Discussion Guide: This Was Our Pact

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Book Summary This Was Our Pact:

This Was Our Pact is a unique graphic novel that is both beautifully written and drawn. The pictures and words go perfectly together, and as you read, you wonder if you are in a dream surrounded by lanterns, water, fish, and stars. This Was Our Pact is a story about friendship, a new friendship with a bear that is very particular about his scarf, or realizing a true friend was beside you all along.

For children ages 8 - 12 years old and who love: Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman, A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeleine L'Engle and illustrated by Hope Larson, Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol, and Jerry Craft’s Class Act.

  • Author and illustrator Ryan Andrews lives in Japan, and one of his inspirations to write This Was Our Pact was by watching an anime film based on a classic Japanese novel called The Night on the Galactic Railroad when he was a child. In Japan, there are many festivals throughout the year, including Japanese lantern festivals. Check out or request these books at your library to learn more about Japanese celebrations, including lantern festivals:

  • Many books are realistic fiction, and many books are fantasy. Did you enjoy that This Was Our Pact has fantastical elements but still takes place in the real world? What was your favorite part of the story that was realistic, and what was your favorite part of the story that was fantastical?

  • What makes Tiffany Bunn such a good antagonist in the story?

  • Do you think the big rock face, Weathered Face Rock, is alive on pages five and seven? Why or why not?

  • Check out these graphic novel sheets. You can use these sheets to begin your graphic novel.

  • During the podcast episode, Ryan Andrews shared his process for This Was Our Pact. You can listen to the episode while you enjoy these images:

  • The Last Chance Hotel's United Kingdom's book cover
    The Last Chance Hotel's Russian book cover
    The Last Chance Hotel's U.S. book cover

—Thank you to author and illustrator Ryan Andrews.

“It's just a lot of practice, just drawing all the time. I'm, I'm drawing while I was waiting for you, but I'm just always, always, always drawing something. And, and the more you do it, the more your style will come out and the better you'll get.”

—Ryan Andrews

Book cover for This Was Our Pact
This Was Our Pact
Andrews, Ryan