Scorpio’s Child by Kezi Mathews
Prediction Guide: (Will not give away major plot elements, but will help direct reading and aide in comprehension)
- What important historical events pre-dated the beginning of the novel?
- How might it have an effect on the main character and her choices?
- By the title and cover, guess who Scorpio’s Child may be, and its significance.
- Why do you think Mother doesn’t want Afton to tell her father about Bailey’s visit?
- Will Afton be able to make friends with the old road dog under the bush? What makes you think so?
- Will Afton win John Howard back from Jo Helen? How?
- Do you believe Bailey is a war hero? Why or why not.
- What will Afton do to help Pearl Ann? What would you do?
- Why do you think Mama is not at all close with her kin?
- Isaac calls Bailey a “ghost man.” What could this mean?
- What is in “the closet of sorrows?” What else could be in it?
- Will Afton tell Mama what she saw at the creek?
- Will Afton trust her Mama to know what is best?
- Will Traveler come back?
- Did Bailey commit the crime that he has been accused of?
- What do you think will happen to Pearl Ann?
- Will Deenie and Afton remain friends?
- What really happened to Bailey? Will he recover from it?
- Will Afton admit to her mother her part in having Bailey accused?
- Will Mama forgive Afton?
Comprehension/ Quiz questions
- Identify the major characters in the book.
- What is the location and time period that the novel takes place?
- What are the major conflicts between Afton and her mother?
- How do they become more intense as the plot moves forward?
- Outline the key events of July, 1947
- Make a list of all the clues that are given about Bailey’s past.
- If you were Afton, how would you go about solving this mystery in modern times?
- Examine the similarities between Traveler and Bailey. How are they similar how are they different?
- Examine the friendship of Deenie and Afton. Are they true friends? What makes you believe so or not?
- How would you feel if you were Afton?
- Describe how your life would be different if you lived in 1947 in a small, Southern town.
- Discuss how family secrets are destructive. Why are they?
- Which chapter was your favorite? Why?
Multiple Intelligence Projects for Scorpio’s Child
Pretend that you are Afton, and after each month write a brief journal depicting your current feelings and the situation. Then, after August, switch roles, and write one through the eyes of Mamma.
Create an historical timeline of the period in which the story takes place. Go at least ten years prior to the opening of the book, and five years after. Place events of the story in chronological order as well.
Create a collage depicting the relationship between Afton and her mother. You can use whatever media you desire.
Role play the scene that occurs just after the ending of the book. Be true to the story and the characters.
Find music from the 1940’s and learn it on an instrument. Or, make a venn diagram and compare the following elements of that music with today’s music: lyrics, instrumentation, rhythm, sound quality.
In a short journal discuss the following ideas:
Obviously this family’s secrets have held the mother a captive for many years. Would you keep this secret if you were Mamma? Would you, if you were Afton, in the end wish you could take back all the information so that the town would not know about Bailey’s past? Or, would you be glad to the whole story was finally out? Who do you think suffered the most in the story? Why?
Small Group project: Create a chart with major characters running down the side, and a list of the major events across the top. In each corresponding block discuss the character’s role in the scene… even if they weren’t present. If the character is actually a player in the scene, put a star in the top right corner of the box.