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Wow! What a beginning! The narrator of the story, August, seems like he is a blunt, tell-it-like-it-is boy. Because of the pronoun "I", the reader knows that this story is told in the first-person point of view.
Why didn't August go to school before?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word in this chapter you need to look up?
While Auggie protests to his parents about going to school, which of the following sentences reveal what he actually believes deep down?
It's not hard to understand how Auggie feels slightly betrayed by being left out in the decision-making process about going to school. Auggie feels like he should have been involved. Have you ever felt like you were left out of a decision that you could have helped with? Sometimes adults do need to make the final decision. It's tough to be a kid sometimes.
Despite the seriousness of the conversation, Auggie's parents find ways to make him laugh. How do they do that? Use specific details from the highlighted section in your answer.
It's funny that Auggie notices the color and the brand of sneakers Mr. Tushman wears. The author could have just said the principal was wearing sneakers. But, as a reader, we wouldn't really be able to picture it specifically. Good authors write with exact, specific details to try and recreate in the reader's mind what they have in their own mind. This literary device is called "imagery". Take a look below to see an example of what the sneakers may look like. (This annotation contains an image)
In the highlighted section, the author uses a literary device that you just read about. Read the sentence again and identify the literary device from the choices below.
This is a VERY new experience for Auggie. He has never gone to regular school and is nervous about everything. The highlighted sentence helps describe this nervousness, as he hears the kids outside the office. The author uses a literary device called personification to emphasize this. Watch the video below and then think about what is being personified in the sentence. (This annotation contains a video)
Why isn't music Auggie's favorite subject?
It sounds like this tour is as uncomfortable for the other kids as it is for Auggie. There is a little bit of awkwardness for anyone at a new school, but it seems much worse for Auggie. The kids don't seem to know if it is okay to look at Auggie and say strange things because they are nervous. Do you think it will always be this way for Auggie?
"Oliver" is a musical based on a book called "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens. It's about a little orphan boy who runs away from the orphanage to find a better life. It sounds like Auggie's new school focuses on the arts - music, and drama specifically. Below is a short video to give you a taste of the musical Charlotte was in. (This annotation contains a video)
Out of the three kids Auggie has met, who do you think has been the kindest? Why? Use details from the story to support your answer.
August and his family live in Manhattan which is a part of New York City. It is one of five areas of New York City, and it is located on an island. It is home to Times Square, and many, many tall buildings. Most people do not own cars and use public transportation like subways, trains, buses, and taxis to get around. Even students use subways to get to school. Can you imagine that instead of a school bus? Below is a view of Manhattan from the air. (This annotation contains an image)
During his school visit, which one of the people that Auggie was the most unkind?
Do you remember your first day of school? It may have been exciting, nerve-wracking, and scary. Maybe you have been a new student at a different school? Even so, you can relate to how Auggie feels on his first day, even if you can't relate to having everyone stare at you because of how you look.
How does Auggie deal with kids that stare at him?
Have you noticed all the imagery in the book so far? The author gives us a very clear picture of so many things in the novel. In the highlighted section, Auggie describes how his teacher looks like a Star Wars character. The character is picture below. (This annotation contains an image)
If you had to answer the two questions Mrs. Petosa asks the class, how would you answer? What two things do you want other people to know about you?
Well, it seems like there is a possiblity that Julian might be a mean character. Auggie thinks he knows EXACTLY why Julian asks if he likes Darth Sidious! In every book, there has to be characters we like and dislike - otherwise the book would become boring. It looks like this is the beginning of a man v. man conflict between Auggie and Julian. Below is a picture of a Darth Sidious. Do you think Julian was being mean or just curious? (This annotation contains an image)
Based on what you observe during the class, what kind of teacher is Mr. Browne so far?
Mr. Browne seems like an interesting character. Auggie likes him and his classroom environment. Do you feel like you are rooting for Auggie to succeed? You know he is up against many, many challenges and you just want him to be accepted and successful. Mr. Browne's class might just be the class to help him do that.
What does Summer wish that she had for lunch?
Authors sometimes use literary devices, such as similes, to help describe things in their writing. The highlighted sentence contains a simile. Watch the video below on similes and metaphors (another type of literary device for description) and see if you can identify the simile. (This annotation contains a video)
What was Auggie's day truly like? How do you know? Use details and examples from the story to support your example.
