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Fergus Crane

Reading Discussion Guides

Fergus Crane by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

About the Book

Fergus Crane discovers that his teachers from the school ship Betty Jeanne are not quite what they seem — they’re actually pirates! Can Fergus and his winged horse save his schoolmates on the far-off Fire Island? And who else will he find there?

Guide prepared by Colleen Carroll

Discussion Questions

  • Lucia Crane does piecework for the Fateful Voyage Trading Company. What does the word fateful mean? What is fate? What is meant by a fateful voyage, and why was Marcus Crane’s journey to the Emerald Sea a fateful one? Would you describe Fergus’s adventure as fateful? Why or why not?
  • What clues do the author and illustrator provide that all is not as it should be aboard the school ship Betty-Jeanne? What qualities does Fergus possess that allow him to be successful on his adventure?

Extension Activity

  • Fergus has the opportunity to use many of his Uncle Theo’s brilliant devices, such as the Lunchomatic, the mechanical horse, and the flying box. Have students work in small groups to design a machine that would serve a useful purpose for children. Students should brainstorm ideas, make preliminary and final sketches, and present their design to the class.