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Reading Group Guide

Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams, by Gary Moore

We hope these thought-provoking questions lead to some lively book discussions.

  1. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
  2. What similarities did you find between Sesser, Illinois and the town you lived in when you were 15? What were you passionate about at that age?
  3. What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the book? What do you think the author is trying to get across to the reader?
  4. Do any of the people in Playing with the Enemy remind you of yourself or someone you know? Do you find yourself relating personally to any of the people?
  5. At what point in the story do you feel Gene lost his innocence?
  6. Who was Gene's "Guardian Angel" and why?
  7. What are the differences between Gene before Camp Ruston and after Camp Ruston?
  8. How would you describe the relationship between Ray and Gene?
  9. What did you find surprising about this story?
  10. Do you believe Gene ever fully accepted his life without baseball?
  11. Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?
  12. Has reading Playing with the Enemy increased your interest in Baseball? World War II? Small town America?
  13. Did reading Playing with the Enemy lead you to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
  14. Will you recommend Playing with the Enemy to others and why?
  15. Is there a difference between the western German naval POWs of WWII, and the Islamo-Fascist POWs today?
  16. Why do you think many readers claim that Playing with the Enemy transcends baseball and military history?