The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

by Mary E. Pearson


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Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson's vividly drawn characters and masterful writing soar to a new level of sophistication.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312594411
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 52,426
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 570L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Mary E. Pearson is the author of bestselling, award-winning novels for teens. The Miles Between was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and The Adoration of Jenna Fox was listed as a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, an IRA Young Adult Choice, NYPL Stuff for the Teen Age, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She is also the author of A Room on Lorelei Street, David v. God, and Scribbler of Dreams.

Pearson studied at Long Beach State University and San Diego State University. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.

Read an Excerpt

I look at my fingers again, the ones that trembled and shook just a few days ago at Mr. Bender’s kitchen table. I bring them together, fingertip to fingertip, like a steeple. Each one perfect by appearance. But something is not . . . right. Something that I still have no word for. It is a dull twisting that snakes through me. Is this a tangled feeling that everyone my age feels? Or is it different? Am I different? I slide my steepled fingers, slowly, watching them interlace. Trying to interlace, like a clutched desperate prayer, but again, I feel like the hands I am lacing are not my own, like I have borrowed them from a twelve-fingered monster. And yet, when I count them, yes, there are ten. Ten exquisitely perfect, beautiful fingers.

Table of Contents


A Question I Will Never Ask Mother:,
Hold On,
Would They Ask That of Someone Who Was Real?,
The Unknowable,
Leaving and Staying,

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. When you meet Jenna Fox and her family, in what time period do you think the book is set? What clues lead to your conclusion?

2. Some of the pages in the book are gray in color rather than the standard white of the other pages. Why do you think these pages were included? What's the significance of the color? The message?

3. On page 7 is a definition of the word curious. Jenna seems enthralled with this word and uses it often. In what ways does she use "curious"?

4. On pages 39–40, Lily and Jenna's mother Claire have a discussion about miracles that Jenna overhears. What kind of miracle are they talking about? Why is it dangerous for Jenna to be in public?

5. Jenna says "It's too much work trying to become who I am, always having to ask others what I should already know." Do you think she would rather just give up and return to her coma? Why do you think it's "too much work"?

6. Why does Jenna share so much about herself with her classmates at the Ecosystem Charter School?

7. Discuss how you think Jenna reacts to the "adoration" mentioned in the title The Adoration of Jenna Fox.

8. Is there a significance to the word definitions scattered throughout the book? Explain. [p. 7, curious; p. 16, lost; p. 41, hate; p. 96, empty; p. 132, human; p. 188, identity; p. 210, Jenna; p. 233, forever]

9. When Jenna finds out about "the accident" and what happened to her, what is your reaction? After reading her father's description of what was done, would you want to be Jenna? Why or why not?

10. Refer to pages 140–141 where Jenna completes Ethan's reading from Thoreau's Walden. Discuss this section in light of what Jenna has learned about herself.

11. Throughout the book, whenever Jenna is told to go to her room, she complies. Why is it significant that when Jenna and her mother have an argument and Jenna is told to go to her room, she doesn't?

12. Careful is a word that Jenna thinks of a lot and uses to describe various actions. Describe ways that Jenna is or isn't careful.

13. Jenna wonders and worries and asks "Are there some things I will never know?" Do you ever ask yourself the same thing? What would you rather not know? Is it important that you not know everything?

14. When does Jenna begin to feel comfortable with who she is? What signs tell you that she's beginning to accept who she is?

15. On page 210 Jenna defines herself. What definition would you write for Jenna?

16. Which is the whole Jenna — the one before the disaster or the one after the disaster? Explain your thoughts.

17. Do you believe that Jenna Fox is "living"? What percentage of the brain needs to be present in order for it to be considered "living"? Are people "living" if they can think and reason or do they need to have feelings and emotions?

18. At what point do you think that scientists are using technology to play God? Who should be able to make the decisions to develop and use this technology? The government? The scientists? Individuals?

19. Do you think that this type of technology solves the sadness of losing a child? Is the same child being created? Should the child have any say in the decision if possible?

20. The book brings up the topic of the use of antibiotics. Do you believe that humans have caused bacteria and viruses to become stronger by overusing antibiotics? What do you think will be the consequences of these actions?

21. Do you think that parents can adore their children too much? If so, what could be the outcomes of this adoration?

22. Do you think that any type of body reconstruction should be allowed? If so, how much and to what extent? Should there be limits to the amount of a body that should be rebuilt as there was in the book?

23. Do you think that just because something is possible in science that we should do it? What should be used to determine what should and should not be permitted?

24. Stem cell research is being conducted to try and cure spinal cord injuries and diseases such as Alzheimer's. Stem cell research is controversial because of the source of the cells. If the cells come from adults, there is less concern, but if the cells come from unborn embryos, there is a lot of opposition. Do you think all types of stem cell research should be allowed? Explain your reasoning.

