The Moorchild

By: 

Eloise McGraw

Number of Pages: 

241

Minimum grade level: 

4th

Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. The Moorchild is dedicated to "all children who have ever felt DIFFERENT." Is this another way of saying that the book is dedicated to all chdlren? Do you think everyone has felt different at some point in their lives? Have you?
  2. Discuss Saaski's friendship with Tam. Why is each so important to the other? How are they alike? How are they different How long do you think they will keep traveling together?
  3. The villagers mistreat Saaski because she is different from them. Are there people in your own community who are rejected because they are different? Who are they? How are they mistreated? Are there local individuals or groups devoted to supporting them? How can you lend a hand?
  4. Because she is half-Folk, Saaski doesn't understand human emotions like hate or love. She asks her friend Tam to explain them to her. How does he define them? Do you agree?
  5. Disobeying the orders of her human guardians, Saaski returns again and again to the Moors. Why does she feel so at ease there? Where do you feel the most comfortable?
  6. Saaski takes enormous risks to return a stolen human baby back to her parents. Why is this so important to her? Why is she so upset by the name that the fairy folk give to his human child?
  7. Saaski is part of two worlds - the human and the Folk. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each world. Which would you rather live in? Why?

Activities

Sasski's long lost memories of her early life with the Folk come rushing back when she talks to one of her childhood friends. Take some time to look at old photos or talk to friends and family about events that took place when you were little. Then, write about a long ago experience in your own life that you had almost forgotten.

Depending upon who is doing the looking, the Folk Mound is either beautiful or shabby, Draw a picture on your own - or create a diorama with a group - that depicts both views of the Folk Mound.

When Saaski discovers a set of bagpipes, she plays this famously difficult instrument so expertly that Yanno fears her musical gift might come from a fiendish source. Listen to bagpiping music and share your opinion.

Portions of this discussion guide are credited to Aladdin Guide for Reading Groups from Aladdin Paperbacks, Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.