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A Reading Group Guide to Silence
By Becca FitzpatrickAbout This Book
When Nora wakes up in the middle of a graveyard, she doesn’t know how much her life is about to change. As a matter of fact . . . she doesn’t know much of anything. She doesn’t remember a single thing about the past five months, including the fact that she’s been missing—kidnapped—for eleven weeks. Her mom and Vee are happy to have Nora home, but they also seem to be hiding something from her. How much do they know? How much will Nora eventually remember? And why does that brooding dark-haired boy with mysterious skills seem so familiar?Discussion Questions
· How does being kidnapped change the way that Nora is treated by her family and friends? In what ways does her kidnapping change how Nora feels? Are there any similarities between her postkidnapping frame of mind and how she felt in the previous books when she was firmly entrenched in the Nephilim struggles?
· In Chapter 10, Nora says of her amnesia that “ignorance was the lowest form of humiliation and suffering.” Do you agree with this assessment? Are there any benefits to her amnesia? Does the fact that she eventually learns what has happened to her put Nora in a better position?
· Why do most of the people who know about Nora’s past not tell her about it? Are their reasons valid, particularly in light of everything that Hank Millar is doing? Who does talk to Nora about her past, and why?
· How is Nora’s relationship with Scott different now than it was before she was kidnapped? Why is she so quick to believe his tales of Nephilim and fallen angels? Do you think she would have been more skeptical of him if someone else had helped her fill in the gaps in her memory?
· The vagabond at the cemetery wants to collect a reward for finding Nora. Is he the only one who hopes to gain something from his association with her? Have there been other occasions in her life where Nora was considered a “reward” by someone? Are there times where she uses other people, instead of always being used by them?
· Hank Millar believes that he is fighting for justice—hence his creed, “Justice before mercy,” and the variations on his “Black Hand” nickname. Do you think there is any justice involved in what he’s doing? Do his ends ever justify his means? Can you think of other ways that he might have gone about getting justice for the Nephilim?
· Why doesn’t Scott want to wear the Black Hand’s ring? What makes him decide to put it on and not take it off? Does Nora’s opinion of the ring change over the course of the book?
· Nora decides to tell her mom and Vee all about the Nephilim and what has happened to her over the past months. Do you think this will help her situation? Will they be more or less safe once they know everything? Would they have believed her if she’d told them earlier?
· Does Nora have any choice but to swear the oath that turns her into a Nephilim? What reasons does she have for not swearing the oath? Are there any benefits to her becoming a Nephilim?
· Why does Patch agree to let Nora take the lead in the final confrontation with Hank? Which of them was more wronged by Hank? Does anyone else have a reason to want to see Hank brought to justice?
· If Hank hadn’t had Patch’s wing feather, Nora would have let him live. Why didn’t she want to kill him? Do you think Hank would rather live or die?Activities
· Nora’s amnesia leaves her with no memory of key events in her life, and she must rely on others to fill in the gaps. Ask a family member or one of your friends to describe an event in your life that you shared with them. Did you learn anything new or get a different perspective from hearing their version?
· Everyone thinks that Nora was abducted by a stranger. What can you do to help keep yourself or the children in your community safe? Find a self-defense class in your town that will teach you how to protect yourself. Is there any sort of “stranger danger” training in the elementary schools in your area where you can volunteer?
· The Nephilim and the fallen angels swear a lot of oaths. Research some famous oaths from our world (the Hippocratic oath, etc.) and compare them to the oaths in the book. Write your own oath—one that pertains to your beliefs and goals.
· Hank truly believes that he is fighting for justice for the Nephilim, and that he’s doing the right thing. Is there a cause that you believe in . . . one for which you are willing to fight? Donate your time and talents to this cause.
· Nora has some important decisions to make about the upcoming battle and whether or not she will lead the Nephilim army. What do you think she should do? Write a short story that explains what Nora’s next steps are.
· Marcie spends much of the book trying to find Patch’s necklace for Hank. Do you think that Patch’s necklace suits him? Draw your own version of an archangel necklace, one that portrays your personality.
· Nora gets a blood transfusion against her will, but many people need blood transfusions in order to save their lives. Ensure that there’s enough blood for people in crisis by donating a pint today.
· Hank, Gabe, and even Patch use mind tricks to change the way people think and ultimately get their way. Hypnotism is the closest thing we have to these mind tricks—read a book about hypnotism and see how it works. Can you learn how to hypnotize people? This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.