Author Feature-Rachel Caine

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

High School

Featured Author

Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine

Prince of Shadows

Rachel Caine grew up in Texas and graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in accounting. After a varied career as a professional musician, a payroll administrator and graphic designer, Rachel pursued writing and was first published in 2003. Since then, Rachel has written more than forty books for adults and teens. Prince of Shadows is her most recent YA novel.


 

Find her on the web:

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Book Trailer

 


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Book Discussion Questions 

Printable Copy

  1. Love presents itself in many different ways in the novel. Describe how Romeo's love for Juliet is different from Benvolio's love for Rosalie.
  2. Both of the main couples in this story, Romeo and Juliet and Benvolio and Rosalie, have known each other for such a short time. Is it possible for these characters to truly be in love with each other?
  3. Benvolio is known as the Prince of Shadows. How does his role as a thief affect the plot of the story? How is disguise used in the novel?
  4. How far would you go for love?
  5. In both Shakespeare's play and Caine's novel, Mercutio is killed. Was his death a necessary death? If so, what role does it play in the plot of the story?
  6. The feud between the houses, Capulet and Montague, is a huge concern for the characters. It is the feud that drives the action or it is love?
  7. Which of the couples is your favorite? Why? Do you relate of any of the couples?


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Academic Programs 

Printable Copy

Activity 1: Who Are You?

In Prince of Shadows, family is everything to the powerful families of Verona. Students will explore their own family history in this activity.

TEKS:

  • United States History Since 1877 - 29e, 29h, 30a, 30b, 30c, 31a
  • United States Government - 21c, 21d
  • English 1 - 1e, 21, 23c
  • English 2 - 1e, 21, 23c
  • English 3 - 1e, 21, 23c
  • English 4 - 1e, 21, 23c

Books to Display:

  • Romiette and Julio by Sharon Draper
  • Romeo's Ex: Rosalind's Story by Lisa Fiedler
  • The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
  • Shaking the Family Tree by Buzzy Jackson
  • Ophelia by Lisa Klein
  • When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing by Megan Smolenyak
  • Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

Description:

Family lines and heritage play a crucial role in the events of Prince of Shadows. The creation of a family tree is a great way to illustrate a student's ancestry and a way for students to discover their heritage. Students will create their own family tree similar to the Capulet Family Tree (see Resources) by using online resources, known family history, and family interviews.

Several styles of family trees are provided in the Resources to give students more examples from which to draw inspiration.

Begin by providing students with the Genealogy Vocabulary for Students Handout (see Resources) and discussing the definitions of terms that they will encounter while doing research. Students will then use a free Ancestral Chart (see Resources) to fill out names and birth and death dates (if applicable) for family members through three generations. When finished, the students will have the family information for themselves, and their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Students will then use this information to create their own Capulet-style Family Tree to be displayed in the classroom.

There may be instances where a student is in a family or home situation which may prevent them from filling out a family tree. In this case, the student could choose a well-known public figure such as a president to complete this assignment. By doing this, they are still learning how to use genealogical resources. Several such resources are listed in the Resource section.

Resources:

Activity 2: Oral History Assignment

Introduction

Oral Histories are one of the most common first person resources for genealogists and historians. The sharing of this history allows others to learn stories and personal accounts from the past.

TEKS

  • English 1 - 20, 21, 24, 25
  • English 2 - 20, 21, 24, 25
  • English 3 - 20, 21, 24, 25
  • English 4 - 120, 21, 24, 25
  • Communication Applications - 1c, 1d, 1f, 1i, 1j, 2f, 2g, 2h, 2i

Books to Display

  • The Tall Mexican: The Life of Hank Aguirre, All-Star Pitcher, Businessman, Humanitarian by Robert E. Copley
  • Orange Candy Slices by Viola Canales
  • The Oral History Workshop: Collect and Celebrate the Life Stories of Your Family and Friends by Cynthia Hart and Lisa Samson
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio by Tony Johnston
  • Esperanza: My Own True Name by Pat Mora
  • My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults by Pat Mora
  • Doing Oral History by Donald A. Ritchie

Supply List

  • Notebook
  • Pen or pencil
  • Recorder (can use cell phone if it has the capability)
  • Camera (can use cell phone if it has the capability)
  • Interview questions ready

Description:

Students will select a person in their family to interview. It is best to get someone of an older generation than their parents and who knows a lot about the family's history. If an older family member is not available for an interview, students can find anyone from an earlier generation. Encourage them to check out nursing or retirement homes or the local VFW. It is always good practice before an interview to let the interviewee know that the answers will be shared with the student's class. Students should be reminded to be sensitive to the interviewee's feelings. Sometimes emotional memories can be evoked when talking and reminiscing about the past.

Prior to the interview, students should prepare a set of questions, making sure to ask the correct questions for the assignment. A list of sample questions students can use for inspiration is provided in the Resources section. However, be prepared to go off-script. Allow flexibility during an interview. The interviewee's story might encourage the student to think of questions not previously written down.

