Monthly Archives: June 2012

The False Prince – The Real End of AFFL…For Now

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Tonight I have finally caught up with the vast majority of the AFFL members as I have finally completed the fantastic novel The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen.

So I read slow and most of the AFFL members had this book done a week ago, but today during our DEAR time I got down to business and knocked out the major climax and much of the falling action of this story.  When I got home, after mowing the lawn, I sat out on the front porch and read the very satisfying end.  I call it a satisfying end only because I know it to have a sequel.  If I didn’t know that I would have so many unanswered questions flying from my mouth.

As I look back on this novel I find it to be just a really smart and fun read.

Now as AFFL takes a summer hiatus I hope we can have a good conversation about The False Prince in the comments of this post.  Remember this in not the end of AFFL, we will be right back at it in August with our first after school meetings.

Here are a few discussion starters to get us going…

  1. What were your favorite parts, or characters, in The False Prince?
  2. Did you have the ending figured out, or did Jennifer Nielsen have you guessing to the very end?
  3. What was your favorite piece of foreshadowing?
  4. What do you think will happen in the second novel… The Runaway King?
  5. Do you think this was a good choice for an AFFL book?

Let’s get a good online conversation going.

Read On,

Mr. H


Fipple Challenge

Hello Fantasy lovers,

In a recent AFFL meeting we were discussing ideas for future challenges and landed on the scene we had just finished with Sage and the other boys learning to dance like gentlemen.  That got loads of juice as the AFFL boys and girls starting thinking about a dancing challenge.

As we were talking about that one member brought up the fipple.  None of us really knew what a fipple was.  We knew from context it was a musical instrument, but not any of the specifics.  With a little internet research we found that most of us actually had fipples sitting on a shelf somewhere at home.

That lead us to this…the Fipple Challenge…

So what do you think of our Fipple Challenge?  How about the nose solo? Hit that comment button and let us know what you think.

Play on,

Mr. h

A Fantasy Challenge

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

I just completed a fantastic fantasy read that might just challenge and delight a few of you AFFL readers.

The book is The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente.  That’s right, the book we gave our illustrious namesake on the occasion of his birthday.

I call this book a challenge as it really did push me when I was listening to the audiobook version.  It is not easy, but just weird and wonderful at the same time.  If you have read and enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland you will see some similarities and connections here.  I also found it was similar in ways to Neil Gaiman stories, remember he wrote about it on the front cover, and the voice of main character really reminded me of the voice of Lemony Snicket.

I really challenge a few of you to give this book a look.  I know we have one copy in the school media center and I bet Mr. F would let you borrow his copy if you asked nicely.  It certainly will not be an easy read, but easy reading isn’t what AFFL is all about right?

Take a look at this excerpt, I just love this idea…

The Leopard of Little Breezes yawned up and farther off from the rooftops of Omaha, Nebraska, to which September did not even wave good-bye. One ought not to judge her: All children are heartless.  They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb tall trees and say shocking things and leap so very high that grown-up hearts flutter in terror.  Hearts weigh quite a lot.  That is why it takes so long to grow one.  But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well-known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.)  Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless.  Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless at all.  September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown.

How about that language?  As an adult and father I know exactly what she is talking about.  As a child how do you read this?  Does it mean anything to you?

Hit that comment button and let’s get a conversation going.

Think on,

Mr. H



Soup Eating Challenge Day One

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Today we fell into to problem of too many projects and too little time.  We wanted to do a soup eating challenge and a fipple playing challenge.

We were ready to go and only managed a few rounds of the soup eating challenge.  Take a look as the noodles start to fall…

So, now on Friday we plan to try a few more soup eating challenges and to get into the cacophony of fippler challenge.

Check back in a couple days to see and hear what we get up to.

Mr H.


The False Prince – A Soup Eating and Coin Rolling Challenge

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Yesterday we had another AFFL meeting (I never get sick of that joke) and we made a few videos to introduce a few new False Prince challenges.

Take a look and let us know what you think…

At the end of the video we talk about the fipple.  So later in the story Sage is trying to learn to play the fipple and doing a poor job of it.  So we, being former elementary students with leftover recorders will attempt a fipple challenge soon.

Check back and see what kind of AFFL cacophony we can create.

Squawk on,

Mr. H

A Box of False Princes

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

The US Postal Service delivered a box of joy to us a few days ago.  I have been buried in End of Grade Testing and have not had time to get the videos published.

So here is the video sharing use handing out the books…

We decided that we could manage 30 pages in the next few days and we would meet again on Thursday to talk about the opening of the story.

Excited Reading,

Mr. H

A New AFFL Member

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Remember you should have a copy of The False Prince and read through page 30 for Thursday.

I know many of you have read on past the 30 page minimum, I know this because a new member close to me has already read past page 40!

So introducing our newest AFFL Member…

I’m looking forward to enjoying this novel and seeing where the story takes us.  Keep that in mind when you are reading… what do you want to talk about and what crazy activities can we tie to the book?

Read on,

Mr. H

News from Jennifer Nielsen

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

I just got an email that told me our box of The False Prince books has been shipped.  According to UPS it should be to our school in two business days! The more I think about this next read, the more I get excited.

Take a look at this Twitter note…

This could be a fun collaboration between the AFFL and author Jennifer Nielsen.

Stay tuned.

Mr. H