25. The technology used in the book would allow Jenna Fox to live anywhere from two years up to 200 years. If possible, would you want to live up to 200 years? Why or why not? What could be some of the impacts on the environment if people start living longer?

26. In science there is a law that states that you can never do just one thing to the environment. What do you think this means? How do you think the technology used in this book would change the earth?

Customer Reviews

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The Adoration of Jenna Fox 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 358 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
What makes us human? How far would you go to save your child? What is ethically and morally right and wrong? These are heavy questions that the author will make the reader ponder long after the last page has been turned.

Jenna Fox has just woken up from over a year-long coma. She doesn't remember anything, but has fragments of memory that she is slowly trying to piece together. There are people there that say they are her parents, and another woman that is her grandmother. Left with the video disks of her life, she starts to watch and ponder "Who is Jenna Fox?"

There has been an accident, but no one will talk to her about the details. As she slowly heals, Jenna questions everything and starts to fill in gaps. After a little while of recovery, she pushes to go to school and begins to attend a local charter school. There she meets an odd assortment of classmates.

Alice has medical issues of her own, and starts to explain the federal ethics board to Jenna. Each person is allotted 100 lifetime points to be used for medical reasons. Alice has prosthetic limbs and explains that limb replacement is relatively low on the point scale. Other procedures would be worth much more. Dane is a neighbor but something seems off with him. When Jenna looks in his eyes, he seems empty. And then there is Ethan. He's hiding a dark secret of his own.

As Jenna discovers the world around her, the secrets and mysteries that are her life slowly start to be revealed. Remembering what Alice has explained about the lifetime points, Jenna comes to realize that there are even deeper secrets about her that she must uncover. Her parents have moved her from Boston to California. Is it to protect her from those that were involved with the accident? Or does it have more far-reaching medical and ethical implications?

Without wanting to give away the plot twists and hidden mysteries of the story, I will tell you that the issues Ms. Pearson raises will cause you to ponder how far science should be allowed to explore. As Jenna tries to discover, the reader will also be forced to wonder how much of us do we need to keep us truly human? Ms. Pearson makes the reader question if it's truly the flesh and blood that makes us human, or if there is something further inside that gives us our identity. Comparing the
lack of emotion that Dane has with Jenna's unwavering questioning of everything, it shows the reader that things are not always black and white. The majority of us live in the gray area that is between the two extremes.

