32 thoughts on “Teaching and Learning Guide Destroying Avalon

  1. Thankyou!!!!!!

    I was preparing myself for a weekend without talking to my family and now you have given me all the work I need and more.

    Yours sincerely

    Tara East

  2. Brilliant!! I love it when a plan comes together!!
    We teachers work FAR too hard as it is!
    Glad to be of help!!!
    All the best,

  3. Dear Kate,
    Thanks for the teaching notes and background material. A comment, though, could you put page numbers on the pages, please? In my case, they fell on the floor from the printer, and took some time to check the right order.

    I read Destroying Avalon today, and couldn’t put it down. I was slightly put off trying it after a Penguin teachers evening, and am sorry I have waited so long. Did you see the segment on Sixty Minutes on Sunday night?

  4. Hi Kate,

    I’ve just briefly looked through this guide and I know it is going to be so helpful! Thankyou so much! I’m reading the book for the second time and still can’t put it down… I can’t wait to teach it to my Year 10’s.

  5. Thanks Stevie,

    I do hope it helps. I’m still to get around to the in ecstasy teaching notes- but with writing new novels, speaking appearances and teaching as well- time is limited!! Check out Penguin’s website for other teaching ideas of Destroying Avalon too- more as a cyber bullying resource than a novel.

  6. hi, i gave the 52 or so list of questions to my students and i am in need to mark about 30 of them and i was wondering if you could maybe email them to me so it will make my life a whole lot easier. my email is missglamorous1@hotmail.com thanks alot

  7. You are an amazing writer. Not only do you produce engaging and meaningful novels, but you’re also helping the students and teachers with your notes and study guides!


  8. I teach at an Islamic school and we really love your book ‘Destroying Avalon. I dont understand why you made fun of the name ‘Fatima’ which is a very special and common Muslim name. It made us feel very sad.This is a multicultural society and such things can be offensive and hurtful.

    1. Hey Isil,
      I am terribly sorry that any part of the novel may have caused you offense. Within the context of the girls’ conversation the discussion of the different names illustrates the overarching theme of the book (which is about how hurtful words can be). The intention behind ‘Destroying Avalon’ is to raise awareness of exactly these issues- that a lack of tolerance towards other people- whether it be cultural, religious, physical, sexual can result in hurt and sometimes tragedy.

      As an author, the views the characters express are not my own, they are tools to hopefully convey messages and ideas. Personally I have no dislike for the names the girls refer to and as these characters do not belong to an Islamic environment– and would be unaware of the name’s cultural significance– serves to show how easily it is to cause offense unwittingly. It also allows (within a teaching and learning environment) to explore the idea of tolerance and understanding.

      All the best
      Kate McCaffrey

  9. Hey Kate,
    Thank-you for your reply.
    I read your reply to my class and we thought you have a point.
    However, we also have a point: as an author, you are responsible for the creation of your characters and what they say. The comment comes from Avalon who is the central character of the story. This is probably why it was offensive. If one of the other characters was responsible for the comment, say a mean character, it may have been more acceptable.
    Either way, a simple research would have shown you that Fatima is the name of our Prophet’s daughter. She is much loved by all Muslims.
    Please dont take it personally- we still love your book!

    Warm Regards,
    Isil and Yr 11 Advanced English.

    1. Yeah, you cant take everything so literally. Its a literary text and Fatima is a girl’s name. I think you’re making an issue of a non-issue.
      Great book, Kate, I do it practically every year with my Year 10’s given that the issue of bullying, especially cyber bullying gets uncontrollable and raising awareness amongst teenagers is so important. Thank you!

  10. hey kate

    can u please tell me what’s your purpose and the main themes of the book destroying Avalon including the novels strength and weaknesses

    1. This is a classic ‘I need help with my homework’ question. Have you actually read the book? Asked your teacher for some help? Thought about what you think the answers might be? Give that a crack. 🙂

    1. hahahaha i wanna know too so i know iam not wrong in anyway even tho i read the whole book in 2 days i just do not want to be wrong

  11. Hello,
    We had to read your book for our english novel.
    I found it horrible and the slang you used i have never heard in everyday teenage life.
    The point when marshall commits suicide adds an element that isnt needed.

    Any issue with this email me you have my email from this box.

    1. The slang is typical of the early to mid 00’s, when this was written. I know this because I was a teenager at that time. The novel is meant to be deliberately shocking and intense, as that reflects reality and draws readers in.
      Yesterday I shared an article on social media which was published by Beyond Blue, which stated that statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded that 3027 Australian took their own lives in 2015. You read correctly, 3027. So why did Marshall have to suicide? Because that’s what actually happens, and the novel reflects reality and is meant to be a warning about the horrific effects of bullying.
      I think Marshall’s suicide is a vital element of the novel. I’ve taught this novel to high school English classes at least ten times, and every time students have engaged with it. Issues like this shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet, just because they make you feel uncomfortable.

  12. I agree there. The novel brings out the devastating effects of bullying both physical and cyber. It makes teenagers stop and think about their actions. The carelessness with which they target someone just because of a minor difference is so common, its sickening. I teach this novel every single year too. I’ve bought a few copies for the next novel, In Ecstasy, for the more mature readers and it brings home the message. I then do a raising awareness unit with posters, film and debate on why we should think before bullying another person. It does tend to build mutual respect.

  13. Hi, I have a question about Avalons parent,
    what is their attitude and values regarding education and family life

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