Thursday, January 17, 2013

Middle School Bookclub Discusses THE FALSE PRINCE

Yesterday the Middle School Bookclub held his monthly meeting to discuss Jennifer Nielsen's fabulous fantasy novel The False Prince.  In the book, three orphans are adopted by Connor, one of the king's advisors.  King Eckbert, Queen Erin and the crowned prince Darius were recently found poisoned, and Connor is trying to keep their deaths a secret to buy himself some time.  Years ago the king's youngest son, Prince Jaron, was believed to have been killed by pirates at sea, though his body was never found.  Connor is hoping to quickly transform one of the orphans to masquerade as the lost prince.  He believes that by claiming he has found the rightful heir to the throne, the country will not break out into a civil war and he will be able to control the kingdom through his false prince.  The story is told from the viewpoint of Sage, one of the orphans.  Unlike Rodin and Tobias, Sage does not want to become the prince; however, he knows that Connor will pick the boy who is the most convincing match for Prince Jaron and the other boys will probably be murdered to hide the secret.  Sage has no choice but to go along with Conner's scheme because he has no intention of dying.

This action packed novel was a favorite with our bookclub.  They loved the humor, adventure and mystery.  Many of our members commented on how well the characters were developed, especially Connor, and they can't wait to read the sequel, which already has a long waitlist.  The False Prince is an excellent pick for middle school bookclubs.  It appeals to both boys and girls across many grade levels. It is also a quick read with plenty of topics to discuss.

Discussion Questions
  1. Which of the characters did you like the best and why?
  2. Why did Connor not let Latamer go?
  3. Why do you think Sage felt so strongly about Latamer?
  4. Did you think Connor's plan would work or did you see any possible problems?
  5. Why does Sage trust Imogen so much when he doesn't seem to trust anyone else?
  6. How did you feel about the way Connor treated the Errol and the other servant boys?
  7. Did you see any clues about Sage's real identity?
  8. How did Mott figure out the truth about Sage?
  9. What do you think would have happened if Connor had discovered the truth about Sage sooner?
  10. What do you predict will happen in the sequel?
  11. How does The False Prince compare to other fantasy novels you have read?  
Next month's bookclub selection is Slob by Ellen Potter.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am a 5th and 6th grade teacher in Idaho and am starting a book club for the first time. We are planning on meeting once a week and taking a few months to get through a single book-which just happens to be The False Prince! :) I had some questions about the way you do your book club. It sounds like the kids read the whole book and then discuss it. Do you feel like there is too much content to discuss or is that a good way to look at the book as a whole? I am certainly willing to change how I do the book club, if it makes it more interesting. Also, do you have the same kids participate every month or new kids? It sounds like whatever you're doing is working great! Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can give.
    MaryKate DeBoer