has a form of dementia she’s been keeping hidden for years. When Leia arrives at
her grandmother’s home to help get her affairs in order, she realizes the illness isn’t the only secret being kept.

Quirky, Sassy, Thoughtful
The Mothers book cover

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Set in Southern California and narrated by the elder church women of their black community, this story begins with a secret. It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken beauty who takes up with the local pastor’s son. Though the two aren’t serious, the pregnancy (and cover-up) that results will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

Bittersweet, Lyrical, Provocative
The One-in-a-Million Boy book cover

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

After the death of his son, Quinn seeks forgiveness for his paternal shortcomings by completing one of the boy’s unfinished Boy Scout badges. He soon discovers that his son had talked a spry 104-year-old immigrant into trying for the world record for Oldest Licensed Driver. Despite himself, Quinn picks up where the boy left off, forging a friendship that allows him to know the son he never understood.

Poignant, Whimsical, Engaging
This is How it Always Is book cover

This Is How It Always by Laurie Frankel

A family reshapes their ideas about family, love and loyalty when youngest son Claude reveals increasingly determined preferences for girls’ clothing and accessories and refuses to stay silent.

Moving, Amusing, Thought-Provoking
Young Jane Young book cover

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Aviva Grossman [is] an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss. How does one go on after this? In Aviva’s case, she sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine.

Reflective, Warm-Hearted, Witty

Book Discussion Kit Guidelines

  • A. Book discussion kits may be checked out for six (6) weeks. They may not be renewed.
  • B. Kits may be reserved up to a year in advance through the Fiction/AV/Teen Services desk. This may be done in person, by calling 847/253-5675 extension 4070, or by emailing
  • C. Kits should be picked up at the Fiction-AV-Teen Services Desk and a staff member will walk the kit down to the Patron Services Desk for checkout.
  • D. Kits are checked out to one person. Members of the group should get their copies from the person who checked out the kit. Kits come as a set. Individual items from the kit may not be checked out.
  • E. Two kits at a time may be checked out to an individual
  • F. The individual who checks out the kit is responsible for the return of the complete kit, including the bag, the books, and the binder.
  • G. Failure to return book discussion kits on time may infringe on future borrowing privileges of such kits.
  • H. Book discussion kits must be returned to the Patron Services Desk for check-in during open Library hours. They may not be returned in the book drop or using the automated check-in system.
  • I. Book discussion kits are available for reciprocal borrowing but may not be Interlibrary Loaned.

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