Discussion Questions for The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club
1. Does The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club remind you of any other coming-of-age novels?
2. How would you describe Frankilee Baxter’s personality?
3. Frankilee is living during the time in our history when Jim Crow laws were enforced in the South. What were those laws and how were they enforced?
4. What part does religion play in Frankilee’s decisions and in her relationships? Would you say that she follows accepted Christian values at the time?
5. Discuss Frankilee’s professors. Are any of them good, encouraging teachers?
6. Are the clashes between Frankilee and the Dean of Women inevitable? Does Frankilee always challenge authority? Would you call her a trouble-maker?
7. Discuss Trace’s parents. Is their rudeness real or imagined? From knowing them, what does Frankilee conclude about violence and power?
8. The theme of the loss of virginity has been prevalent since the earliest novels were written. As a result, fictional girls who have lost their virginity have been the source of both humor and tragedy. Is this still a suitable topic?
9. Is it essential for Grandpapa to die? Why does he ask Frankilee to memorize “The Road Not Taken”?
10. Describe Ralph Sutton. How does he feel about Frankilee? Why is he important to the story?
11. Consider Frankilee’s friends. What do they have in common? Do you think that they were placed together as roommates and suitemates accidentally?
12. What is the purpose of the girls telling their Easter stories?
13. What does Frankilee think of sororities? Why does she go through Rush?
14. At what point did you realize Trace’s involvement in Robert’s fall? What took Frankilee so long to figure it out?
15. At the end of the novel, Frankilee says that she has “the rest of her life to get it right.” What does she mean? What do you predict is in Frankilee’s future? What will “happen next”?