‘The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge’ by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin—Things We Can Learn From Brangwain Spurge

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The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge \ Image: Candlewick Press
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge Image: Candlewick Press
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 The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin is full of life lessons on how to act in cultural situations and the consequences of what could happen if you don’t behave. It’s imperative when visiting a foreign nation that you take into account that your mannerisms might not be polite in the country you’re visiting and you must adapt to their ways of life. Here are a few things you can learn from Brangwain’s mistakes.

  • Do your research before visiting. If you find out that the country of origin has “odd” customs, don’t act surprised and shocked when you get there. These are their customs. They’re not going to change just because you’ve arrived. Be polite and move on.
  • Don’t forget to unpack your manners with your other belongings. I’m thinking Brangwain forgot to pack his when he was packing his shirts.
  • Standing up and calling your hosts a “barbarian nation” should be avoided. End of discussion.
  • If you’re hosting someone from another country that your country just happened to go to war with a few years past, avoid talking about their murdered loved ones as something to be celebrated. This should be one of those “duh” moments but apparently wasn’t for the goblins.
  • Look up the local laws and don’t break them. Common sense kind of stuff really. I guess Brangwain didn’t have any.
  • Patience goes a long way with visitors, but so does a handy “guide to our ways of life.” If you are hosting someone from another culture in your home, put together a quick “Guide to Our Home” for them to look over that walks them through local customs, formalities, and things they should know. A pocket-sized variation gets bonus points.

No matter where you travel, be safe and be friendly to your hosts. Remember they are excited to have you and the experience will be more pleasant if you return the excitement.

Don’t forget to pick up The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin. It’s a fun ride from beginning to end for ages 10 to 14.

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