Teacher Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Poisonwood Bible

Drawing from Barbara Kingsolver's time as a child living in the Congo, The Poisonwood Bible has become Kingsolver's most popular novel. The story follows the Prices, a Baptist missionary family from Georgia, into the Congo in the late 1950s. The novel is told solely from the points of view of the women of the family. The narratives of the four daughters—Rachel, Leah, Adah, and Ruth May—are framed by flashbacks from the mother Orleanna.

The struggles of the Price family in the Congo are mirrored to the events occurring around them as the Congo shifts away from imperialism. The Price family continues to live in their village, against everyone's advice, until finally Ruth May dies of a...

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