Padawan braids indicate a Jedi-in-training status from the Star Wars movie. When a Padawan becomes a knight and moves on in his or her training, the braid is cut off with his lightsaber. Below is an example of a Padawan with his braid. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the most likely reason that Auggie begins to cry while his Mom reads to him from The Hobbit?
Do you feel for Auggie? The more the reader gets to know him, the more protective they feel for him. What is nice is that he hasn't lost his sense of humor. I mean, he is comparing himself to a Wookie! He understands that if a Wookie started school, he would want to take a look. The picture below is a Wookie from Star Wars. He might stand out a bit in school! (This annotation contains an image)
What is the most dominant characteristic Auggie is showing in the highlighted section?
The theme of the story is sort of like the message the author is trying to get across about life or about being a person in this world. Auggie has more challenges than most kids his age, but everyone can understand the anxiety he feels when only a few kids can come to his birthday party. What message do you think the author is trying to get across so far?
How would the story be different if it had been told from third-person omniscient point of view than first-person point of view? Remember third-person omniscient allows for the reader to get into the minds of ALL of the characters.
For most kids, getting your picture taken at school is just one of those things you have to do. Some kids even get excited for it - choosing how they will do their hair or what they will wear. For Auggie, it's just another thing that emphasizes how different he looks from his classmates.
What does Auggie mean when he says, "At Beecher Prep, I'm the old moldy cheese"?
This is the costume that Auggie throws on last minute. It seems like something is going to happen when he gets to school because of the last minute switch. Everyone thinks he is dressing up as Bobba Fett and now no one will know who he is. This could be foreshadowing some future event. Foreshadowing is something that hints to what is to come. We will have to keep reading to find out. (This annotation contains an image)
How do you think Auggie feels after hearing Jack talk about him to Julian?
Kids can be so mean! Do you feel like you were the one getting betrayed by Jack? Good authors make you feel like you are experiencing everything the character is experiencing. Is your heart hurting? Do you feel a little bit sick over what happened with Jack? If you are, then this author is doing her job.
What things has Via learned to do for herself because of the time demands of August on her parents?
Have you noticed the shift in point of view in the story now? The story was being told by August in first-person narration during the first part of the novel, and while the author kept the first-person narration -- she switched the character to his sister, Via. This will give us a different perspective on the issue of intolerance and difference.
Who was the one person that made time for Via and understood her completely?
The highlighted sentence is a very powerful and honest statement. Clearly, Via has thought deeply about her brother and the affect his facial features have on his life and on her own. She wonders if he has ever thought about what he could have looked like. Maybe if she asks her brother what he wonders about, they would become closer.
Read the highlighted sentence. What is meant by the phrase "...and that was a ringer for Auggie in our Miley Cyrus heyday"?
There are lots of different ways to describe characters. One way is to identify whether they are static or dynamic. Watch the video below to learn about the two ways of classifying characters and then decide whether Miranda is static or dynamic. (This annotation contains a video)
Via comes home from her first day of high school and gets into it with both her mother and Auggie. What is really making Via upset? Use details from the story to support your answer.
With the character narration switch, we understand WHY Via freaked out when Auggie cut off his Padawan braid! It wasn't that she was mad that he cut it off, it's that Via had so many changes in one day - with her new school, Miranda's change in image, and her friends treating her differently. She couldn't take another change and this time with Auggie. Finding out the other side of the story helps things make more sense.
How does each of her parents feel about Via taking the subway home from school?
All of the medical jargon (specific words) in this highlighted section basically means this: Auggie developed the facial disfiguration because both his parents had something in their genetics that when put together resulted in the disfigurement.
The author including Via's narration and the story of her falling out with Miranda and Ella help to parallel which issue Auggie experiences on a daily basis?
Authors like to find clever ways to say ordinary normal things. This is called figurative language. In the highlighted section, the author could have just said something like Via's mom needed to pay attention more to Auggie during that moment. It makes sense....but, it sounds much more interesting if you think about the way the author actually wrote it. She wrote it to emphasize that Via feels there are two different mothers in her house - the one for Auggie and another one for her. And she doesn't get to see HER mother very often because Auggie's mother is needed much more.
Please summarize the situation that made August not want to go trick-or-treating. Use details from the story to support your summary. Remember a summary is a very short re-telling of a situation. Think of it this way - if your cell phone was about to die in 30 seconds and you HAD to tell the story - what big important parts would you share in 30 seconds or less?
