This month’s FYA Book Club selection is The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)
P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!
September obviously has a vivid imagination. When you were little, what sort of make-believe games did you play? What was your kid fantasy world like?
1. Did you find September to be as heartless and ill-tempered as she thought herself to be? Either way, did you still find her likeable?
2. Fairyland is home to tons of fantastical creatures and elements. Which was your favorite?
3. Catherynne M. Valente was obviously inspired by folklore and classic fantasy novels. Which “borrowed” elements did you spot?
4. If you’re not a fan of fantasy in general: did September’s story draw you in, or was this book really not your cup of tea?
5. At one point, the Marquess says, “I made Fairyland nice for the children who come over the gears. I made it safe.” This desire stems not only from the Marquess’ background but also from the book’s World War II setting. But as a reader in our contemporary world, how do you react to this statement? And what sort of social commentary is implied?
6. Once the Marquess’ backstory is revealed, she obviously becomes a more sympathetic character. Did you still find her end goal (severing the connection between Fairyland and the human world) to be terrible, or did you find yourself agreeing with her?
7. When the Marid child appeared near the end of the story, did you guess who she belonged to?!!
8. Do you plan on continuing with this series?