Read THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX to find out what it means to sacrifice everything for love and how to really be human.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Adoration of Jenna Fox By: Mary E. Pearson Waking up after 18-month-long coma, 17-year-old Jenna Fox has no recollection of anything, not even her name. She feels no love for her mother and father; after all, she doesn't even remember them. Why should she love strangers? She is reminded of her past through her parents' verbal stories and home movies they provide her. Jenna doesn't feel comfortable in her body, which doesn't seem to work just right. Her hands don't intertwine together smoothly, and her classmates point out her awkward gait. Jenna wants to fit in again. She aspires to be the Jenna her parents knew and cherished. It is difficult, though, when all she can remember is bits and pieces of her life before the accident that sent her into a never-ending coma, most of which are insignificant. She wonders why she can't eat normal food, and why her grandmother no longer loves her. She wonders why she lives in California when her dad and her old house are still in Boston. She makes desperate cries in the middle of the night to anyone who will listen, "Tell me who I am" (29). With so much to take in so quickly, Jenna feels overloaded with information in an attempt to find out the answer to the most important question: Who is Jenna Fox? Taking place in the future, this science fiction novel explores the implications of today's medicine in the eventual future. In addition, innovative technologies advance medicine to new heights, some of which may cross the line. In my opinion, Mary E. Pearson did an excellent job crafting The Adoration of Jenna Fox. The chapters allow for the reader to easily follow the story, and each chapter smoothly transitions into the next. The storyline itself is one of a kind and keeps you gripped from beginning to end. The book contained no boring sections because every paragraph, every line, and every sentence was a piece of the puzzle I, as the reader, needed to figure out exactly who Jenna Fox is. While reading this book, expect to be surprised. You are taken along the journey with Jenna, and only find out what she finds out. This format provides for a captivating, page flipping book that grips you to the end. Whether you enjoy mystery/science fiction or simply enjoy reading, Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox is a sure winner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Adoration of Jenna Fox and it's sequel are two very detailed and mind-blowing books. Everyone should read these books, because they have a special way of capturing the reader's attention. These books change the way you think! (in a good way)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Adoration of Jenna Fox By: Mary E. Pearson There was an accident, an accident that had changed everything for Jenna Fox. In Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Jenna Fox grew up like any other only child. Her parents adored her and would do anything for her. Maybe even something illegal. In this book you get to be inside Jenna's head as she is learning to cope with the new life she has been given after her accident and how she deals with all this new information. You get to be right there with her and hear everything she hears and see everything she sees and think the way she thinks. After Jenna's accident her parents felt it was necessary to move Jenna from their home and life in Boston to somewhere in southern California. Jenna's mother Claire and her grandmother Lily dropped everything and moved without really telling anyone were they were going and why they were moving. The grandmother, Lily, in this book is very interesting but fascinating. She starts out not liking the "new" Jenna and ignoring her and not wanting to have anything to do with Jenna. But as Jenna starts to become more and more Jenna again, Lily opens up and is the one that is really there for Jenna. And Lily doesn't hold or hide anything from Jenna like others do. She tells Jenna everything like it is. I enjoyed The Adoration of Jenna Fox a lot. I love being inside Jenna's head; a thing that Jenna always thought about was why she has memories of things that don't seem very important memories. She would always try and piece them together. She once said "A bit for someone here. A bit there. And sometimes they don't add up to anything whole. " (231). As Jenna moves on from her accident, she learns more and more about what is important in life and what can just be left behind. I would really encourage anyone to read this book if you are looking for an easier book that makes you think ahead to what is going to happen next and try and figure out what else her parents are trying to hide from her, Jenna Fox.
Haley Pfeilsticker More than 1 year ago
I found myself strangely enthralled with this little story: the characters, the mystery of it all, the real feeling that seeps from every word. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
Although, this is not the most in depth story it is worth reading. The idea behind the plot is extremely thought provoking. What lengths would you go to as a parent to save your child? Technology is changing the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How far would you go to save your child? What makes you,you? These are the things Jenna Fox has to learn...again. She wasn't supposed to survive the accident... but she did. Jenna's life turns upside-down when she wakes up from a year long coma in the so-called state of California that her parents moved her to from Boston during the coma so she can stay away from tne people that were involved. Jenna's dad isn't helping very much to here when he goes on a business trip back to Boston while Jenna is recovering with her mother, and Lily, which supposovly is her grandmother. But Jenna knows Lily, wait Grandma, doesnt like her. But mom says she is still in shock and has to recover herself, but Jenna isn't sure. When Jenna goes back to school she meets others with problems of their own. Jenna realizes that she is human, and what makes you human is whats inside of you and nothing can change that. You must read this book, it is very heart-warming story about Jenna's road to recovery. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was thoroughly impressed with this book. As soon as I started reading it I could not put it down. This story captures the reader and brings them along on this uncertain journey with Jenna Fox. This book is captivating and something like I have never read before. Mary E. Pearson does an excellent job of explaining, in detail, every thought or feeling of the "new" Jenna Fox. As the story begins Jenna does not know who she is and can not remember anything from before the accident. As the story goes we are caught up with characters and rooting for Jenna to find out the truth of her mysterious new life. The reader will not want this book to end because of the relationship developed with Jenna. As a first time reader of Pearson, I can honestly say she has caught my attention with this thrilling and mysterious novel.
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
Just know this.. After finishing this book, I went out and bought two more by the same author. Interesting and intriguing read.
spanish-lullaby More than 1 year ago
this book is pure genius. it keeps the reader guessing as long as jenna does. it's like the reader is on the journey with her. plus this novel brings up great philosophical questions like how far will you go to save someone? for those who like science fiction or even reluctant readers of sci-fi will enjoy this book.
Jamie Swenson More than 1 year ago
Best book ever!!
SoaringLove More than 1 year ago
