Book Club Guide: Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

One of our favorite Book Nerd activities is going to book club! Book clubs create community, help us stay on track to get through our TBR pile while also discovering new faves, and allow space to talk for hours on end about our favorite characters. To help with your book club endeavors, we’ve created book club guides for some of our favorite YA titles. This Small Favors book club guide will help you get the most out of reading Erin A. Craig’s latest bestseller.

If you’re looking for other book club articles, check out 10 Easy Steps to Hosting a Virtual Book Club and don’t forget to tag @getunderlined whenever your book club meets!

Book Club Discussion Questions

  1. What four words would you use to describe Small Favors to your friends? Compare your words to those chosen by the other readers in your group.
  2. If you’ve read Erin A. Craig’s other novel, House of Salt and Sorrows, you know she is a master of dark fairy tale retellings. Can you tell which fairy tale she has reinvented in Small Favors? What did she change, and what did she keep the same? What lessons does this fairy tale teach Ellerie and the townsfolk?
  3. Temptation is a powerful force in this novel. What temptations did you observe? What would have been worth the risk for you?
  4. The trouble begins when the town’s supply run party fails to return. This is the first sign that things will not go well for the townspeople. Instead of goods, this episode brings the first signs of ruin. How does this situation expose the darker sides of the characters?
  5. Ellerie spends much of her time tending to her family’s beehives. How do the bees and what they represent change throughout the story?
  6. There is a shroud of mystery around the monstrous creatures that early settlers fought in the woods. How do these legends and the fear they stoke drive the townsfolk to action, both good and bad?
  7. Ellerie has a big family, including a twin, Samuel. Describe Ellerie and Samuel’s relationship. What bonded them? What pulled them apart?
  8. Anticipation and suspense build up to the action-packed climax of the novel. One indicator of this progression is the changing of the seasons. What other devices did the author use to build tension?
  9. How does Ellerie’s budding romance with Whitaker affect her choices? How do revelations about his life affect their relationship?
  10. The creatures lure the townsfolk in by requesting small favors that hide more sinister intentions. What favors did the townsfolk perform? At what point did you understand the bigger picture? Was it before or after Ellerie’s revelation?
  11. Neighbors, friends, and family alike are guilty of theft in times of great need and moments of greed. What part cuts the deepest: the items that were stolen or the trust that was betrayed?
  12. The events of this novel take place in the town of Amity Falls. Readers do, however, meet several characters from beyond the town’s borders (real and imaginary). What do these characters bring to the novel? How do they act as catalysts for change in the town?
  13. Toward the end of the book, the town gathers to publicly cleanse themselves of their sins, but it turns into a public trial. How did you think this scene would play out? Did you think it was going to initiate healing? Or did you expect the chaos that ensued?
  14. Nearly all the characters in the book go through major changes. Which one was most shocking to you? Whose ending did you least expect?

Check out Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

Small Favors

Small Favors

By Erin A. Craig

From the critically-acclaimed author of House of Salt and Sorrows comes a mesmerizing and chilling fairy-talesque novel about Ellerie Downing, a young woman in a small town with monsters lurking in the trees and dark desires hidden in the shadows—in Amity Falls, nothing is more dangerous than a wish come true. You won’t want to put this instant New York Times bestseller down. 

About the Author  

Erin A. Craig has always loved telling stories. After getting her BFA in theatre design and production from the University of Michigan, she stage-managed tragic operas filled with hunchbacks, séances, and murderous clowns, then decided she wanted to write books that were just as spooky. An avid reader, an embroidery enthusiast, a rabid basketball fan, and a collector of typewriters, Erin makes her home in West Michigan with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, House of Salt and Sorrows, has sold over 100,000 copies since it burst onto the scene in 2019. Follow Erin on Instagram at @penchant4words.

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