Readers have called my young adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen “edgy” and had a lot of questions about the characters profiled there. Some of those questions have been, well, edgy themselves. With only a chapter spent with each, readers fiercely want to hold the characters accountable and make sure they get the respect they deserve.
Go back and read just the pages of Tommy’s notebook. What do you notice that you did not notice before? Below are some questions you might explore when exploring those torn pages.
“We leave pieces of ourselves everywhere. Every time we meet someone, they take some of us and we take some of them. That’s how it is. Little particles stick us together. Bit by bit. I think it’s how we get whole.” —Tommy Smythe (opening)
Do you agree that little particles stick us together every time we meet someone? In your opinion, is this is how we become whole beings?
“All possibilities exist.” —Tommy Smythe (page 9)
Truth or theory? Back it up with some thought.
“Sometimes I think this world – the one we are living in right now – is the one where we have to get it right.”
—Tommy Smythe (page 33)
Why would this be that world? Why couldn’t this be the world we get to make mistakes in?
“McCloud says if we know what causes mass, then we might be able to figure out how much less mass is needed to move things through space.” —Tommy Smythe (page 42)
Do you think it’s possible to transport matter from one place or realm to another?
What’s your theory on how it could happen or why it couldn’t?
“I lost my notebook again…I went into another dimension. I wouldn’t be able to find that notebook until I came back into this dimension.” —Tommy Smythe (page 53)
Why wouldn’t Tommy’s notebook exist in other dimensions?
“I wonder if I become more by joining up with the other wave that is me.” —Tommy Smythe (page 59)
Is it possible to discover other versions of yourself, to create your own alternate realities, without traveling to other dimensions?
“McCloud said that a general rule among physicists is that if phenomena are not expressly forbidden, they are eventually found to occur…if the equation exists, so does the possibility.” —Tommy Smythe (page 69)
What happens to that possibility once a phenomenon is expressly forbidden?
Can something be forbidden without being expressly forbidden?
“Before being observed, the system takes on all possibilities. So reality is created by the observer.” —Tommy Smythe (page 85)
In what ways do most of us create our own reality?
“Observation of a rabbit…I think they smell and hear and react. That’s all. We name it fear. I’m not sure it’s fear. It’s how they survive.” —Tommy Smythe (page 94)
How does this description also apply to Tommy Smythe?