Townsend's Warbler by Paul Fleischman

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. What would you like to know about Townsend and Nuttall that Townsend's Warbler does not tell you?

2. What have you learned about how naturalists studied the environment in the 1830s?

3. Compare the journeys of the birds and Wyeth's expedition. How are they similar? How are they different?

4. What were Wyeth's goals in leading the expedition?

5. How well does Fleischman convey the differences in terrain as Wyeth's expedition crosses through different regions of America?

6. How well does Fleischman convey the differences in terrain as Townsend's warblers travel up and down the west coast?

7. Is Townsend's Warbler a good title for this book? Why or why not?

8. Fleischman has written several historical novels, yet he chose to make Townsend's Warbler strictly nonfiction. What limitations does nonfiction like this book put on an author that he would not have to deal with if he wrote a historical novel instead?

9. Is the book too short?

10. To whom would you recommend this book?

11. In Townsend's Warbler Fleischman describes a little-known aspect of American history. How does he make it meaningful for his readers?