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You can download printable pdfs or scroll down to copy the questions off this post.
STATION FOSAAN: STATION FOSAAN Discussion Guide printable pdf
WILDFIRE RUN: Click here for a printable pdf form of these questions
STATION FOSAAN is an upper middle grade/young adult science fiction story for fans of STAR WARS and other sci fi adventures:
1. Science fiction writers setting their stories in the future usually choose one of two ways to explain how the galaxy is populated. The first is to assume that intelligent beings developed independently on different planets, leading to what humans consider “alien” races. The second is to assume humans set out from Earth, colonized inhabitable planets, and then developed different cultures as they did so. Which do you think is a more likely assumption?
2. While there have been great leaps in artificial intelligence in the last 30 years, how long do you think it will be before the development of the kind of artificial intelligence in Station Fosaan, the idea of multiple intelligences, in which robots can use all five of what are typically called human senses in their interactions?
3. The Fosaanian apocalypse destroyed most of Fosaanian culture and forced the survivors into concentrating on day-to-day existence. Mira and her grandfather regret they have so little left of their past culture. Imagine if virtually every part of our culture, including the storage of ideas, instructions, research, music, visual and performance arts and people who were experts in certain fields were lost. If this happened to our society, how should the survivors prioritize their limited time and resources?
4. There is an old saying that history is written by the victors (or conquerors depending on which version you read.) Mira gets angry at Quinn when he assumes he knows the history of Fosaan. She points out that the history he learned was written from Earth’s point of view. How can you know the history you learn is accurate?
5. Would you want to spend two years on a distant planet with only a small group of people? How would you cope? What would you want to bring with you?
6. How would you describe Quinn’s character arc? What does he want at the beginning of the book? Does he change over the course of the story?
7. Throughout history there have been leaders driven by the desire for power, though they often have other motivations as well. What is motivating Ansun? How does he see himself?
8. Quinn is trying to deal with his grandfather’s expectation that he go into officer training as part of his mandatory military service. In our current world other countries do require mandatory service, the U.S. does not, though it has been proposed. What do you think of this idea? Do you think it will be required in the future?
WILDFIRE RUN, an adventure story for 9 to 13-year-olds, should be a fun read for tween book clubs. It’s a Junior Library Guild selection for fall in the High Interest Middle Reader category. WOLF STORM questions follow.
When the U.S. President’s 12-year-old son, Luke, gets trapped at Camp David after a disaster, he and his friends must find their way through security systems gone haywire to escape a raging wildfire. Here are some discussion questions you can use:
1. The three major characters, Luke, Callie and Theo, all have very different personalities. What would have happened if one of the three characters hadn’t been in the story? What did each contribute?
2. Even though Luke is the main character, this story is written from several different characters’ points of view. Why do you think the author chose to do this?
3. How would you feel if Secret Service agents came with you to school, lessons, sports practices, or friends’ houses with you? How has Luke’s personality been affected by growing up with Secret Service protection?
4. Callie’s father is afraid she won’t fit in at her new school if she wears her cowboy boots. Do you think it’s common for people to judge others by the way they dress?
5. Both Luke and Callie remember what happened with Callie’s horse, when Luke was last at the ranch, but they don’t remember it the same way. How do their memories differ? Why do you think they have different memories of it?
6. The theme of the nature of friendship runs throughout the story. What is the author trying to say about friendship?
7. How does Luke’s father view Theo? What do you think Luke feels about that?
8. Why does Luke’s father always say ‘make haste slowly’ to Luke? Do you think that is good advice?
9. Why do you think the kitten is so important to Callie?
10. Luke is used to doing what others tell him. At what point in the book does he start to make his own decisions? What would you have done in this situation?
11. Callie points out that people usually call 911 in an emergency. Why doesn’t Luke think of this?
12. Theo doesn’t want to stay behind even though he knows he might get hurt going forward. Why does he make that choice? What would you do in his situation?
13. The nature of bravery is an important part of the story. Do you think people know they are brave before they have ever been in a frightening situation? Why does Luke’s father like the quote by Virgil, ‘Yield not to misfortunes, but go boldly to meet them.’ How does this quote relate to what happens in the story?
14. What do you think about the ending? How has Luke changed?
Just for fun:
If you were president of the United States and had your own private vacation retreat, what would you want there?
If you were in charge of designing the security systems for Camp David, how would you design them?
WOLF STORM Discussion Questions
1. In chapter one, could you imagine this scene from the one paragraph description? Even though the author doesn’t say what kind of creatures she’s writing about, can you guess what they are?
2. If you were in Stefan’s place, acting for the first time, being a long way from home, and being without your family, which one would be hardest for you?
3. Do you think it was right that Stefan didn’t explain how the accident with Inky happened? What would you have done?
4. What did you think of Raine after the first few chapters? Did your view of her change by the end of the book?
5. Raine at thirteen is both successful and wealthy. What parts of her life do you think are not so happy?
6. Stefan is discouraged by his mistakes, but when the situation gets serious, what abilities and skills does he have that help everyone survive?
7. Raine had a terrible choice to make between her dog and Jeremy and she only had a second to make it. Do you think she would have made a different decision if there had been more time?
8. Everyone has become very dependent on cell phones. Can you imagine a world without cell phones? How would things change?
9. While dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, wolves are still essentially wild animals. Do you think it is right that some wolves are trained to act like dogs?
10. Raine and Stefan start out the story misjudging each other and Cecil. As the story progresses, they learn they shouldn’t rely on first impressions. Do you think this is common? Have you ever met someone you didn’t like at first, only to discover later you did?
Just for fun
If you had a chance to act in a movie, what kind of movie would you like it to be? Where would you like it to be filmed?