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The False Prince: Book 1 of the Ascendance Trilogy

Last updated Sunday, May 8, 2016

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 0545284139
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2016

Synopsis: The False Prince is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end. In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together. An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

Note to readers:
•  We recommend to begin reading at page 258, reading chapters 42 and 43, and then returning to the beginning of the book.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who usually wears a crown?
•  Can you name any royals?
•  Have you ever pretended to be someone else?


•  Consequences - something that happens as a result of a particular action
•  Stature - a person's height
•  Regents - a person who rules a kingdom when the king or queen is not able to rule
•  Appease - to make someone pleased or less angry by giving or saying something desired
•  Acroterion - an architectural ornament mounted on a building of the classical style
•  Malicious - having or showing a desire to cause harm to another person
•  Vengeance - revenge
•  Satchel - a small bag carried over your shoulder
•  Orphanage - a home for children whose parents have died

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you have any family members who are mischievous?
•  What happens to the ship that Jaron is on?
•  What does Jaron's father, Eckhert, ask him to do?
•  Who does Jaron become?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a paper crown. See Pinterest for examples.
•  Make a Father's Day card.
•  If you know someone who is graduating from middle, high school, or college, make them a graduation card.
•  Check out our May craft ideas on Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/may-2016-fairytale-crafts/

Special activities:
•  Complete the provided word search.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!