Monday, September 26, 2011

Discussion Topics For Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In

When I was writing Life As We Knew It, I fantasized about its being used in book discussion groups. To my delight, after it was published, I found that to be the case.

I thought it might be interesting if someone were looking for book discussion topics about any of the moon books to get some ideas from their author (aka Me). So last night I worked on it, and came up with 5 discussion topics for each of the three books. Feel free to use them or to use them as starting off points or to refuse to use them because your own ideas are better!

Life As We Knew It

1. Does Miranda's family do enough to survive? Is there anything else you can think of to do that they didn't?

2. Matt, Miranda, and Jonny are all athletes. Do you think that helped them? If so, how?

3. What everyday thing would you miss the most? What would you be most worried about?

4. How would things have been different in Mom hadn't made them stockpile all the groceries and supplies on Crazy Shopping Day?

5. Did Miranda skate with Brandon? What do you think the author thinks?*

* The author thinks they did skate. She was actually surprised when she learned some people thought it was a fantasy. Then she reread the book and discovered Miranda wasn't so sure herself!

The Dead And The Gone

1. Alex has an older brother Carlos who is in the Marines. How would the book have been different if Carlos were still at home?

2. New York City was being kept alive so valuable books, paintings, and documents could be saved. If you could save something that represents the world you know, what would it be?

3. Would you have sent Bri to the farm? Would you have let your aunt and uncle take Julie?

4. Alex learns there are places rich and powerful families can go to. Do you think there's a way of saving everybody in such a disaster? If not, who would you protect?

5. Are Alex's parents still alive? What do you think the author thinks?**

** Sadly, the author thinks both Mami and Papi are dead. She was actually surprised to learn some readers thought one or both might still be alive.

This World We Live In

1. Miranda learns that Dad and Lisa wanted her to go with them when they made their abortive trip out west. What might have happened to her if she'd gone?

2. Electricity comes on long enough for Mom to play some music. If you hadn't been able to listen to music for months, what would you play?

3. How would the book have been different if Matt hadn't brought Syl home?

4. Miranda takes on the responsibility of what to do with Julie. What would you have done?

5. The book ends with the characters starting their journey to Tennessee. What do you think happens to them?


Jordan G. said...

These are great starting-out prompts. As a prospective English teacher, I'd be delighted to use your books in the classroom. (Let's hope I have the freedom to do so!) In fact, for a class, I'm developing a lesson plan that introduces students to LAWKI.

Thanks for sharing!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Jordan G.-

Thank you and good luck with your future English teaching. We can always use good teachers (and some of my happiest school memories are of really superb English teachers).


2. Electricity comes on long enough for Mom to play some music. If you hadn't been able to listen to music for months, what would you play?
danceing till the world ends by britany spears! this ong always reminds me of the books!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thank you Youryoungestbiggestfan!

Amanda Leigh said...

Thank you so much this is amazing~! I've actually been discussing starting a book club so this is extremely helpful.

And, on an entirely different note, I finally got Blood Wounds in at my library and, today, my only day off in the last eight days, I sat down and read the entire thing. You really are amazing.

Plus, I needed a good cry.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thanks Begins With M-

I hope you get more days off and spend them in jollier activities!

Anonymous said...

what is the climax of your story the dead and the gone? its challenging for me to find a really good one in this book. there are so many possible climaxes.

Chris said...

Are you planning on writing a fouth book? I love "The Dead and the Gone" and "this world we live in" I hope you do make a fourth book!!

non sk83r b01 said...

i love your books they are the best i have read by far i hope you can come up with another good series

Anonymous said...

I recently finished "this world we live in" and I absolutely loved it!!! I really think you should make a 4th book, because the series ended with so many questions: did Alex and Miranda get married, are Gabrial, Lisa, Mom, Matt, Syl and Dad safe, and what about Jon? Is he holding up ok now that Juliet's dead? So many questions. Please don't stop writing!!!!

Joe said...

