Sno-Isle Reads Together 2024 Recap

Sno-Isle Reads Together is an annual program that encourages all adults in Snohomish and Island Counties to read the same book, inviting exploration of new ideas and opportunities to experience the joy of discovery.

About the Book

Hollow Kingdom - What’s a salty-tongued domesticated crow to do when his human buddy and bringer of snack foods is suddenly incapacitated? As S.T. tries to solve this immediate problem for himself and housemate Dennis the bloodhound, it quickly becomes clear that there is far more at stake than how he’ll get his next bag of Cheetos®.  Nothing short of the fate of humanity is riding on S.T.’s success.      

Already read Hollow Kingdom? Check out the sequel!

Feral Creatures - In a world plagued by prejudiced animals, unstable environments, and new threats so terrifying they make zombies look like cuddly bunnies, what's a crow to do? Go on another big-hearted, death-defying adventure, that's what, with a fabulous new cast of animal characters in tow.

Meet the Author

Kira Jane Buxton's debut novel Hollow Kingdom was an Indie Next pick, a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, the Audie Awards, and the Washington State Book Awards, and was named a best book of 2019 by Good Housekeeping, NPR, and Book Riot. She calls the tropical utopia of Seattle home and spends her time with three cats, a dog, two crows, a charm of hummingbirds, five Steller's jays, two dark-eyed juncos, two squirrels, and a husband.

Watch Now! Kira Jane Buxton in Conversation With Nancy Pearl


Book Discussion Questions


Question 1 - In what ways is S.T. caught between the MoFo world and the world of nature? How does this affect his sense of self? How does it both benefit and impair him at various points in the novel?

Question 2 - S.T.’s relationship with Dennis evolves from S.T.’s deprecation and occasional hostility to a pure and loving friendship. In what ways do the unlikely duo complement each other? What do you think their bond stems from?

Question 3 - What other unlikely symbiotic relationships exist in the novel? What about in the real world?

Question 4 - Kraai initially claims that S.T. is “caged and clipped,” an idea that S.T. angrily rejects. However, S.T. later loses his ability to fly due to a wing injury. How is this significant to S.T.’s character and place in the world?

Question 5 - Consider the way the natural world communicates and how rumors spread in this novel. How are Aura, Echo, and Web similar and different to methods of human communication?

Question 6 - Although he is absent for most of the story, Big Jim is periodically portrayed through flashbacks. How does his character develop and evolve through S.T.’s memories? How does your perception of Big Jim change throughout the novel?

Question 7 - S.T. often wonders at the ingenuity of humans, from inventions like Cheetos® and hot dog–eating competitions to “how even though MoFos weren’t born with wings, they made their own and put them on airplanes and maxi pads, and […] how they flushed all their poops out to Echo” (chapter 37). How does this reverence compare to his feelings for the natural world? Can you think of moments where S.T. displays the same awe for nature?

Question 8 - Besides Cheetos®, what do you think are the best inventions and characteristics of humanity? Of nature?

Question 9 - Why do you think the book is titled Hollow Kingdom?

Question 10 - Who is your favorite character? Why?

Visit The Locations

Deepen your experience of Hollow Kingdom by visiting the locations featured in the book. Download the map.