Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Hero and The Crown

The girls Literature Club read The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley this month. It was an interesting book--at some points hard to read, other times I didn't want to put it down. You can easily find summaries of the book at sites such as this one:

What I had a difficult time finding though were discussion questions, so I thought I'd post a few of them that I came up with and maybe it will help someone else.

The girls are middle school aged and all home educated. We meet once a month and at the beginning of the year, I give them a list with all the books we are going to read as well as the role they will fulfill for each book. Some of the roles include: biographer, geographer, connector, literary chef, literary luminator, vocabulary enricher, props and character representation, and illustrator.

We always start out talking about our overall feelings about the book. Then we move into a summary with each girl adding to the discussion. I try to have several questions that require deeper thinking or evaluation in addition to the ones that are more straightforward.

Discuss the main characters and their personalities.
Define a hero.
What is the Newberry Award?
What does it mean to "tack up" a horse?
In chapter 6 as Aerin is trying to figure out how to handle the horse bridle, reins and her sword, she talks about holding the reins in her mouth. However if she holds them in her mouth, she won't be able to belt out her war cries such as "Victory!" and "For Damar!" Where else do we hear such war cries? (My thought was in the Narnia books)
There were several rumors about Aerin, what were they? How did these rumors hurt Aerin? In groups of two, search the Scriptures using the concordance for verses on gossip, slander and overall what our speech should be like. (I loved this...the girls did a great job and I pray that they will hide God's Words in their hearts. I shared with them that down through the ages women have struggled with their tongues--men too, I'm sure. But women are notorious for being gossipers. So these verses are going to be good reminders on how we should use our tongues for good and not evil."
What was special about Gonturan?
Aerin expresses her dream to Teka, saying "Someday I shall be famous in legend and story." Teka's quiet reply was "I have never doubted it, my dear." What do you dream of (what are your goals) and who are your encouragers?

Lastly we were sure to discuss that the book suggests that Aerin spends the night with Luthe, no other details are given, however I felt the need to say aloud what God's plan is for them as single young women.

As I read the book, I was thankful God brought these and other questions like them to my mind (and I promptly wrote them down). They made for good discussion and prayerfully things were discussed that the girls will recall in years to come.

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