About the Book: In a time where access to the written word is reserved to men, Andra BetScrivener’s ability to read and write must remain a secret, or she could lose her hands, her eyes, or her life. At 17 she discovers that she can write events to life. Desperate to keep her powers hidden from both the government and a rebel group, she learns her words have the power to kill, threatening her father’s life and her own freedom. Andra’s fight empowers others to stop governmental oppression. But in a society ruled by lies, cruelty and inequality, her journey will not be easy or safe.
About the Author:
Lisa A. Kramer is a freelance theatre director, educator, and writer as well as the Co-Founder of heArtful Theatre Company, a company dedicated to using theatre to promote social change. She now combines her experiences with theatre and writing to present workshops to people of all ages about empowerment and pursuing dreams. During the school year, she works as adjunct faculty in theatre arts and directs at various schools throughout New England. She lives in central Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and two lovable dogs.
Questions for Discussion
- In the world of New North, women and girls are not allowed to learn to read or write. Why do you think the government would create this kind of restriction?
- Andra BetScrivener discovers that she has the ability to write things into reality. What are the responsibilities and dangers that come with having this kind of ability?
- Many of the women develop special or unique abilities in P.O.W.ER. Which of these abilities do you think are most useful or most powerful and why?
- While the men do not develop unique abilities, they too play an important role in changing society. Why is their aid important? In what ways do the men and women support each other?
- Emily made certain choices about her life that affected Andra. Do you understand her choices? What would you have done differently?
- What qualities did Andra inherit from her parents? How did they influence her choices after she discovered her power?
- Compare and contrast Brian and Peter. Both care very much about Andra. While a romance doesn’t happen, it could. Who do you think she should choose?
Ideas for Further Exploration:
- The government of New North has cut itself off from the outer world with a giant wall, which means that the citizens of New North have less access to technology and other things that we have become accustomed to (like computers and cars). This means they have to find new ways to do some things. Invent something that would make life in New North easier.
- The women in New North created a visual language to communicate secretly with one another. Design your own visual language to send a message. Send your design to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share them on my blog.
- While this is set in a futuristic, fictional world, the reality is that there are many places in the world that restrict the education of girls and women. Do some research into these places, and present an argument for/against the education of girls and women. For example,read MALALA and learn more about her story, or discover other women who have fought for the right to education. Research some of the charities that work towards supporting women and children around the world, and raise funds to help them out.
- P.O.W.ER celebrates the unique abilities we each have inside of us, and encourages us to use them to make the world a better place. Celebrate your own unique power by writing about it and sending it to email@example.com. I will publish your responses on my blog, in a series I call Celebrating Our Unique Powers.