Teen Discussion Guide: Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson Summary (Goodreads)

Philadelphia high school who doesn’t care about the prom. It’s pretty much the only good thing that happens there, and everyone plans to make the most of it—especially Ash’s best friend, Natalia, who’s the head of the committee and has prom stars in her eyes. Then the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money and Ash finds herself roped into putting together a gala dance. But she has plenty of help—from her large and loving (if exasperating!) family, from Nat’s eccentric grandmother, from the principal, from her fellow classmates. And in making the prom happen, Ash learns some surprising things about making her life happen, too. Visit the website and included reviews here.

The Author

Official Website: madwomanintheforest.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/halseanderson?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
Scholastic’s Biographyhttp://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/laurie-halse-anderson
Teen Read’s Review: http://www.teenreads.com/reviews/prom
The Author’s website about the book, complete with a music playlist: http://madwomanintheforest.com/youngadult-prom/

Adlit’s Meet the Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

The Author’s Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLAh1nSsxHNKAkDgF5MdxPw

American Booksellsers Foundation for Free Expression’s Video Askin Author about Censorship

Discussion Questions:
1. Discuss main characters.

2. Ashley complains about her family throughout the novel, but does she really dislike them, or not? 

3. What are your feelings about her family, would you want them as your own family?

4. Nat’s grandmother is said to be crazy by other characters, but what do you think her mental stability is? 

5. Discuss the relationship between TJ and Ash. Were there positive aspects of their relationships? Negative?

6. Gilroy makes a big stink about Ash following the rules and completing her detentions. Do you understand his position? Do you agree? Are there times when it is okay to break the rules or not face the consequences of your actions?

7. One of the last lines in the book states that Ashley got a life. What is the life she got? How has she grown throughout the book?

8. This book is described as a Cinderella story. Do you agree?

9. Safety, or lack thereof, is a key component of the setting (ie. teachers stealing, security guards and metal detectors). How do Ashley and her friends cope with their environment and how does it impact their actions.

10. Do you think that the school or teachers did a good job keeping students safe? 

11. Prom ideals are discussed through the novel. What are your prom ideals? What are the novel’s ideals? What ideals were actually achieved?