Friday, July 23, 2010

Let’s Discuss Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie!

Here are some discussion questions for you to think about. Please share what you thought about the book! Hope you’ve enjoyed this book as much as I have.

With her high level of knowledge, her erudition and her self-reliance, Flavia hardly seems your typical eleven-year-old girl. Or does she? Discuss Flavia and her personality, and how her character drives this novel. Can you think of other books that have used a similar protagonist?

With her excessive interest in poisons and revenge, it’s no surprise that Flavia is fascinated, not scared, as she watches the stranger die in her garden. In your view, is her dark matter-of-factness more refreshing or disturbing?

Flavia reminds us often about Harriet, the mother she never knew, and has many keepsakes that help her imagine what she was like. Do you think the real Harriet would have fit into Flavia’s mold?

Flavia’s distance from her father, the Colonel, is obvious, yet she loves him all the same. Does their relationship change over the course of the novel in a lasting way? Would Flavia want it to?

Like any scientist. Flavia expects her world to obey certain rules, and seems to be thrown off kilter when surprises occur. How much does she rely on the predictability of those around her, like her father and her sisters, in order to pursue her own interests (like solving the murder)?

Discussion questions are from the book’s publisher Random House.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

About Alan Bradley

Born in Toronto, Alan Bradley grew up with an education in electronic engineering. He worked at many radio and television stations and was a Director of Television Engineering in Saskatoon, SK, before he started writing during his early retirement. He is the author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir the Shoebox Bible. Bradley became involved in the Saskatoon writing community by becoming the first President of the Saskatoon Writers and a founding member of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. His short story Meet Miss Mullen, received the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children’s Literature. Bradley was one of the founding members of the Casebook of Saskatoon, which is a society that studies Sherlock Holmes. Here, he met Dr. William A.S. Sarjeant, which led to the collaboration of their book Ms. Holmes of Baker Street, which theorizes that the famous detective could have been a woman. Most recently, Bradley has won the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award for the Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. He has written five more in the series, where Flavia is the main character.

The author lives in Malta, with his wife Shirley and two calculating cats.

Check out his website for more information on the author and the Flavia de Luce series.