One of the best ideas I ever listened to as a writer came from a curriculum specialist for a school system: "Doug, you need to develop a curriculum standards-based study guide for your novel. That will make it much easier for teachers to use it in the classroom."
It took me two months--last January and February--here in my Writer's Cave. I used a commercially available study guide for a famous YA novel as a model and got to work. Looking back on it now, it wasn't that difficult, but at the time, I thought I might have gotten in over my head. It was a lot of work. The finished product was 150 pages long and includes such teaching necessities (in this day of heavy teacher workloads and accountability) as quizzes, vocabulary, writing exercises, historical background essays, and even answer keys for chapter tests and the final exam.
After I was finished, I had an small epiphany: Why not make it available to download for FREE on my website? So, it's there at www.douglasarvidson.com under the BOOKS page. Just open up TEACHER RESOURCES and sign up.
And it was worth it. Brothers of the Fire Star is now being used in classrooms. And better yet, students are using the new PREZI method (www.prezi.com) of presenting reports on the book and posting them online. It's fun and looks great.
Bottom line: While curriculum standards-based instruction is controversial, if teachers want to used it, it's there.