About the Book
Corby Flood and her family are about to set sail on a rather ramshackle cruise ship, the S.S. Euphonia. Onboard, among the odd passengers and eccentric crew, there is a strange group of men in bowler hats who call themselves the Brotherhood of Clowns. There’s also a melancholy wailing sound coming from the hold. It’s strictly out of bounds, but Corby can’t help investigating.
- Corby records her observations on the notes pages of the Hoffendick Guide. How do Corby’s observational skills serve her throughout the story?
- Corby is so furious that the clowns have imprisoned a living thing in a crate that she feels her “blood begin to boil.” (p. 133) What does this expression mean? What are examples of things that make your blood boil with anger?
- Corby reads from the Hoffendick Guide, a travel book chock full of descriptions and illustrations of fascinating places in her world. Have student choose to research a place in their world and create their own mini version of a travel booklet, similar to the Hoffendick Guide. Give students time at the conclusion of this project to share their books with the class.