The Adoration of Jenna Fox is a stunning futuristic story about a girl who went, mysteriously, into a coma for one whole year. Now, Mother (at least that what Jenna calls the women) makes her watch their home videos of what the old Jenna Fox was like... But, as Jenna learns more and more, The old Jenna Fox isn't someone she wants to be. As she makes new friends (and enemies) Jenna ventures out into the unknown. She has questions, too. Who was she? What were her likes? Dislikes? Why can't she taste? And why is there a blue goo underneath her skin?? Pearson is a smart, funny, and lovable writer... I will never forget this book! The Adoration of Jenna Fox is Gorgeously Stunning!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very scientific, great storyline.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her parents are hiding things. That is what make sthis sstory go round, trust. This book is soo worth reading. I usually dont like Science Fiction, but this book and the Giver by Lois Lowry are my exceptions. I was forced to read for school, now I am forever grateful I was forced.
TheBookshelfRev More than 1 year ago
Profound and thought provoking, this book had me captivated from the start. It is such a different theme then what I am used to reading. It is about a girl that wakes up from a coma and doesn't know who she is and there is some funky things going on that she has to try and figure them out. I decided to read it because I won the sequel to this book, The Fox Inheritance, in a giveaway. I don't know if I would have picked it pu if I hadn't won the sequel. I am glad I did. I was pleasently surprised at how good it was. The characters really draw you in. The were well thought out and there was enough detail put into them that you could relate to what they all were going through. Jenna and Allys(I still really don't know how to pronounce this name if anyone who read this book knows how to pronounce it please let me know in the comments) are my favorite characters. They really spoke to me in a deep way. I can kind of relate to what they both had to go through. The one thing that I didn't really like was that this book was somewhat predictable. I could guess what was going to happen before it happened. Overall this book was amazing and I would suggest it to anyone to read. The ending was really perfect and I really like how it ended. I already started the sequel and can't wait to tell you guys my thoughts on that one as well. It is really good so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Our teacher read this book to us, and I couldn't wait for her to finish it. Their is a sequal to this book that I am currently reading, called The Fox Inheritance. If you want to know what happens to all of them after 200 years, you need to read the sequal. They are both really good books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I needed to read this story over the summer for school, and I really enjoyed the fast paced book. I believe this story is appropriate for ages ten to thirteen. It changed my whole outlook on what technology is doing, and I really think you should read it. My only issue is, the sentences are too instead of saying "She went shopping for shoes at the mall" the author would say,"She went shopping. She needed shoes." I don't know that just annoyed me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well -written and a quick read
milcaly rodriguez More than 1 year ago
this book is really good, i enjoyed reading it. the main characters is so conflicting with her surroundings. she discovers screts and lies and desperation form her family. as she tries to remember her past she is trying to build a new life as the "new jenna". but her parents want her to be the same jenna as she was before...i dont want to go to any further details but its a good book. the ending couldve been better but if u enjoys suspense and romance and it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reeled me in. It was absolutely fascinating but also horrific! When jenna discovered what really happened I was ready to cry! When jenna was angry, I was angry. At the end of the day, you have to come to the conclusion that this book is marvelous!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. I had to read this for school and I couldn't stop reading. I finished the book a little more than a week before my class. The one problem my clas and I have is that the ending was terrible. I recomend anyone to read this, but don't have high hopes for the ending.
GLW13 More than 1 year ago
This book was good, but not the best. I felt that the book didn't get to the point when it was the right timing, and it was pretty slow throughout parts of the book. At times, there was a part that I just couldn't put the book done! I would recommend this book to people who in join weird, and science based books. Also, I would recommend this book to people who are interested in future plans. I recommend that as a reader you should read this book or something close to science fiction to get a broader view of genres whe reading.
Kristin Hromowyk More than 1 year ago
This was a superb book. At times it could get a little boring but when you get to the good parts you wont want to put it down. It is a very interesting concept. Apparently takes place sometime in the future, a bit science-y, but not overly so. Characters pretty well developed. Many twists that are appreciated. I recommend this book.
Galleysmith More than 1 year ago
The plot behind this book is quite innovative, however, I'm not really able to speak to it as much as I'd like for fear of spoiling some of the outstanding revelations the reader is party too as the story unfolds. What worked for me - Pearson wrote Jenna's struggle for identity so profoundly. The hurdles of secrecy from those around her, seeking and navigating new friendships, the desperation to remember who she was all shaped how Jenna constructed who she was presently. I enjoyed the ethical dillema's Jenna's circumstance created. These dilema's affected every relationship she had as well as the nation as a whole. It was definitely an interesting aspect of the story that surrounded morality and values. Further it was thought provoking enough to lead the reader to question their own thoughts on the issues presented. I do feel like this would make an excellent book club read as there is a wealth to discuss. What didn't work for me - the end. I felt like the epilogue rushed to tie everything up with a nice pretty bow. We'd spent all this time in the messy aftermath of Jenna's accident and then we travel however many years after major revelations are made and we have epic scale closure. Personally I would have liked to have either seen a small progression in time from said revelations or, even better, read the story between when they were made and where Jenna landed in the epilogue. The tone. The tone of this story was quite docile and monotone to me. I think given the circumstances of Jenna's accident and the secrets being kept this choice made by Pearson was a conscious one. But because it was so flat I didn't feel the emotion as much as I would have liked. Further I think some of the urgency was lost when we learn some of the higher level secrets being kept from Jenna. Ultimately, Adoration of Jenna Fox was a good read that certainly makes a person think. It's one of those YA books that I feel could appeal to those who are not sold on the genre. It would make an excellent first foray for adults curious to experience young adult literature.
ReBeKAh_REaD_aLOT More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. i really like it. it makes you think about how hard it is for Jenna Fox in how she must discover herself. she doesn't know what to do with herself. I wanted to just skip to the end to find out what happened. It has a slow start to the book but once you get a few chapters into the book you just are amazed and also frightened about what happened to her. That's all I am going to say about the book before I spill the beans.LOL. I liked this book a lot!!