This inspired Conor to write:
I never really enjoyed the books we had to study at school, so I have mixed feelings about schools using Epic as a text for study. Overall, I am pleased of course that people are reading and thinking about the book but I hope that it doesn't become a chore. Ideally, if you had Epic as a book to study, you'd read it first and enjoy it, and only then go back to answer questions about it. Instead, over a school year, each week we read a little of the books and plays we had to study and it sucked the life out of them.
Some of the questions set by Mark Twain middle school (8th Grade) are really hard. I mean, I'm not sure I could answer in one sentence the main idea of Epic. Without wanting to give the assignment away, I think I'd say something about a world where success or failure in an online game really mattered, and one where injustices are growing that need to be challenged. Similarly, to explain the theme of Epic in a sentence is tricky. I wonder what the 'right' answer is for this. Maybe someone has identified a really key theme - and it can often happen that the author has unconsciously developed themes that it takes a reader to point out - but my own feeling is that there are several valid answers to this. Again, I don't want to spoil the exercise, but any of these three: that defiance of convention can result in beneficial results; that loyalty to friends is fundamental to being a decent person; and that violence is unjustified in the functioning of a mature society; would all probably allow the student to fill a page with examples. If you are working on the assignment, I hope this helps, and that you enjoyed the book despite having to analyse it carefully.