The Tell Tale Start: For the Classroom

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The Tell Tale Start 

Book 1 of The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe by Gordon McAlpine

“Entertaining and original….Endlessly fun and ultimately very satisfying on every level.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review , The Tell-Tale Start audiobook


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The Tell-Tale StartMeet Edgar and Allan Poe — twelve-year-old identical twins, the great-great-great-great-grandnephews of Edgar Allan Poe. They look and act so much alike that they’re almost one mischievous, prank-playing boy in two bodies. When their beloved black cat, Roderick Usher, is kidnapped and transported to the Midwest, Edgar and Allan convince their guardians that it’s time for a road trip. Along the way, mayhem and mystery ensue, as well as deeper questions: What is the boys’ telepathic connection? Is Edgar Allan Poe himself reaching out to them from the Great Beyond? And why has a mad scientist been spying on the Poe family for years?

Discussion Questions:

Aside from being identical – both inside and out – in what other ways are Edgar and Allan Poe unusual?

Who is Mr. Ian Archer and why does he want to pull hairs from the heads of Edgar and Allan Poe?

What scary ideas could you add to the Poe twins’ Halloween haunted house?

Of Roderick’s many tricks and talents, which is your favorite and why?

Like Mr. Poe, write a fortune cookie fortune to Edgar and Allan Poe, warning them of the danger that awaits them.  Then, write a fortune cookie fortune for yourself, foretelling something good to come.

Write a license plate warning to Edgar and Allan Poe.  Then write a license plate that describes you.

What is the lesson the twins are hoping to teach the employee in the big  book store when they make all the machines go haywire?

Why has Professor S. Pangborn Perry chosen to impersonate the Wizard of Oz?

How does the Professor’s wanting to change Roderick’s name to “Asparagus” allow the twins to figure out where their beloved cat might be hidden?

Why do the fortune cookie messages to the Poe twins stop being accurate by the end of the book?

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