Fans of Brandon Mull and James Riley will love this middle grade fantasy trilogy about a regular kid who discovers that the truth about his past could be the answer to saving the future.
All Jack Blank knows is his bleak, dreary life at St. Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost, an orphanage that sinks more and more into the swampland of New Jersey with each passing year. His aptitude tests project him as spending a long, unhappy career as a toilet brush cleaner. His only chance at escape comes through the comic books donated years ago to the orphanage that he secretly reads in the dark corners of the library. Everything changes one icy gray morning when Jack receives two visitors that alter his life forever. The first is a deadly robot straight out of one of his comic books that tries its best to blow him up. The second is an emissary from a secret country called the Imagine Nation, an astonishing place where all the fantastic and unbelievable things in our world originate—including Jack. Jack soon discovers that he has an amazing ability—one that could make him the savior of the Imagine Nation and the world beyond, or the biggest threat they’ve ever faced.
Discussion Questions for The Accidental Hero by Matt Myklusch
Jack lives at St. Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten and Lost. What does this name signify about the types of kids who live there? What kind of boy is Jack?
Jack is surprised when Jazen tells him he is courageous. Why do you think he’s surprised? Are there different kinds of courage?
What do you believe is the connection between the word imagination and the place Imagine Nation?
How are Jack’s past and future similar? How might they be different? Are there other characters in the book who deal with this too?
Why do you think the author shows that Jack qualifies for a future as a toilet brush cleaner on the P-MAP test? What does Jack think about this test?
How could Jack not knowing who he is be beneficial to him in the Imagine Nation, in your opinion?
Why do you think the author named the characters Jonas Smart and Stendeval the Wise? Is there a difference between being wise and being smart? If so, how is this showcased in these characters?
Stendeval says, “Fear is a very effective political tool, and I know that you can be very . . . persuasive.” In what ways do you believe Jonas Smart employs fear in the book as a tool to achieve what he wants?
Which teacher at the School of Thought do you think has the most important or effective test for Jack, Skerren, and Allegra to pass?
Stendeval says, “The only thing I find impossible is the concept of impossibility.” What does he mean by this? How can you connect this quote to the idea of imagination and the place Imagine Nation?
Questions written by Jessica Rentas, 4th Grade Teacher