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M. R. Carey’s
The Girl with All the Gifts
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Copyright © 2015 by dailyBooks. All Rights Reserved.
First Published in the United States of America 2015
We hope you enjoy this complementary guide from dailyBooks. We aim to provide quality, thought provoking material to assist in your discovery and discussions on some of today’s favorite books.
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EVERY GOOD BOOK CONTAINS A WORLD FAR DEEPER THAN the surface of its pages. The characters and their world come alive through the words on the pages, yet the characters and its world still live on. Questions herein are designed to bring us beneath the surface of the page and invite us into the world that lives on. These questions can be used to:
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Introducing The Girl With All the Gifts
Introducing the Author
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS FOLLOWS A GROUP OF humans who were infected with a fungus nearly two decades ago. The people infected are known as the hungries. The hungries are essentially zombies. They have no control over their mind and eat humans who have not been infected with the fungus. The disease is spread to other humans through close contact. Those not infected live in areas that are heavily guarded or become nomadic and hostile junkers and live in packs.
One area of non-infected humans is called The Beacon. The Beacon is interested in studying the hungries and gathers a few child hungries on their military base, where Sergeant Ed Parks is in charge. Child hungries are different from adult hungries because they still have control over their mind until they get too close to a human. The head of the scientific research department, Caroline Caldwell, often performs live operations and procedures on the children in an effort to study them. This upsets the behavioral psychologist Helen Justineau because she has compassion for the younger hungries. Justineau has grown particularly close to a young hungry, Melanie, who is ten years old. Melanie is highly intelligent and looks to Justineau as her mother. Melanie and the other child hungries have no understanding that humans and hungries are different. Caldwell threatens this relationship when she believes she can finally cure the fungus and decides to experiment on Melanie. Justineau makes an attempt at saving Melanie, but the military base falls under attack from hungries and junkers, wounding Caldwell. Caldwell, Justineau, and Melanie find two men, Parks and Gallagher, and leave the base to go to The Beacon. They place Melanie in a muzzle so they can travel safely with her.
As the group travels, they realize that Melanie is a huge asset to them because she will not be attacked by the other hungries. Caldwell still does not trust Melanie, however. Eventually, after a long and dangerous journey, the Rosalind Franklin mobile laboratory is found. Hurriedly, Caldwell tries to complete her research using the equipment in the laboratory. Meanwhile, Melanie stumbles upon other child hungries who are feeding on animals and tells the group they were junkers to save the child hungries. Gallagher, who is afraid of the junkers, runs away from the lab and is killed by adult hungries.
Caldwell captures an adult hungry and secretly conducts experiments on him. Melanie is out exploring and finds a gigantic fungus spore that could infect the whole world. Melanie returns to the lab and finds a way to convince Caldwell to let her in. Caldwell is quickly dying from sepsis, but before she dies, she informs Melanie that the fungus cannot be cured. In addition, the hungries who are born hungries keep their human mental abilities.
Melanie returns outside the laboratory to find Parks and Justineau in a battle with two other hungries. She is able to get the hungries away from the pair; however, Justineau is unaware of what has happened; meanwhile, Parks has been infected. Before the infection sets in, Parks makes a request that Melanie kill him before he becomes a hungry. Melanie agrees to kill Parks, but makes a request of him before she goes through with killing him. Melanie asks Parks to return to the fungus spores she found and use the flamethrower on it. By doing this, the whole world would become hungries, the war would end, and the second generation of hungries who retained their mental abilities could restore the world.
At the end of the story, Justineau wakes up in the mobile laboratory wearing an environmental protection suit. Melanie is there with her. She brings Justineau to intelligent hungries so that she can begin teaching them.
MIKE CAREY WAS BORN IN LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, IN 1959. As a child, Carey was often quiet and lived inside his head. He had an interest in writing and drawing at a young age and would create stories for his younger brother. At St. Peter's College at Oxford, Carey studied English. After he completed his studies, he began a career as a teacher, which he continued for fifteen years.
After Carey ended his teaching career, he became a full-time comic writer. His first comic job was at 2000 AD, a weekly comic book in England that focus on science fiction stories. With 2000 AD, he created his original comic series Carver Hale and Th1rt3en. Carver Hale is about a man who becomes possessed by a demon, and Th1rt3en is described as a thriller, space opera.
Carey went to work with DC Comics' imprint, Vertigo. With Vertigo, he wrote the comic book Lucifer about the fallen angel who runs Hell. Lucifer was nominated for an Eisner Award. Care also worked on thirty issues of the comic series Hellblazer at Vertigo. For Marvel Comics, Carey is the writer of the X-Men: Legacy series and the Ultimate Fantastic Four series.
In April 2006, Carey released his first novel in the prose category, The Devil You Know, which follows the main character, Felix Castor. The sequel to this novel, Vicious Circle, was released six months later. These two novels were followed by three more novels in the book series. In 2012, he released a collaboration novel with Linda Carey and Louise Carey called The City of Silk and Steel. In 2014, his most popular novel, The Girl with All the Gifts, was released. That same year, he released another co-written novel, The House of War and Witness, with Linda and Louise Carey. His most recent novel release, Fellside, was in 2016.
Mike Carey is currently married to Linda Carey; they have a daughter, Louise. Mike, Linda, and Louise have authored two books together.
At the end of the story, Melanie releases spores into the world to turn everyone into hungries. What was your reaction when Melanie did this?
Do you think the author wrote this story to simply entertain readers, or was the author trying to send a message out to readers?
Consider Melanie at the beginning of the story and at the end of the story. How did she change and transform throughout the story?
Many of the humans see the hungries and junkers as enemies that must be defeated. Why do you think Justineau has a different perception of the hungries?
The main characters in the novel are Melanie, Dr. Caldwell, Parks, Gallagher, and Justineau. Which character did you find yourself relating to most and why?
Melanie chooses to release the fungus spores into the world. Why do you think she chooses to do this?
The ethics of vivisection, or doing operations and procedures on living subjects for research, are brought up in The Girl with All the Gifts. Dr. Caldwell is for vivisection and Justineau is against it. What are your thoughts on it? Which side are you on and why?
Consider Dr. Caldwell at the beginning of the story and at her death. How did she evolve over the course of the story?
Even though the current world is not overrun by zombies, what qualities do the characters have that make them seem realistic and believable?
What do you think the major themes were in The Girl with All the Gifts? What are some examples of these themes in the story?
The Girl with All the Gifts takes place in a world at war between humans and zombies. What about the setting and/or plot make this world unique?
Melanie and Justineau have developed a strong bond. What do you think drew the two of them together?
Dr. Caldwell was in a sickly state when she revealed the truth of the hungries to Melanie. What do you think would have happened if Dr. Caldwell was wrong due to her condition at the time of doing her additional testing in the Rosalind Franklin and revealing information the information to Melanie?
Dr. Caldwell and Melanie seem to be on opposite ends. Dr. Caldwell is portrayed as a villain and Melanie the hero. In what ways are Dr. Caldwell and Melanie similar?
The Girl with All the Gifts brings up many philosophical questions about who the “good” side is. Do you think that being human in the story automatically makes that person a good person? Why or why not?
According to Slate magazine, The Girl with All the Gifts is a “welcome shift” from the numerous zombie stories in today's world. How did this story compare, in your opinion, to other zombie stories you may have read or watched?
In The Guardian