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The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming

The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming

For Ages: 8 - 12
  • reading group guide
In a pristine valley hidden in the Himalayas, Anand has a disturbing vision. His mentor and spiritual guide, the Master Healer Abhaydatta, is apparently in grave danger. What should he do? If he conveys this information to his elders, he'll waste precious time. But is it wise to take matters into his own hands?

Anand makes his choice and embarks on a spectacular adventure that takes him not only across contemporary India but also several hundred years into the past to the time of the Moghul rulers. There he encounters powerful sorcerers, a haughty and arrogant prince, and a jinn capable of unspeakable magic.
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  • Aladdin | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416917687 | 
  • February 2007 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
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Reading Group Guide

In The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, the second adventure of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Brotherhood of the Conch trilogy, Anand is an apprentice healer. When he gets a vision that his mentor, Abhaydatta, is in trouble, he disobeys all advice and rules and goes off to set things right. While it seems he is making a rash decision, the conch agrees to help him, confirming that his decision is the correct one and that he, with the help of Nisha, is the only one who can save Abhaydatta and defeat the evil forces.
Anand's quest is filled with challenges and missteps, failures and successes, and many difficult choices along the way, which all offer subjects for thought and discussion. The questions below are meant to help you get the conversations going.
As you read The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, you are going to come across many words used in India with which you may be unfamiliar. For example: pakora, a snack made out of chicken, onion, eggplant, lentils, potato, spinach, cauliflower, tomato, or chili, which is dipped in a batter of gram flour and then deep-fried; and punkah, a large swinging fan made out of palmyra leaves. Keep a running list of the words you are not familiar with. When you have a chance, look them up and write the meanings down. They probably won't be in your dictionary, so go online to Google ( type each word in, and go to the link that comes up.

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About the Author

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Photograph by Murthy Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the award-winning author of many books, including The Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, and One Amazing Thing. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times. Born in India, she currently lives in Texas and teaches in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program at the University of Houston.




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