If recording this interview, having the recorder in plain sight does imply consent, but it is best practice to ask for the interviewee's permission. When conducting the interview students should ask their prepared questions and allow interviewee to answer in the manner they wish. After the interview, students will type out a transcript of their interview.

Encourage students to consider videotaping their family interviews or for extra credit. Students' finished interviews may be presented to the class in whichever manner the teacher prefers.

Resources

Activity 3: Prince of Shadows vs. Romeo & Juliet Compare and Contrast

Students will compare and contrast Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine to Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. 

TEKS

  • English 1 - 5b, 5c, 15a, 15c, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
  • English 2 - 2a, 5b, 5c, 15a, 15c, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
  • English 3 - 2b, 5b, 5c, 15a, 15c, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
  • English 4 - 5b, 15a, 15c, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

Books to Display

  • Romiette and Julio by Sharon Draper
  • Romeo's Ex: Rosalind's Story by Lisa Fiedler
  • The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
  • Shaking the Family Tree by Buzzy Jackson
  • Ophelia by Lisa Klein
  • Like No Other by Una LaMarche
  • The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
  • Transcendence by C.J. Omololu
  • When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing by Megan Smolenyak
  • Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
  • Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

Description

Students will chose a character or scene from Prince of Shadows to compare to the corresponding character or scene in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Once a character or scene has been selected, students will use a Graphic Organizer (such as the Compare and Contrast Matrix found in the Resources) to set out their findings. When students have finished their research they will then write a Comparative Essay describing the similarities and differences between the book and play. Essay length can be determined by the instructor.

Resources

Activity 4: What's In a Name?: Etymology in Prince of Shadows

Introduction

Names hold power in the world of Prince of Shadows, what does your name mean?

TEKS

  • English 1 - 1d, 1e, 5b, 23c
  • English 2 - 1d, 1e, 5b, 23c
  • English 3 - 1d, 1e, 5b, 23c
  • English 4 - 1d, 1e, 5b, 23c

Books to Display

  • Romiette and Julio by Sharon Draper
  • Romeo's Ex: Rosalind's Story by Lisa Fiedler
  • Bring Back Beatrice! by Jennifer Griffin
  • Ophelia by Lisa Klein
  • Like No Other by Una LaMarche
  • 100,000+ Baby Names: The Most Complete Baby Name Book by Bruce Lansky
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

Description

Students can begin by analyzing the symbolism of names from Prince of Shadows. Have students choose five important characters from Prince of Shadows and research the meaning of their names using name books or online websites (such as those listed in the Resources). Students can fill out the Name Symbolism Handout located in the Resources section, or they can make their own similar chart on butcher paper.

After researching the meaning and origin of the characters' names, students will select one character they've already researched then create a poster (size and style can be determined by instructor). This poster will illustrate how the meaning of the character's name influences the character's behavior in the novel.

Instructors can even offer extra credit to students who analyze the names of themselves and their family members.

Resources

 

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Active Programs


Printable Copy

Masquerade Ball

Introduction

One of the most significant scenes in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and in Prince of Shadows is the masquerade ball; the events of the masquerade drive the rest of the story. This program incorporates several elements from that scene including the costumes, the dancing, and the duels that take place following the events of the ball. Teens will have the chance to be a part of this scene as they create their own mask and swords and learn the basics of fencing and ballroom dancing.

Books to Display

  • Romiette and Julio by Sharon M Draper
  • Romeo's Ex: Rosaline's Story by Lisa Fielder
  • Escape from Verona by David Gray
  • Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
  • Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors
  • When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

Activity 1: Make Me: Custom Masquerade Masks

Supplies

  • Mask template (printed on cardstock)
  • Hole punch
  • Black Ribbon (string or yarn if ribbon unavailable)
  • Sequins
  • Feathers
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Paint (optional)
  • Lace
  • Glue
  • Tape

Description

Before the program begins, print out the mask template. The number of copies needed depends on the number of participants expected for the program. Set all the decorating supplies on a table for the teens to choose from. The teens will then cut out one mask and punch a hole on either side to attach the ribbon at the end. Using the provided craft materials teens will design individualized masks. Creativity is encouraged! Cut two lengths of ribbon that are long enough to tie around the head and attach through the holes. If using glue or paint allow mask to dry for several minutes before wearing. A photo of a completed mask is included in the resources to use as an example for the teens.

Completed Mask

Activity 2: Sword Crafting

Supplies

  • Foam board sheets
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Paint (optional)
  • Markers
  • Strips of fabric

Instructions

Before the program, print sword templates. The teens may choose to use a premade template but it is not required for this project. The templates can be used as is and teens can freehand the swords on the foam board using the template as an example, or the template can be enlarged and teens can trace the swords on to the foam board. Teens are free to model their swords on any type of rapier they wish. Teens will mark their designs on the foamboard. Cut out the design then use the paper tubes as a handle for the sword. (See tutorial below.) Once assembled the teens are able to decorate it however they would like. The strips of fabric can be used to create a holder for the sword to tie around the waist.

