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AT .
by Susan Dennard

About the Book
It’s 1876, and these days the dead are not staying down. Unfortunately, sixteen-year-old Eleanor Fitt has an even bigger problem: her beloved older brother is missing. And then one of the Dead delivers a letter to Eleanor . . . from her brother. It seems that whoever is controlling the zombies has her brother as well. Propriety be damned, if Eleanor wants to find him, she’ll have to venture into the steampunk lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, a ragtag team tasked with protecting the city from supernatural forces and finding the necromancer responsible for reanimating the corpses. To complicate things further, she’s falling for the entirely unsuitable Daniel Sheridan, the team’s inventor, an infuriating (and gorgeous) ex-con. Eleanor must find her brother and help save the city before her involvement with the spirit world and the battle against the corpses cost her something more valuable than her reputation: her life.

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Discussion Questions
1. E  leanor’s mother expects a lot from her to help keep up their family’s reputation. Do you think that Mrs. Fitt asks too much of her daughter? Why or why not? 2.  Eleanor continually takes risks to find and save her brother, Elijah. How far would you go to save someone you love? 3. S  hakespearean quotes are used throughout the novel. What purpose does the use of Shakespearean language serve in the novel? 4. E  leanor has a great amount of respect for Spirit-Hunters Joseph and Jie. However, Joseph is looked down upon because of his race and Jie feels she must dress like a boy because she is Chinese. Do these same racial tensions still exist today? Why does Jie have to hide her gender? 5.  Eleanor finds herself increasingly attracted to Daniel, the handsome yet brusque ex-con. What draws the pair together? What is so enticing about forbidden romance? 6.  Mrs. Fitt invests much of her family’s remaining funds to buy Eleanor a new gown and often forces her daughter to wear binding corsets, which Eleanor resents. Why is Eleanor so opposed to wearing a corset? What do your clothes say about you? 7.  Victorian society demanded that a lady behave in a very proper way. Do you think that modern society forces similar standards on women? Why or why not? 8.  “‘Eleanor, you have a choice,’ [Jie] said softly. ‘You always have a choice’” (p. 166). How does this quote relate to the overall theme of the novel? 9.  Eleanor realizes that her family name actually sounds like misfit. Do you think that a name can define a person, much like “Miss Fitt” ending up as a misfit? 10.  Magic and supernatural elements are present throughout the story, yet many people besides Eleanor and the Spirit-Hunters seem determined to ignore the growing threat of the Dead and the spirit world. Do you think people often ignore things they cannot understand? Explain. 11.  Clarence hires bodyguards to protect him from the necromancer. Do you think that Clarence suspects Elijah might be responsible for the murders? Why or why not? 12.  What do you think motivated Elijah to study dark magic and become a necromancer—a desire to avenge his father’s death or exact revenge on the boys who tormented him in school? Or something else? Explain. 13.  Describe the central themes of the novel. How does the title, Something Strange and Deadly, relate to the theme? 14.  The story ends with Eleanor losing her hand and her reputation, not to mention the family losing the rest of their money, but Eleanor seems almost excited at the prospect of starting over. Why do you think this is?

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