Abundant Frugal Life

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Talking About a Book With Your 5th-8th Grader

Posted by Lisa

I can’t read every book each of my children read, and I came across this little helpful list on Susan Wise Bauer’s website a long time ago. I’m using it and thought someone might like it. It’s also helpful with book clubs, written summaries, etc.

For a novel
Who is the book about? (central character[s])
What do the central characters want?
What keeps them/him/her from getting it?
How do they get what they want?
Do they have an enemy or enemies? Is there a villain?
What does the villain want?
What do you think is the most important event in the story?
What leads up to this event?
How are the characters different after this event?
Pick out the most important event in each chapter.
How many different stories does the writer tell?

For a biography
What kind of family did the subject come from?
What were his/her parents like?
Where did he go to school?
What did he want the most as a child? As a grownup?
How did he go about getting it?
Name three or four important people in his life.
Did he/she get married? To whom? When?
Did they have children?
What was the most important event in his life?
Name three other important events in his life.
Did he get what he wanted in life? Why or why not?
Why do we still remember this person?

For evaluation
What was the most exciting part of the book?
What was the most boring part of the book?
Did you like the character(s)? Why or why not?
Did you hope that he/she would get what he/she wanted?
Did any part of the book seem particularly real?
Did any part of the book seem unlikely to you?
Did you hope it would end in another way? How?
Would you read this book again?
Which one of your friends would enjoy this book?

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