Student Feedback from the Author in Residence Program in Colorado and Other Schools Working with the Series


I think Dara should be a leader because she is brave and is different from the other female Shamra. She is braver and doesn’t care what other Shamra think of her. She isn’t afraid to break the rules. For instance, she grows her hair past her shoulders and wears a dress cut to he knees which is forbidden by the Shamra. Even if she is a female she is equal to any male leader. She is determined to drive the Trocs out of her country when others have lost hope. She will make a good leader.


I think Dara would be a good leader because she always wants the best for her people. She tries her best and takes advice from other Shamra. She is open to moving on and trying something new in the interest of her people. Dara also takes responsibility for her actions and doesn’t get carried away with herself. Dara keeps her mind on the prize; the freedom of her people. She doesn’t let anything distract her and puts her all into the cause. I would not lose hope if I was one of the captive Shamra because Dara is dedicated to saving them.


A woman should lead because they have as many rights as men. In some cases they are actually wiser than men. Women can be just as good a leader as a man as long as the woman is willing to lead and do right.


I think Dara should lead the resistance. Her personality will help her. She is stubborn and this will lead her to not give up in tough times. Her individuality will push her towards her goal because she doesn’t want to become a slave. She being rebellious will help her, too. She doesn’t care what others think of her. She won’t be pushed to not lead or to not do what she believes is right. Dara should also lead because she is the match for any Shamra male. She can run fast, use a slingshot, bow and arrow and speaks her mind.


I believe Dara would be a great leader because she is a challenger. Dara has many good ideas and skills. Dara can figure out how to defeat the Shrieks and Trocs. She would inspire others females to become leaders. Dara could finally prove that females are the equal to males. Dara is hardheaded but very intelligent. She could be a wonderful leader for her people. The Shamra just need to believe in her.



I think Dara wouldn’t like to rule the Shamra because she is an adventurer. Dara wasn’t born to rule. She was born to adventure. She shouldn’t rule because she wants to explore places where other Shamra have never been. Her unquenching thirst for adventure would make ruling the Shamra boring.


Yes, I think Dara would make a good ruler of the Shamra. She would make males and females equal. She would not have as many rules as the holy men did. She would allow those who wanted to to go to the swamps. She would let females participate in all of the things the males do if they want. She would be a fair ruler.


I don’t think Dara would enjoy being the ruler of her people. She would have to rule with Glondel and the two don’t get along well. They would have constant fights. Dara would never be able to rest while the weight of a divided nation was on her shoulders. The responsibility to her people would tie her feet. No adventure would come her way. Like Meeko said, ‘Adventure is what you seek… You are content.’ Dara is not complete without a bit of danger. To top it off, she would have many enemies, including her best friend Heber because of his jealousy of her. Nothing is in her favor when being the ruler of the Shamra.



This book shows girls aren’t JUST girls, and that they can do anything boys can do, possibly better. It inspires girls to not just stand back and watch boys lead but to go ahead and just DO IT.

~Ciara on Curse of the Shamra

People should read Curse of the Shamra because it is action-packed and full of adventure.

~Nathan on Curse of the Shamra

Curse of the Shamra is one of the best books to read. There is romance, sadness, adventure and more. There are two characters that will lead you through adventures and others who help them get what they need. The end will leave you thinking what will happen next.

~Josh on Curse of the Shamra

Curse of the Shamra is a very surprising, creative and the kind of book you can’t stop reading once you’ve started. I would love to tell you about it, but that would spoil it for you. I’ll just say there are sad parts, funny parts, scary parts and everything in between. Just wait, you should go get the book. When you get home with it you’ll open it right away and won’t want to stop.

~Caitlin on Curse of the Shamra

Shamra Divided is tense and exciting.

~Lauren on Shamra Divided

Feedback from Educator Involved in Artist in Residence Program in Colorado

Thank you very much for coming into my room, and giving my students so much! It was a true pleasure to sit back and hear them voice their thoughts with another adult. They learned so much! I also walked away a better teacher. I look forward to future teachings.

~C. Wright, Educator, Springs Ranch Elementary School


Ms. Beverly’s class in the Bronx, New York decided to create their own Curse of the Shamra website after reading the book (using free Google tools). This is a truly innovative use of the Internet in teaching and the website is a joy to read. Click here to see!

Curse of the Shamra by Barry Hoffman,is a gripping tale of fantasy, adventure, and friendship. It explores interpersonal, peer to peer, and male and female relationships. Due to the clear and descriptive writing style of Hoffman, students are able to visualize characters and lands beyond their imagination. This book teaches life lessons and allows students to consider perspectives other than their own.

~Ms. Beverly, Educator, P.S. 306 Bronx, New York