The Blessed by Tonya Hurley is packed full of rich, diverse material to discuss in a classroom setting. Today, we’re offering up some suggestions for essay topics and project ideas — that both teachers and students can use to bring The Blessedinto the classroom.
* Research the lives of Saint Cecelia, Saint Lucy, and Saint Agnes. Compare their stories to the three girls in The Blessed.
* Discuss how Hurley uses the stories of Saint Cecelia, Saint Lucy, and Saint Agnes within the modern context of The Blessed.
* Research Saint Sebastian, and compare how his story is woven into The Blessed and the character Sebastian in the novel.
* Religious iconography is an important part of The Blessed. Research the different symbols mentioned in the novel, and discuss their significance in religion historically.
* Sebastian gives each of the girls in The Blessed a bracelet representing their “Saint.” Create your own version(s) of these bracelets using supplies from your local craft store.
* Artwork in The Blessed is used for certain pages featuring the stories of Agnes, Cecelia, and Lucy, as well as the Prayer of the Sacred Heart. Research classic illuminated texts and create your own version. Bonus points if you use real vellum paper!
* Imagine you are Cecelia and you’re inspired after the events in The Blessed. Write your own song based on the novel. If you’re brave enough, record yourself performing it and upload to YouTube.
For the comments: What other essay topics or project ideas would you suggest for The Blessed?