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Guided Reading

Lila is a Firework-Maker’s daughter, who desperately wants to follow in her father’s footsteps. Lalchand is her father, who believes that, despite her talents, it is not a job for a girl. Lila can’t accept her father’s decision, so she goes off on a quest to face the Fire-Fiend and collect the Royal Sulphur she needs to be able to make the finest fireworks. On her journey she encounters pirates, wild animals and rocky mountains. Finally, she has to walk on fire to discover the secrets she needs to follow her passion. Luckily, she is trailed throughout by her friend Chulak, and Hamlet the sometimes billboard, royal elephant, who save her from the flames with magic water. On their return, Lila and Lalchand have to prove that they are the very best firework-makers one more time, in order to save Lalchand from death.

The Firework Maker's Daughter - Chapter 1

‘A thousand miles ago, in a country east of the jungle and south of the mountains, there lived a Firework-Maker called Lalchand and his daughter Lila.’

Use the following questions to lead further discussion:
What is unusual about the first line?
What kind of story does it remind you of? (traditional tales, maybe? But with the twist of miles rather than years). Why? How is it different?
Why do you think Philip Pullman introduces the jungle and the mountains in the first paragraph?
What else tells us these are important? If they you unsure, direct them to the front cover and back cover.