Tuesday Tales: Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbott (Book Giveaway Contest!)
January 26, 2010 in Abbott Ellen Jensen, High School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Tuesday Tales, Young Adult Novels Tags: Book Giveaway Contest, Ellen Jensen Abbott, Watersmeet, young adult fantasy, young adult novels
Last week, I featured historical fiction author, Clara Gillow Clark, on my blog on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had a great discussion about historical fiction, and we both appreciate all your comments. This week, I am featuring YA fantasy writer, Ellen Jensen Abbott, and her book, Watersmeet. Please leave a comment below about the book or a question for Ellen for your chance to win a copy. You can also follow me on Twitter for an extra entry and/or subscribe to my RSS Feed. Just make sure to leave it in a comment that you did one of those things! The contest runs until Thursday, January 28, 8:00 p.m. CST. Now on to the book. . .
*Young adult fantasy novel
*14-year-old girl as main character
*Rating: Abisina, the main character, catches your heart from page one, and you can’t stop cheering her through her journey even after you read the last page!
Short, short summary: Abisina is an outcast in her village of Vranille because of the way she looks–no light skin, blue eyes, or blonde hair. She has dark skin and dark hair and no father around. She is only tolerated because her mother is the only healer in Vranille. She is made to feel worthless on a daily basis. Unbelievably, things get worse for Abisina when a powerful, mythic leader (Charach) comes to her village, disguised. However, Abisina can see him for whom he truly is. The villagers cannot, and they become violent against the outcasts. Abisina runs for her life, barely escaping. This starts her on a great journey to find her father and the one place where she might be accepted–Watersmeet. Along the way, she comes into contact with some fantastical creatures such as dwarves and centaurs. Her opinions of these creatures are biased because of her childhood in Vranille where these creatures are thought of as not worthy and even vile. On her adventure to find her father and who she truly is she must face her prejudices and learn to accept others as she wants to be accepted.
So, what do I do with this book?
This section is going to look a little different today because Ellen Jensen Abbott has already come up with some great activities with her teachers’ guide, and so I would love for you guys to check out her guide. Here are a few highlights from her guide:
*Questions to go with each part of the book about Vranille and prejudice, Abisina and her parents, etc.
*Reading skills practice such as comparing and contrasting Vranille and Watersmeet, making personal connections with the plot/characters, and character studies like how Abisinia is or is not heroic.
*Projects and activities like reenacting the council meeting, building a model or drawing a map of a place in the novel, or writing a scene from Watersmeet in another character’s point of view.
Click here for the complete teacher’s study guide.
Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a young adult fantasy novel that explores the themes of family, racism, adventure, friendship, and trust; and tune in tomorrow for an interview with the author. She’ll tell us where she got the idea, challenges of writing fantasy, and about a sequel in the works!