Sucks to Be Me Series: Essay & Project Ideas


Today for our May Book of the Month feature on the Sucks to Be Me series by Kimberly Pauley, we’re featuring ways to incorporate both books into your academic life. Because, let’s face it, doing school work is a whole lot more fun if you like the subject matter!

First up, here are some essay/project ideas from the Novel Novice staff:

* Find out what countries have vampire folklore and pick one to explore. How are the stories from that country different from other countries? How did they contribute to the “modern” concept of a vampire? How are they different?

* Explore the concept of a gothic novel: What are the criteria? How does Dracula fit into this? What other books you’ve read fall into this category? [Besides, you know, every other YA book right now.]

* Dracula is an epistolary novel and both Sucks to Be Me and Still Sucks to Be Me contain elements of the genre. Keep a scrapbook diary about some part of your life (real or fictional). Write diary entries, but also include relevant e-mails, texts and IM conversations, even photos, ticket stubs, receipts, etc.

For example, say you’re in your school’s drama club and you’ve got a part in the spring production. Save your script, playbill, rehearsal schedules, rehearsal party photos, etc. Several time per week, write letters (or e-mails, etc.) to an audience (you choose.) Tell them about what happened that week, funny things that happened backstage, your horrible wardrobe …

Arrange them all in a blank book or scrapbook (these are available at most book stores) to create a story. Be creative. When the play is over, you’ll have a nice memento.

If you choose to create something fictional, you’ll have a great inspirational tool for a full-length manuscript!

And here are a few essay/project topics based on discussion questions from Mirrorstone’s Teaching & Discussion Guide for Sucks to Be Me:

* Do you agree or disagree with Mina’s final decision at the end of Sucks to Be Me? Why/why not? What choice would you have made and why?

* Would you ever consider becoming a vampire? Make a list of pros & cons to help you decide.

* What other mythological creature would you consider becoming? What are the pros & cons of that transformation?

* There is a lot of secret-keeping going on in both books. Do you think keeping some secrets can be good? Why/why not?

For the comments: What other project/essay topics can you think of for the Sucks to Be Me books?

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