Exit, Pursued by a Bear
Written by E.K. Johnston
Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team–the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.
In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.
Primary Source Pairing:
Hermione’s story of perseverance in the face of fear is one from which we can all learn. The relationship between Polly and Hermione is one all humans should experience. And the support Hermione receives should be standard care. Roughly inspired by Shakespeare’s play The Winter’s Tale, and from where the title originates, Exit, Pursued by a Bear, is a story you will not soon forget. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study an image of the first page of Shakespeare’s play The Winter’s Tale, which was originally published in the First Folio in 1623.
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- Is there any text you can read? What does it say?
- Describe anything you see on the page besides words, such as images or decorations.
- How is the text and other information arranged on the page?
- Describe anything about this text that looks strange or unfamiliar.
- What other details can you see?
- Can you tell anything about what was important at the time it was made?
- What is the larger story or context within which this was printed?
- What can you learn from examining this?
- If someone created this today, what would be different?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
The Winter’s Tale Image: By William Shakespeare, Thomas Cotes (printer) and John Smethwick (publisher) – Folger Library Digital Image Collection http://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/s/53mx7f, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40861949