31 Making Kings and Heroes

United States
United Kingdom
Lev Grossman United States

Lev Grossman’s bestselling novel, The Magicians, has been widely praised for injecting mature themes into fantasy literature. The New York Times said the book “could crudely be labeled a Harry Potter for adults.” As a journalist, Grossman has reported extensively on the consumer electronics industry for publications including Time, the Wall Street Journal and Village Voice. His new novel is The Magician KingRead more

Moira Young United Kingdom

Moira Young attended the University of British Columbia before heading to the UK to study drama. After a few years of performing on the alternative comedy circuit and tap-dancing on a West End stage, Young returned to Vancouver, where she successfully trained as an opera singer. Returning to the UK, she sang in some of London's most prestigious venues. Young has now returned to her first love—writing—with her debut novel, Blood Red RoadRead more

Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Performance Works
$17/ $8.50 for student groups

Following up on his success with The Magicians, Lev Grossman takes his readers back to Fillory in The Magician King where Quentin is king, although a bit bored with his kingdom. Grossman is on the cutting edge of literary fantasy and a regular blogger about writing, technology and fantasy tradition. Moira Young’s Blood Red Road features a reluctant hero who is pushed to the extreme edges of a post-apocalyptic world. The big philosophical questions—who am I and what can I become—are underlying currents that make fantasy and dystopia so appealing to young adult readers. You will not be disappointed!

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the door 45 minutes before the event begins.

Suitable for grades 10–12

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View the study guide for this event.

Making Kings and Heroes

Following on his success with The Magicians, Lev Grossman takes his readers back to Fillory in The Magician King where Quentin is king, although a bit bored with his kingdom. Grossman is on the cutting edge of literary fantasy and a regular blogger about writing, technology and fantasy tradition. Moira Young’s Blood Red Road features a reluctant hero who is pushed to the extreme edges of a post-apocalyptic world. The big philosophical questions – who am I and what can I become – are underlying currents that make fantasy and dystopia so appealing to young adult readers. You will not be disappointed!

Curriculum Connection:

  • Think critically about our current world
  • Explore the genres of fantasy and speculative fiction
  • Interpret and analyze ideas from texts.

Activities:

  1. Discussion: In many ways The Magician King depicts and amplifies the quintessential adolescent experience: depression, ennui, emotional carelessness. Would magic be a gift or a curse for the typical teenager?
  2. Have your students imagine they have survived an apocalyptic event. Get them to write the post-apocalyptic world as they imagine it. How did it happen? Was it aliens, nuclear war, natural disaster, technological takeover or something no one has yet thought of! Have them discuss the new world after the crisis, what system of government (if any) is there? Are there clans or rogue travellers? Are there creatures other than humans?
  3. Once your students have conceived this world, have them write a series of diary entries that describe where they are, what their daily life looks like, how they are going to survive, and what they are learning about this strange, new world.