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The Selection-Kiera Cass

  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Arts and crafts
  • Books

What is it?

This hack is a twist on the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’

Look at the covers of some dystopian novels. Without reading the back, write the opening paragraph


1. Look at the picture or search for some YA dystopian titles in Amazon. Try Matched by Ally Condie, Feed by M.T Anderson, Eve by Anna Carey, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, or Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Or suggest titles you know to others who haven't read them

2. Choose a book cover you haven’t read. Decide what the dystopia might be based on the cover.

2. Write the opening paragraph for the book.

3. Share opening paragraphs. Go online and read the first page and back cover on Amazon. How did your guesses compare?

Activity log

Gateshead Reading Hack tried this hack with a new book we had not read. We looked at the front cover of 'Orangeboy' by Patrice Lawrence and wrote the first paragraph of what the story might be about.

Here's our story:

"Jason, also known as 'Orangeboy' in the streets, is a fast, clever, often funny and always truthful boy. He spends his days with his friend Mary decorating and bringing the streets of the old, dull, grey town of Gateshead to life. His art has been recognised by the local authorities, but he has not claimed the artwork to be his as he feels ashamed of his closeted talent'.

The first paragraph actually goes like this:

"Man, I couldn't stop looking at her. When I closed my eyes, I still saw her. Her hair was thick and blonde, and a curl looped over her ear to her shoulder. She wore black mascara and green eyeliner and her lips looked shiny and sticky. Sonya Wilson was right there next to me and it made my brain buzz."

Very different, but fun to do.