All of the other guiding questions, additional material, etc. contained on these pages is meant to give you tools to help you understand, or go deeper into, your book and the theme of "Truth(iness), Technology, and Totalitarians".
Choose one character who seemed particularly compelling in your book. How does the author describe him or her? Think of direct physical description (e.g. “She had short brown hair”) as well as indirect description--the way he/she reacts to conflict, for example, or the way he/she interacts with other characters.
What are some of the key conflicts in your book? Are those conflicts ever resolved? If so--how? If not, why not? How might you have solved those particular conflicts if you lived in the world of the book, keeping in mind any constraints placed on the characters from the world which they inhabit?
Think about beginnings and endings. How did the author open this particular book, and what kind of mood or tone did that beginning establish? Did you like the way it opened? Why or why not? Did you feel satisfied by the way things were resolved at the end? Why or why not? How might you have ended the book differently?
If you were to choose a single quote that represents this book for someone who has never read it, what would that quote be and why? What does it show about this book that you feel represents it well? (If you really can’t just choose one, feel free to find a few interrelated quotes.)
(also a useful activity for students).
Make note of what you think is the most significant:
from your chosen book. The sentence and word do not need to be from the paragraph. Be prepared to discuss WHY you think your choices capture the essence of the book.
Consider these questions as you are reading your book. Having answers to them, with quotations from the book (cite page number) as supporting evidence will be very helpful when it is time to discuss and assess your reading.
1. When was your book written? When does it take place? How does that compare to 2017?
2. Who holds power or authority in your book?
3. How does technology affect the daily lives of the characters in your book?
4. What kinds of information or media is communicated in your book? -- News? Advertising? Entertainment? Education? Propaganda? etc?
There are 8 books to choose from this year, and the committee tried hard to get a variety of different kinds of books, in hopes that by letting you pick your book, you'll be more likely to enjoy it. Ask around (Librarians are a good choice) if you want a recommendation. If you like what you pick, you won't need the rest of this list.
Of course, for some of you, even a book entitled Book that is About Your Exact Favorite Thing in the Entire World is going to seem like homework (or a chore, or a punishment). In that case, read on...
I mean, yes, we are asking you to read a book, and that may not be a choice you'd normally make for vacation, but simply having a positive mindset about doing it will make it less painful.
If you have any questions at all as to WHY we want people to read over the summer, just ask.
If reading's not your favorite, try to spread it out over time; read a little bit each day instead of putting it off and having to do it all at once. 5 pages (or 15 minutes) per day will get you through any book on the list.
If reading isn't a normal activity for you, find a comfortable "reading spot" and associate that place with the activity of reading.
If you can overcome Phone Separation Anxiety, set your mobile devices aside (unless you're reading on one, in which case, do your best to prioritize reading and minimize other features that may be distractions). If you really want to involve your device, there are lots of links on this site to help you with your book.
Reading doesn't have to be a solitary activity. Even if you aren't reading the same books, you might be able to share ideas about the themes, or someone may be able to help you understand what you are reading. You, and your friend, will get more value out of a discussion than you would if you just Schmoop. Another option engage via GoodReads.
On that note (ha ha... puns), here's some suggestions about annotating (the additional act of taking notes on your text as you read...
WHERE do you annotate?
WHAT should you annotate?
HOW do you annotate?
WHEN should you annotate?