Hush, Hush & Crescendo in the Classroom

If you love Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush and Crescendo half as much as we do, chances are you’d love to find a way to convince your teacher it’s worth using in the classroom. Or hey, if you ARE a teacher — wouldn’t you love to hook your students and get them excited by using these books in the classroom?

Well, the fine folks at Simon & Schuster have made that task a whole lot easier with their reader’s guides to both books. Each guide features discussion questions and activities that help put an academic (but still fun) spin on the books.

Hush, Hush Reader’s Guide:

Discussion Questions

  1. How does Nora feel when she and Patch are first paired up in biology class? Would their paths have crossed otherwise? How different—or similar—are Patch and Nora below the surface?
  2. What draws Nora to Patch? How much of it is physical? How much of it is destiny? Should she have tried to fight the attraction?
  3. Why does Elliot help Jules/Chauncey? Why does Vee defend the two Kinghorn boys? Are they equally responsible for what happens?
  4. How is Patch’s relationship with Nora different from the relationship that got him expelled from Heaven? Why was he so resistant to becoming a guardian angel? Where do you think Patch and Nora’s relationship will go?
  5. Why does Jules/Chauncey hate Patch so much? Is his anger justified?
  6. What role does Nora’s father play in her life? In what ways does his death make her more resistant to the supernatural beings in her life? In what ways does it make her more open to them?
  7. Nora needs to take iron pills when she’s under stress to combat her anemia. Why do you think that the author chose this ailment for Nora? What does the iron symbolize?
  8. Why do the various angels control Nora’s mind? How does this make her feel? Do you think events would have played out differently if she’d told more people what she was experiencing?
  9. What does Dabria want from Nora? What does she want from Patch? Why is she an important character?


  1. Patch knows that Nora likes baroque music and uses this information to interpret what sort of person she is. Research the characteristics of baroque music to discover why Patch said what he did about Nora’s personality. Choose your favorite type of music and analyze it to see what it says about your personality.
  2. Can you be a “guardian angel” to someone in need? Sign up to mentor or tutor someone younger than you, or volunteer at the Humane Society.
  3. There’s a lot of mythology surrounding fallen angels. Research their fall from Heaven, what they’ve been doing since, and how they can return to grace.
  4. Nora has to rely several times on the skills she learned at kickboxing class. Join a martial arts or self-defense class and learn how to handle yourself in dangerous situations.
  5. Coach McConaughy makes his students find out as much as they can about their new lab partners. Choose someone that you don’t know very well and find out as much as you can about them. You never know what interesting things you might discover!

Crescendo Reader’s Guide:

Discussion Questions

  1. Why does Patch call Nora “Angel”? Why does Rixon use this phrase to toy with her as he tries to kill her?
  2. What did Patch and Nora each give up for the other? Who holds more power in their relationship because of this sacrifice? What repercussions does their sacrifice have on their relationship moving forward?
  3. Why does it bother Nora so much that Patch can’t feel anything for her on a physical level? Is this fair to Patch?
  4. How much does Scott know about his background, his powers, and how Nora connects to all of it? Is he a bad person? What would you have done if you were in his shoes?
  5. Why are Nora’s dreams important? What does she learn from them? What don’t they tell her? Why does Patch sometimes enter her dreams but sometimes just insert his memories?
  6. After Marcie’s party, Nora thinks about killing herself so that the archangels would feel remorse for ruining her life. Is this the only time that she sees death as an option? Why does she decide against this plan? What do you think about her brief flirtation with suicide?
  7. When Patch warns Nora to be careful around Scott, Nora replies that she knows what she’s doing and continues to minister to his hangover. Does Nora know what she’s doing? Does Patch believe her? Could any of the ensuing events have been avoided if Nora had taken Patch’s advice? Would she have been better off avoiding these events?
  8. Why does Marcie hate Nora with such a passion? How does Nora feel about Marcie? Does either of them change their opinion during the course of the story? Why does Nora decide to return Marcie’s diary instead of reading it?
  9. What brings Nora’s dad back? Why does it take him so long to tell Nora what she needs to know? How is she affected by the news that Harrison Grey isn’t really her father?
  10. Is Vee a good friend to Nora? Why does she always seem to bring danger into Nora’s life? Do you think Nora should tell Vee more about the fallen angels and her Nephilim bloodline?
  11. Why does Nora push Patch away even though she loves him? Will their relationship be fixed by Patch going rogue? What do you think will bring them happiness?


  1. Nora gets a lot of important information from her dreams, although it is sometimes difficult for her to make sense of this information. Keep a dream journal for a week, writing down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Then check out a book on dream interpretation, or look up a guide on the Internet. What do your dreams mean?
  2. At one point in the story, Nora contemplates taking her own life, but decides that she has too much to live for. Help other people find the good things in their lives by volunteering with a peer counseling group or suicide hotline.
  3. Bloodlines are very important to the Nephilim and lead to a lot of trouble for Nora. Research your family tree—maybe you will find specific traits that have been passed down from generation to generation in your family.
  4. Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn, or a class that you’ve been meaning to take? Let Nora’s summer school experience inspire you to finally sign up for something new!
  5. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare deals with Nephilim, although from a decidedly different viewpoint. Read these books and discuss with your friends how Clare’s books are different from Fitzpatrick’s and how they are similar.

For the comments: Any other ways you can think of incorporating these books into the classroom? Share your ideas below!

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