For a Novel or Story:
Whom is this book about? (central character[s])
What do the central characters want?
What keeps them/him/her from getting what they want?
How do they/him/her 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?
What is 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 parents like?
Where did he go to school?
What did he want the most as a child?
As a grown-up?
How did he go about getting it?
Name three or four important people in his life.
Did he 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?
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 would get what he wanted?
Did any part of the book seem particularly real?
Did any part of the book seem unlike 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?
Taken from The Well-Trained Mind, Susan Wise Bauer (2004).
All images from Wikiart
- Girl with a Book – Jose Ferraz de Almeida Jr.
- The New Novel – Winslow Homer, 1877
- Merchant at a table near window - Abraham van Strij