Special Features for Wither by Lauren DeStefano

We’ve been putting together lots of goodies this month for Wither by Lauren DeStefano, but the folks at Simon & Schuster have some pretty great resources, as well. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from their offerings:

Map of the Wives’ Floor

In Wither, Rhine and her fellow “sister wives” share one floor in Linden’s family’s mansion. It’s described in detail in the book, but S&S has gone a step further and created a map that shows just what their little space looks like:

Reading Group Guide

Here’s a great resource both for teachers and book clubs, or anyone who wants to explore Wither even further. The reading group guide from S&S features pre-reading activities, discussion questions and activities. All of these are perfect ways to explore the themes and ideas brought up in Wither in a more academic setting. Here’s just a sample of the topics:

  • How might society be different if scientists could create a generation of human beings immune to all disease? Would such a world be ideal? Why or why not?
  • In Rhine’s world, women die at the age of twenty and men die when they reach twenty-five. What accounts for this short lifespan? Why is early marriage encouraged by the wealthy?
  • Rhine initially feels disdain for Linden, her new husband and son of the House Governor. Why is she contemptuous? How do her feelings change as she gets to know him? What information does she eventually learn that enables her to see him in a different light? In what way is Linden a victim?
  • Compare and contrast House Governor Vaughn and his son, Linden. How does each view the three wives?
  • Rhine has multiple dreams in the story. How do the dreams contribute to the story and to the reader’s understanding of Rhine?
  • Research advances in human cloning and genetics. Prepare a presentation on the possibilities that exist today and the ethical questions these possibilities raise.
  • Choose a media form (narrative, art, computer program, etc.) and create your own ideal world. What holograms would you have in your world? What would the people and the environment be like? What foods would exist? How would people spend their time?
  • Research human trafficking in America. What organizations and aid exist in the U.S. for individuals who are held in bondage? How might we better educate people about human trafficking in the U.S.? Develop a class presentation on your findings.

S&S also has tips on starting a book club or reading group.

Wither Excerpt

And if you’re still deciding whether you want to read Wither, check out a free excerpt on the Simon & Schuster website.

Also, be sure to check out the official Chemical Garden Trilogy Website and the Official Chemical Garden Fan Site, as well as Lauren’s website.

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