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Claude and Medea: The Hellburn Dogs

Front of Claude and Medea

Moonbeam Gold Medal Winner for Juvenile Fiction

An eccentric substitute teacher with unusual ways of teaching lights a fire in 12-year-olds Claude and Medea to make a difference in the world. Their dangerous adventure is just the beginning….

Claude and Medea is an impressive story that will take readers on a journey of self-discovery. Through each character, readers will be inspired to think about how they can impact the world. Teeming with thought-provoking themes such as kindness, preservation, and the humane treatment of all living beings, Claude and Medea will remind each of us that when we endeavor to better the world, we also better ourselves.”

Andrea Jamison, Professor of School Librarianship and former Chair of the American Library Association’s Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable

Zoe Weil on the Inspiration Behind Claude & Medea

Claude & Medea is inspired by my work as a humane educator and animal advocate. I have seen what learning about animals, the environment, and real-world issues can spark in students, and I wanted to capture that spark in a fun and approachable way.

Many of the lessons Mrs. Rattlebee teaches in Claude and Medea are activities that Zoe has taught as a humane educator herself.  You can find lessons like Wonder Walk and True Price, which are modeled in the story, in the Institute for Humane Education’s free resource library!

Get the humane education lessons used in Claude & Medea

Teach with Claude & Medea

Use Claude & Medea in your classroom, organization, or home

Claude & Medea invites students to consider how their choices impact others and how they can act as changemakers. Educators can use this book to help young readers:

  • Cultivate compassion for a diversity of human and nonhuman beings
  • Practice critical, creative, and systemic thinking
  • Consider their role as changemakers and solutionaries

A few creative ideas for how to teach with Claude & Medea:

  • Solutionary teacher Julia Fliss read Claude & Medea in her middle school class
  • Humane educator Felice Clyne turned Claude & Medea into a musical production with her elementary students
  • Former animal sanctuary educator Betsy Farrell-Messenger recommends reading Claude & Medea to the animals and sharing with young guests.

Zoe Weil’s Work at the Institute for Humane Education

Zoe Weil is the president and co-founder of the Institute for Humane Education. The goal of humane education is to prepare people to be compassionate, dedicated solutionaries who are able to identify unjust, inhumane, and unsustainable systems and create solutions that enable people, animals, and nature to thrive. You’ll find humane education themes in all of Weil’s books. 

Back to Zoe Weil’s Books

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