Aura can see ghosts. Born after the Shift, a little-understood event that enabled younger generations to communicate with the dead, Aura is relentlessly pursued by these violet-hued spirits. They need help to pass out of this world and into the next. And some are so angry they are on the verge of becoming Shades, dark vortexes of energy. But Aura just wants the ghosts to leave her alone so she can spend time with her boyfriend, Logan.
When Aura is paired with a new foreign-exchange student to research the Shift for a class project, she is determined to ignore her partner’s sexy Scottish accent and discover the cause of the Shift so she can reverse it.
Then Logan dies a most untimely death. Forced to reconsider her relationship with the living and the dead, Aura is caught in a love triangle with her violet-hued boyfriend and her hot research partner... one of whom may hold the key to reversing the Shift.
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READER/DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR Shade Title: Shade Author: Jeri Smith-Ready Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster Date of Publication: May 2010 Ages 14 and up ISBN: 978-1-4169-9406-0 This reader guide may be duplicated for classroom, book club discussion group, or related purposes. About the Book First in a worldwide generation of ghost-seers, Aura’s relationship with the dead changes forever when her boyfriend dies and comes back to haunt her. About the Author The award-winning author of adult and teen novels, Jeri Smith-Ready lives in Maryland with her husband, two cats, and the world’s goofiest greyhound. Jeri’s plan to save the earth was ruined when she realized she was more of a “problem maker” than a problem solver. Like her characters, she loves music, movies, and staying up very, very late. Discussion Questions: 1. How is Shade different from traditional ghost stories? 2. In what ways, besides those mentioned in Shade, would our society adapt to the omnipresence of ghosts? How would it affect religious beliefs? Politics? National security? Everyday institutions such as education, health care, sports, etc.? 3. How would you live your life differently, knowing you might become a ghost someday? 4. If you were a post-Shifter like Aura who could see and talk to ghosts, how do you think you’d cope? How would you feel if someone you loved died and became a ghost? What if someone you loved died and didn’t become a ghost? 5. Choose one or more songs from the Shade soundtrack http://www.jerismithready.com/books/shade/music/ and discuss its role in the story and the characters’ emotional lives. Does the music add to or detract from your reading experience of Shade? Do you often connect certain songs with characters from books and movies? 6. What do you think would have happened to Aura and Logan’s relationship if he had lived? If he had succeeded in becoming a rock star? If he had failed? 7. Why is Aura’s choice between a living boy and a dead one not as simple as it seems? 8. Why do you think Eowyn assigns Aura and Zachary the task of mapping the stars each month? What lessons will it teach them? What do you think she’s preparing for? 9. Think about the use of colors in Shade. Why would a ghost be repelled by the color red? What emotions do you associate with red and violet? (Not for further discussion/reading: Red is also associated with obsidian and with the first “chakra” at the base of the spine; while violet is associated with quartz and the seventh “chakra” atop the head.) 10. If you were in charge of the Department of Metaphysical Purity (DMP), how would you change it? How would you balance the need to protect the world from shades with the need to protect the rights of ghosts? Are there any parallels to the way our own society treats certain humans? 11. What do you think happened at the end of Shade? Why did it happen that night? What do you think will happen next?
Jeri Smith-Ready is the award-winning author of the Shade trilogy, the WVMP Radio series, and the Aspect of Crow trilogy. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two cats. Like many of her characters, Jeri loves music, movies, and staying up very, very late. Visit her at JeriSmithReady.com or follow her on Twitter at @jsmithready.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 4, 2010)