My favorite thing is talking to teens and inspiring them to write. When I do a presentation, I read a bit and answer some questions, but mostly I like to work with the teens on their own writing. I get them writing at the actual presentation, which I hope they’ll then continue at home.
If you’d like me to focus on TRAFFICKED, I can also talk on the subject of human trafficking and modern-day slavery and about writing books that make a difference. Below, I've added a set of discussion questions for TRAFFICKED.
Talking to classes is one of my favorite things to do. I was an ESL teacher for years and then I worked as the Curriculum Director at WriteGirl in LA (WriteGirl.org). At WriteGirl, I helped develop interactive monthly writing workshops for over a hundred girls and women and I trained other professional writers to develop engaging presentations for the girls, which got them writing and believing in themselves.
If I can drive to your school and back from NYC in a day, we can probably arrange a time for me to visit your school. I also travel a lot to the west coast, so I can probably arrange it at some point in the school year. I charge a school visit fee and travel expenses if it's not in the NYC area. I can Skype with your class for free.
Email me and I’ll send you more details, as well as a list of schools I've visited. I hope we can arrange something.
Discussion Guide for TRAFFICKED:
- What is Hannah’s life like in Moldova? Why does she want to leave Moldova?
- What are some of the cultural differences Hannah experiences when she comes to Los Angeles?
- Hannah is still dealing with the grief of losing her mother and father a year before she comes to America. How does that affect how she sees her situation and how she responds?
- What red flags do you think Hannah missed when the good agent first contacts her in the market?What does Hannah experience in her journey from Chisinau to Los Angeles? What do you think she could have done differently when things go wrong?
- How does Lillian threaten Hannah? What does she say? Why do her words have such an impact on Hannah? Do you think every girl would react the same way? How does Lillian punish Hannah?
- Describe Hannah’s relationship with Sergey. Why do you think she’s confused by her feelings and by his? How does she use his attraction to her to get what she needs?
- How does she feel about the children, Maggie and Michael? How do they make Hannah’s life easier or harder?
- Early in the book, Hannah starts watching Colin, the boy next door. How is his life different from hers? How is it the same?
- How does Colin help her overcome her depression about her situation? How does he, without trying, help motivate her to act?
- Why do you think Lillian and Sergey took Hannah? Do you feel any sympathy for either of these characters? Which character did you find yourself disliking the most in the novel? Why?
- When the story ends, do you think Hannah and Colin will continue their relationship? Will they be friends or more?
- What do you think happens to Hannah after the story ends?
- What was the most upsetting part of this story for you? Why?
- How do you think modern-day slavery can be stopped? What can we do to prevent it? How can we help the victims? Did you feel motivated to act in some way? If so, what would you like to do?