Gulliver’s Travels was one of the first novels in history to spark the phenomenon now known as “fan fiction.” Today, we find hundreds of novels, short stories, TV shows, and movies that give a different perspective on some of our most famous works; for example, the Wicked Witch of the West is secretly misunderstood—and also very musically talented—Elizabeth Bennett becomes the next new zombie slayer, Joanna replaces Katniss as the leader of the revolution against the Capitol, and, finally, the untold story of what happens to Gulliver after he returns becomes a fight for hope and freedom.
Lilliput contains many lessons within its pages—the importance of hope and the preciousness of a single moment to name a few—but perhaps its biggest takeaway is that imagination is limitless. Not only does Lily, the main character, think of brilliant ways to return to her home, but Sam Gayton, the author himself, also employs Lilly’s imaginative mindset in deciding to create a sequel to the beloved classic, Gulliver’s Travels.
Imagination is precious at all ages, but it is particularly important during one’s adolescence. Lilliput provides an avenue to discuss Gulliver’s Travels and the events that take place after its conclusion, but it also serves as a platform to discuss the untold stories behind novels that students already love. After discussing Gulliver’s Travels and reading Lilliput with your class, ask your students how Lilliput has changed their perspective on Gulliver’s Travels, if at all. Then, spark another conversation about the student’s favorite books; have they ever wondered if there was a different side to those stories? After discussing the possibilities for a few moments, give your students the freedom to write their own versions of those stories. They will practice their writing skills, but more importantly, they will be challenged creatively.
Click here for the full summary of Lilliput.