“Mackenzie Morehouse, a fifth-grader at the Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School in Oakland, said she gained confidence after meeting Courage.

‘I had never talked to a real writer before,’ said Mackenzie, 10, of Sewickley Heights. “Instead of standing up there and telling us exactly what he wanted to tell us, he made it very interactive.

‘Although the evening was supposed to be about him, he made it about us and our ideas. It definitely gave me more faith in my writing abilities.'”

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Are you a teacher or librarian? I’m available for school visits, Skype sessions, Q&A’s, personalized “Library-style” bookplates, and more! Below you’ll find Discussion and Activity Guides for The Loudness—which features not one, but two libraries! Please use the contact form below to email me with any requests you might have.

Click to view Discussion Guide...

1. What do you think of the first line of The Loudness: “Henry Long doesn’t have a heart”? Is it true?

2. What unusual strengths does Henry have? Can you think of other characters from books, comic books, television shows or movies that have similar strengths?

3. Is Henry a superhero or a regular kid?

4. Can you think of characters in other books, comics, TV or movies that have had to overcome a difficulty? Have you had to overcome any difficulties?

5. If you were a superhero, what powers or abilities would you choose for yourself?

6. In The Loudness, it can be hard to tell who is good and who is bad. Can you think of characters in other books or movies that aren’t all good or all bad?

7. Over the course of The Loudness, Henry learns that things aren’t always what they seem. Can you think of some examples of this?

8. As Henry travels from his home to other neighborhoods and beyond, what does he discover? At school (the library)? In another neighborhood? In another city?

9. If you had Henry’s power, what would be annoying about it? What would be fun?

10. Libraries are important places in The Loudness. They appear at the beginning of the story and near the climax. Do you have a library in your school or hometown? What do you like about it?

11. Do you know anyone like Grammy, Mr. Mooney, or Carel?

12. Sometimes Henry follows the rules, and sometimes he doesn’t. What do you think about that?

13. There are different areas in Henry’s hometown. Can you remember what the Green Zone is like? How about the Grey Zone? What about The Other Side? Do you have areas like that where you live?

14. What role does music play in The Loudness?

15. At Food Eats – the restaurant on The Other Side – Henry eats some simple but delicious food. If you found a secret restaurant where all the food was free, what would you order?

16. Who is your favorite character from The Loudness? Why?

17. Who is a hero in your life?


Click to view Classroom Activity Guide...

1. Design or describe your own superhero with a unique set of strengths, weaknesses, and costuming. Who (or what) is your hero saving, and from what or whom?

2. Describe (or draw) your ideal superpower and explain how you would use it.

3. Describe a fictional city that has survived a disaster, and include a map or drawing of the city.

Click to download a printable Discussion and Classroom Activity Guide…

Click to schedule a Skype visit...

I’m happy to meet with your class via Skype for short Q&A sessions. These teacher or librarian moderated sessions are suited for small groups who have read The Loudness and discussed questions beforehand.

Please use the form below to arrange a Skype session with your class or reading group!

Click to download printable School and Library Visit information…

Your Fan,

Nick Courage

P.S. You might like this letter I wrote to my 6th/7th grade self!

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