'The Poison Season' Book Club Readalong Day 1!

By: Cori Reed Photo By: @taylortakesphotos

Welcome to the first day of our book club readalong for OwlCrate's December book, The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford!

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 1-6 of The Poison Season, so make sure you read are finished this section before continuing.

Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate box! Don't forget, you can also post about the readalong on Instagram with the hashtag #OCThePoisonSeason for another chance to win!

The story begins...

A wolf, banished from its pack, finds itself in the Forest. The Forest nourishes it, and bids it leave before the ice thaws. This is not a place for the wolf.

Chapter 1:
Leelo and her cousin Sage finish a night of being the Watchers, visiting Isola on their way home. Isola mentions that nothing ever happens while Watching, until something does. Leelo invites her little brother Tate to help her make a crown for the spring festival and they find a swan dying in the waters of the poison lake. They clean it, and decide to use its feathers as part of Leelo’s crown.

That night, Leelo goes to the center of the Forest to give a blood sacrifice and use her magic to sing, perhaps awakening her brother’s dormant magic.


Chapter 2:
Jaren returns home after a night lost in the woods. He tells his sisters and father of the beautiful lake he saw while lost, and his dad tells him of a lake rumored to be poison in the area. Jaren has a strange melody stuck in his head, and he doesn’t know where it came from.

Chapter 3:
Pieter, an incantu (someone with no magic) is kicked from Isola’s house and he runs into the forest. Incantu’s are not welcome in Endla, and once they leave they aren’t able to come back. He is given the option to choose to cross the forest or the lake, and picking the lake he tries to flee on the ice flows, but falls in the poison water. The people of Endla sing the drowning song.

Chapter 4:
Incantus must leave Endla for their own safety by the time they turn 12 as they will no longer be able to resist the magic songs. Once they leave they are considered outsiders.

Chapter 5:
It’s the night of the spring festival, and though Isola and her family are being shunned for harbouring Pieter, the council is forcing them to attend. At the festival this year’s Watchers go through a ceremony marking the start of spring.

Chapter 6:
Jaren felt the urge to return to the lake, and hearing singing he got closer. He watches a girl on the island’s shore, and when they make eye contact, she waves.



  1. Why do you think some Endlans are incantu?

  2. Do you think Leelo’s brother will actually be forced to leave Endlan?

  3. How do you think Jaren and Leelo will meet?

  4. What do you think is ailing Leelo’s mother?

  5. Did you enjoy the first section of the book?

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