Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Teaching Rachel Hartman's Serephina

Discussion Activities: Explore and select one or more of these activities to complete. 

1. According to Aronson, “Fantasy was once seen as a lesser form of writing appealing to male social misfits.” View the official book trailer. Do you think that this video would appeal more to the male or female YA reader? Why? 

2. Read the blog article “The Evolution of Dragons” and decide whether or not this book should fall under the category of realistic fiction or not. Defend your argument. 

3. Listen to Maggie Stiefvater discuss on NPR “5 Young Adult Novels That You’ll Never Outgrow”. Read the introduction to the list and her description of Serephina. Do you think that Serephina is placed appropriately on this list? Explain.

4. Scan the book praises for Serephina and decide if fantasy has replaced realistic fiction as the most popular form of YA fiction. http://www.randomhouse.com/teens/seraphina/reviews.php
5. How does this book echo or treat contemporary issues such as immigration,
race, etc.? 
6. At the end of the book there is a note that Hartman wrote Serephina while listening to medieval Italian polyphony, Breton bagpipe, rock, prog metal, Latin American baroque, and Irish sean nos. How does this book use/relate to music?
7. What do these different covers tell us about YA books and their readers?