We hope you all enjoyed reading the third section of Conversion by Katherine Howe. We're just about halfway done now!
It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.
First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.
Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago...
In pages 125 - 189, we see the mystery illness of St. Joan's hit mass media aND she learns the number of affected girls keeps growing. Colleen's mystery texter keeps contacting her. She discovers her teacher is not returning to school, but has no idea why. In the 1700s, we learn that Ann has become part of the scheme Abigail devised...
Here are some questions where we'd love to hear your thoughts:
1. Why do you think that the school nurse and others are convinced that Colleen is somehow involved with the mystery illness?
2. Why do you think Ann went along with Abby's scheme to scam the village elders?
3. What do you think has happened to cause Mr. Mitchell to leave the school?
Please, give us any thoughts that you have about the pages we've read so far, BUT...NO SPOILERS please!! If you read ahead, make sure not to give away any clues to things that may come ahead.