The Vespertine Discussion Guide | Classroom | Books

classroom resources – the vespertine thevespertine.


The Vespertine
By Saundra Mitchell Harcourt Children's Books Hardcover: 978-0-54-748247-7 Paperback: 978-0-54-772193-4

Resources for the Classroom As an educator, you know your students best. As an author, I believe one of the best ways to learn is to play with the material. To save you time, I've created some standard classroom tools for The Vespertine, including vocabulary lists and writing prompts. But I also welcome you and your students to remix, rewrite, sequelize, prequelize, adapt or expand on the text- reading and writing is what builds readers and writers! Obligatory legal note: this permission extends only to classroom or private, nonprofit use. It does not transfer any rights, including, but not limited to, foreign rights, translation, theatrical, production, radio, digital or print rights. For rights purchase information, please contact Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, One Union Square West, Suite 904, New York, NY 10003, (212) 627-9100.

Free School Visits I am always excited to participate in your classroom- and always aware of how tight a school's budget can be. I am available for traditional school visits for a fee (reduced in Indiana,) but I'm also available for remote school visits of 30 minutes for free. All you need is a computer with Internet access, a microphone, and a copy of the free Skype software available at I have the same software and a webcam, so your students will be able to hear and see me- and ask me questions in real time, just like they would in a physical visit. For more information, please stop by my website at

THE VESPERTINE ~ Teacher's Guide You are free to copy, use, and re-use this guide. You may not publish, repackage or sell this guide.

classroom resources – the vespertine

Vocabulary List ~ The Vespertine, Chapter by Chapter
Chapter One quadrille, vespers, elongated, ornate, craven, dispatch, beguile, dun, cosseted Chapter Two segregated, muslin, bustle, whippet, churl, Araber, thwart, swelter, bisque, oblivious Chapter Three fishwife, boarder, expectant, feral, novelty, unfathomable, spectral, reverie, culinary Chapter Four covetousness, perpetual, contradictions, regal, rhetorical, sinister, coalesce, ethereal, surreptitious, weft, façade, spiritualist, ardent, braise, dissipated Chapter Five manteau, conjugation, inclination, pallor, impertinent, bestowed, reprimand, nib, dawdled, flaxen, provocative, thicket, quavering Chapter Six delusion, audaciousness, nosegay, revelation, imploring, pungent, parapets, apparition, gentility Chapter Seven remiss, quailed, reveled, effervescent, sheepish, contrite, prismatic, brocade, encumbered, carillon, badminton, exertion, prowess, impertinence Chapter Eight vexation, admonish, exuberance, spectacle, russet, salacious, resignation, baroque, ruination, indeterminate Chapter Nine lattice, minced, purloined, fabricate, promenade, totter, derision, valiant, tremulous, ravenous, haughty, vertigo, dudgeon, loll, remonstrated, arduous, verdigris, entreaties, epigraph Chapter Ten indulgent, detonation Chapter Eleven prevail, myriad, wreak, exquisite, clamor, befuddled, succession, ecru Chapter Twelve providence, callous, tableau, calipers, crystalline, innocuous, tantalizing, impediment, supplicant, folderol, gibbering, admonishment, balustrade, embellished, caricature, tumult Chapter Thirteen diadem, organza, treachery, askance, chit, interminable, stilted, illicit, insinuate, delectable Chapter Fourteen recess, guile, disdain, retribution, propriety, disconcerted, reprisal Chapter Fifteen rebuke, perturbed, vermillion, resolutely, bohemian, turpentine, discomfiting, diaphanous, astringent, luminance, precarious Chapter Sixteen crevasse, armoire, camphor, strenuous, rivulet Chapter Seventeen placating, divinity, avid, vacillation, wan, cerulean, dissipate Chapter Eighteen temerity, brusque, reverberate, miasma, culmination, irrevocably, beguiled, dowager Chapter Nineteen precarious, deference

THE VESPERTINE ~ Teacher's Guide You are free to copy, use, and re-use this guide. You may not publish, repackage or sell this guide.

classroom resources – the vespertine

Writing Prompts ~ Writers are Readers, and Readers are Writers

Essay Prompts
• • • • •

Using context clues, describe the van den Broek and Stewart families. How well off are they? How are Zora and Amelia related? Do you think Zora or Amelia is the dominant force in their friendship? Explain why. Mrs. Stewart says the rules for courting are designed to protect young women. What do you think she means by that? By Victorian standards, The Stewarts are a middle class family. Would they be a middle class family now? Why or why not? Which relationship do you think is more healthy, Zora and Thomas' or Amelia and Nathaniel's? Why do you think so?

Fiction Prompts
• • • • •

Write what happened at Judge Bonds' dance from Zora's perspective. Choose a scene from the book and write it from another character's point of view. Nathaniel is a Fourteenth, and has been paid to sit at many dinner parties. Write what might have happened at another dinner party before he met Amelia. Change a character's destiny- how would you end one of the storylines in the book? Write the scene between Caleb and Sarah, after the clambake last summer.

Journal Prompts
• • • • • •

I do/do not believe in the paranormal, because... If I could spend a summer away from home, I'd like to spend it... When I was younger, I liked to spend my summers... My rules for dating would be... If I could see the future... I would/would not want to live in 1889 because...

THE VESPERTINE ~ Teacher's Guide You are free to copy, use, and re-use this guide. You may not publish, repackage or sell this guide.

classroom resources – the vespertine

Reading List ~ Good Books, Related Books Fiction
• • • • • • • • • • • •

The Season – Sarah MacLean The Education of Bet – Lauren Baratz-Logstead The Revenant – Sonia Gensler Wildthorn – Jane Eagland The Gemma Doyle Trilogy – Libba Bray Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte Pemba's Song – Marilyn Nelson & Tonya C. Hegamin The Forest of Hands and Teeth – Carrie Ryan Sisters Red & Sweetly – Jackson Pearce Ash & Huntress – Malinda Lo A Wish After Midnight – Zetta Elliott The Agency Series – Y.S. Lee

• • • •

The Baltimore Rowhouse – Charles Belfour and Mary Ellen Hayward The Ghost Map – Steven Johnson Talking to the Dead – Barbara Weisberg The Darkened Room: Women, Power and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England – Alex Owen Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in 19th Century America – Ann Braude Inside the Victorian Home – Judith Flanders Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper's Bazar – Stella Blum Victorian and Edwardian Fashions from La Mode Ilustree – Joanne Olian Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management – Isabella Mary Beeton

• • • • •

THE VESPERTINE ~ Teacher's Guide You are free to copy, use, and re-use this guide. You may not publish, repackage or sell this guide.

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