The Adoration of Jenna Fox Discussion Questions

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

'The Adoration of Jenna Fox' offers plentiful food for thought in the form of a first-person story of self-discovery. Guide your students through this novel using these questions covering pre-reading, story, literary elements and personal responses.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox tells the tale of a family navigating the muddy waters of medical ethics as they cross purposes with love and longing.The engaging first-person narration unfolds the story at just the right pace for middle or high school readers to engage both emotionally and intellectually with the issues at hand. These discussion questions include pre-reading questions to activate students' thinking on relevant themes as well as post-reading questions to help them process the novel's content.

Pre-Reading Questions

  • What predictions do you have for the novel based on the title?
  • What is it about you that makes you unique and separates you from other people?
  • What does it mean to be human?
  • When, if ever, is it right to break a confidence?
  • How far would you go to save someone you love?

Questions About the Story

  • What are the early clues for Jenna or the reader that something about Jenna's awakening is not as it should be or as it appears?
  • What is Mr. Bender's role in Jenna's self-discovery?
  • What does Lily's attitude tell you about Jenna? How does Lily's attitude evolve over the course of the story?
  • Lily objects to Jenna kissing Ethan. Knowing the truth about her, do you agree? How would you feel if you were Ethan?
  • What pressures was Jenna under once she learned the truth about herself?
  • What toll did Jenna's rebirth take on her parents?
  • What steps could Jenna's parents have taken to better protect her identity?
  • What were the options for the computers containing Kara and Locke? Do you agree with Jenna's choice to dispose of them? If so, why? If not, what should have been done with them?
  • Why did Jenna destroy her own backup?
  • In the epilogue, Jenna mentions her plan to go to Boston to end her life when her daughter gets old. What in her earlier life may have influenced this decision?

Questions About Literary Elements

  • What is the significance of the title? Who adores Jenna Fox, and how?
  • Throughout the novel, grey text boxes appear. What is the function of the text in the grey boxes, and why do you think the author chose to separate it from the other text?
  • How does the author use references to and quotes from Thoreau to enhance the story?
  • What does this novel say about the theme of a parent's love for a child? How does this compare to your experiences and observations?
  • Did the epilogue add to or detract from the impact of the story as a whole?

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