A Boy Named Queen

Summary: When the new boy in Evelyn’s fifth grade class tells everyone his name is Queen, Evelyn doesn’t know how the class will react.  She isn’t even sure how she will react.  Queen wears shiny gym shorts and wants to organize a chess/environment club.  He seems to live by his own rules, and even the bullies don’t faze him. 

Evelyn and Queen become friends, but sometimes she wishes he would just stop attracting attention to himself.  Yet Queen is the most interesting person Evelyn has ever met.  And when she is invited to his birthday party, she starts to discover some interesting things about herself, too. 

A funny, thoughtful chapter book from acclaimed author Sara Cassidy about unlikely friendships, mean kids, and a dog named Patti Smith. 

Author: Sara Cassidy is a journalist and editor and the author of ten novels for young readers, including A Boy Named Queen. Her books have been selected for the Junior Library Guild, and she has been a finalist for the Chocolate Lily Award, the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize, the Rocky Mountain Book Award, the Diamond Willow Award, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the Manitoba Young Readers” Choice Award and the Silver Birch Express Award. Recently, Sara authored the picture book Helen’s Birds, illustrated by Sophie Casson. She has also won a National Magazine Award (Gold) for a piece in Today’s Parent. She lives in Victoria. 

WITS LEADerS Connection: Look and Listen, Explore Points of View 

Lesson Plan

Pre-reading questions: 

  • Look at the book cover of A Boy Named Queen and describe what you see.   

Class questions:  

  1. Can you guess what the book might be about? 
  2. Have you read any other books about someone with an unusual name? 
  3. What are some of the challenges someone with an unusual name might face? 

Conflict:  Stories are usually based on a conflict.  The conflict may be a problem to solve or a goal that the main character wants to reach. 

Types of conflicts in stories are: 

  1. Person vs Person 
  2. Person vs Self 
  3. Person vs Nature 
  4. Person vs Society 
  5. Person vs Technology 
  6. Person vs the Supernatural 

POST-READING QUESTIONS: Conflict and Feelings  

  1. Who is the main character of the story and what are the conflicts in the story?  
  2. Evelyn’s feelings towards Queen changes over time.  How does Evelyn feel about Queen when he first arrived at the schoolHow does she feel about Queen once some of the students in the school start teasing Queen?  How does she feel about Queen after attending his birthday party? 
  3. What things does Queen do that surprise others?  
  4. How does Queen react when others make fun of him?  
  5. Queen used a variety of strategies to deal with bullying behaviour at schoolWhat were they? 
  6. What lessons did Evelyn and Queen learn about friendship? 
  7. How are Queen’s and Evelyn’s families alike and different? 
  8. Can the way someone’s friends or family treat them affect how they feel about wanting to do different things? 
  9. Can what someone learns in school or from watching television about the things boys and girls are expected to do, affect how they feel about wanting to do different things?  

Post Reading Question and Activity:  

  • Create a poster with the message of kindness.  Were you nervous on your first day at school? Draw a picture of a face showing how someone new to a school or a community might feel.  Add words with messages of kindness to your picture to make someone feel more welcome and included. 


This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.  

Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du Canada