Resources

Activity 3: Stage Combat

Supplies

  • Stage Combat Instructor
  • Open floor space
  • Instructional manuals or book
  • Foamboard swords

Instructions

If the library has funding available to hire an instructor to teach stage combat, find and book an instructor. If the library does not have funding to pay for an instructor, seek out local community centers, theater groups, or fencing clubs to see if anyone would be willing to volunteer their time for a program. If the library is unable to hire an instructor, there are many books that detail stage combat choreography and the librarian would be able to teach the class. Make sure that there is plenty of room for the teens to move around during this demonstration. Since this is an active program, and each library has different policy, a permission slip is provided for teens to have their parents sign.

Resources

  • Permission slip

Activity 4: Twirl, Tap and Promenade: Dance Lessons

Supplies:

  • Dance Instructor
  • Open floor space
  • CDs/CD player or
  • MP3 player/speakers
  • Dance step charts
  • Dance Instruction DVD (optional)
  • TV and DVD player (optional)

Description

If the library has funding available to hire a dance instructor, check local resources and book an instructor who is able to teach an easy dance class for teens. The class length and the type of dance depend on the preference of the librarian and can be tailored to the community. If the library does not have funding to pay for an instructor, seek out local community centers, colleges, or dance academies to see if any instructor would be willing to volunteer their time. If a dance instructor is not available, using an instructional dance DVD is an alternative.

Prior to the program, clear an open space that is large enough to allow for a large group to dance. Plug in a CD player and speakers so that music can play during the lesson. When you book the instructor make sure to find out what materials they will have and what you will need to provide. To add to the decoration of the room, print out the step charts and adhere to the wall. A dance step printable is provided in the resources, or photocopies can be made from instructional dance books found in the library. The teens are welcome to wear their masks and swords during the dancing. Since this is an active program and each library has different policy, a permission slip is provided for teens to have their parents sign. (Make sure to have your library's legal department review the permission form before use.)

Resources


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Passive Program 

Printable Copy

Introduction

Shakespeare is one of the most iconic and well-known playwrights of all time. His work is still studied in classrooms, his plays are still performed on stage, and new adaptations are always popular. These passive programs will allow teens to become a little more familiar with Shakespeare’s works.

Books to Display:

  • Playing Shakespeare: An Actor’s Guide by John Barton
  • The Truth About William Shakespeare: Fact, Fiction, and Modern Biographies by David Ellis
  • The Shakespeare Book by DK
  • Essential Shakespeare Handbook by Leslie Dunton-Downer and Alan Riding
  • The Life of William Shakespeare: A Critical Biography by Lois Potter
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theater by David Robson
  • Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • William Shakespeare’s Poems and Quotes by William Shakespeare

Activity 1: Shakespeare or Hip-Hop?

Supply List:

  • Bulletin board
  • Colored Paper
  • Printed quotes from handout
  • Tape/Stapler

Description of Program:

Shakespeare has written some of the most famous plays in the world and many quotes from those plays are equally famous. However, it is easy to see similarities between phrases from Shakespeare’s plays and lyrics from rap songs. In this activity, a bulletin board is created with images of Shakespeare and photos of current rap artists. Use colored paper to decorate the bulletin board then add the photos. 

Select quotes from the Shakespeare or Hip-Hop Handout and type out some of these quotes in large fonts to add to the display. When you print the Shakespeare or Hip-Hop or handout, two sets of quotes will be provided. Cut half to make half-sheets. A folder will be attached to the board that contains the Shakespeare or Hip-Hop Activity Sheet. Teens are able to take these sheets and fill them out on their own to see if they can tell the difference from Shakespearean quote or modern rap lyrics. An answer sheet is provided. The answer sheet can be adhered to the bulletin board with a blank sheet over it so the answers are hidden.

Resources:

Activity 2: About Shakespeare: A History 

Supply List:

  • Bulletin board
  • Colored paper
  • Tape/Stapler
  • Printer

Description of Program:

Shakespeare is one of the most prolific authors in history, but not all students are going to be familiar with his life. By creating a colorful bulletin board or wall display with the provided handouts, teens will be able to read fun facts and see a timeline of William Shakespeare’s life.

A basic timeline of Shakespeare’s life is provided in the resources. This can be printed and attached to a bulletin board using tape or staples or  it can be adhered to a wall using tape or sticky tack. If available, print on a bright color paper to help draw the teen’s attention. The fun facts page is a single sheet of tidbits about Shakespeare. Place this sheet near the timeline of Shakespeare. Print the image of Shakespeare and add to the display to tie everything together.

Resources:

 

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Created on Apr 3, 2015 | Last updated July 15, 2015