I loved the books ! The last 30 pages of "this world we live in" were so intense ! I'm begging you along with all the other fans to PLEASE write a fourth book because so many questions are unanswered . Such as : How did the journey to sexton university go ? ; Will Alex ever become president or acheive some political role in what's left of society ?

Kevin said...

I have just finished your third book this world we live in. I LOVED it I think it eas the best series I EVAR read. They were all such good books. I loved how you talked about Miranda in the first book, Alex in the second and finally bring them together in the third! This series made me laugh, mad, and cry so many times. I love the cliffhanger you left at the end of this world we live in. Yet Miranda said she wont write anymore. I REALLY REALLY want you to write a forth book. Does Alex and Miranda get married? Where do they go? Wll they survive? Will they find food? I really want to know so pretty pretty please can you write the fourth book?

Anonymous said...

your first moon book is great! your last is sick and twisted, children shouldn't be allowed to read it!

Anonymous said...

Your books are very interesting! :D however im not sure which is the 2nd and which is the 3rd book. I have just finished reading the first book which is AMAZING! i would like to continue reading the books but i would like to know which one comes next afer "Life as we knew it."

eric said...

hey my name is eric im reading this world we live in i think it's the best book i've ever read can you make a fourth book but in alex perspective

Anonymous said...

Hi, put me down as one of those readers who thought Mami might possibly be alive. Why? Because just before Julie died she said Papi's and Bri's names...but not Mami's!

German said...

I love your books. You have an beautyfull writing style. So sad the way Bri must die. But as Juli died and i heard her last words i must cry. I whished so she has a lucky future with John. So sad.

MacMommy said...

I've read the first 2 books so far and I'm disturbed by all the personal loss that Alex faces verses Miranda. I mean, even Miranda's brother's cat survives and yet Alex looses so much? Not a very encouraging commentary on faith and survival. I mean Miranda basically resigns herself to dying and is saved by chance yet Bri goes to pray and dies trapped in an elevator?

Anonymous said...

I was disturbed

Olivia said...

My opinion:

While I was at the point where Julie became paralyzed, I had a feeling that Miranda (or Alex) would use the pills on her. Im sad though because Bri and Julie were my favorite characters in The Dead and the Gone. I was also disappointed when Bri died! But I like the Alex-Miranda thing!:) Also, these books were amazing I really liked them but I did not like SYL! She bugged me! I think that a good Cornell-student would not get married despite the whole 'world possibly coming to an end' situation. Well, I am very excited for the fourth book and I know its been more than a year before someone commented but after reading the series I HAD TO DISCUSS! Thank you for the wonderful books! I plan to reread the entire series by September 3rd! xoxo, Olivia:)

Anonymous said...

I'm going to answer each question!

LAWKI (Life As We Knew It) #1: I think they survived with what they had, and I hardly doubt that I could do any better.
LAWKI #2: It might have helped them, considering they were physically strong enough and found entertainment.
LAWKI #3: I'd miss looking things up on the internet, and I'd worry that everyone would die.
LAWKI #4: Well, they might have made it through Spring, Summer, and possibly Fall, but they all would've been dead by Winter.
LAWKI #5: Yes, I think that was indeed real. I did question if the competition part somewhere in there was a fantasy, but the skating was real.

TDATG (The Dead And The Gone) #1: Carlos may have supported them and they all might've made it.
TDATG #2: Probably books.
TDATG #3: Yes to the first, No to the second.
TDATG #4: No, people still die. I'd think there wouldn't be much saving if they'd just die anyways. (Apologies for being so morbid)
TDATG #5: Nope. They died towards the start.

TWWLI (This World We Live In) #1: Well, she would have lived. The others would've died though.
TWWLI #2: I'd play some piano music.
TWWLI #3: Well, they would've had one less more mouth to feed.
TWWLI #4: I don't want to comment on this.
TWWLI #5: We know they lived from Book 4, but they either found some others or died.

So, yeah. Those are my opinions.

-This is E, Signing Out