Via talking to Auggie about having bad days and having to have to put up with them is ironic. Irony is a literary device authors use to make characters and situations more complex. There are three types of irony: verbal, situational and verbal. This instance is verbal irony. Watch the video below and then think about what is verbally ironic about what Via says to Auggie. (This annotation contains a video)
What does the phrase "Quote unquote" said by Auggie to his sister Via mean?
Now the reader is experiencing the story through the eyes of the only kid at Beecher Prep that is genuinely nice to Auggie. Why do you think the author keeps switching narrators?
How does Summer feel about the kids at the party asking so many questions about August?
As readers, we know something that the character of Summer does not. This is another form of irony, but this one is called dramatic irony. Watch the video below to learn about dramatic irony and then think about what is dramatically ironic about this highlighted sentence. (This annotation contains a video)
Describe the character of Summer. Use details from the text to support your answer.
Everybody has their own belief systems about what happens when people die. Some people believe in heaven. Some people believe that they come back as something else on the earth. The beauty of being a human being is that everyone can decide for themselves what to believe. Summer could be right, but then again, so could August.
What mood is created by the author in the highlighted section?
You must be recognizing the two literary devices in this section. We have switched first-person narration again. Who is it this time? And we have another example of dramatic irony. What do we know, that the character does not?
Jack is telling us a story of how he came to know August. There is a specific name for doing that. Which of the following is the name for that technique?
It sounds like it is very difficult to look past August's facial features. Jack has seen him several times, but finds it difficult not to stare. We know from August's part of the novel, that Jack is nice for a while, but it's hard to believe he is being sincere. We also know what he says to Julian on Halloween at school. Does knowing this make it difficult to trust Jack now?
What do you think about the first-person character switching throughout the novel? Is it effective or would you prefer the author to stick with one character?
There is another literary device called symbolism. It is when an author uses an object to represent something else - like a feeling, a situation, a person, etc. "Bleeding Scream" is a symbol for Jack's betrayal of August. Do you remember what he said to Julian, while August was standing there in the Bleeding Scream costume - unrecognized?
How does Jack feel about finding out his school is closed because of snow?
A five-story walkup is an apartment building in New York City. Jack lives on the top floor, but walk-up means that there is no elevator. Below is a picture of a five-story walk-up. That's a lot of stairs! (This annotation contains an image)
Why was Jack doing well in science before?
(This annotation contains an image)
Jack really is a true friend to Auggie. We probably have all said something we didn't mean in our lives. It sounds like Jack did the same. Violence is never the answer to a problem, but Jack did stand up for Auggie.
Put yourself in Jack's shoes. Write a short letter to the principal telling him what happened with Julian. Use details from the event in your letter.
When a character behaves in a way that is unexpected, as a reader, you need to pay attention. Ask yourself "Why did he or she do this?" So, in the situation with Jack punching Julian - why did he do this?
After reading Ms. Alban's letter, what theme is being inferred? In other words, what is Ms. Alban's email really about, but she is NOT actually saying it in so many words?
It's kind of cool to see the letters, emails, Facebook communication, and text messsages in the book. This is another way the author is making this a story that is authentic and real. Isn't that really how most people communicate these days?
Have you ever heard the expression to put yourself in someone else's shoes? It means to feel like someone else for a little while. Who does Jack feel like after being ignored all day and ditched at lunch?
Jack is being courageous and good-hearted and it is being twisted in a way to make him look bad. Even the parents are in on it. Does it make you wonder how this will all turn out? This is tension - when an author keeps putting obstacles in a character's way. It's interesting to see how they get past the obstacles.
What do you think Jack will do? Why do you think this? Use details from the story to support your answer.
Use the Define feature and read the defintion for the word official. What does it mean in the highlighted sentence?
One of Auggie's most endearing qualities is his sense of humor. And the comment about "babes throwing themselves at me and stuff" made Jack snarf his milk. Have you ever snarfed something because you laughed while you were drinking? A video probably isn't necessary - the author provides enough imagery.
What is Jack discovering about Auggie as he explores his room?
Jack realizing that Auggie's sister, Via, knew what he did during the Halloween incident is an "aha" moment. As a reader, you need to ask yourself "how might this change things?" How might this change things for Jack?
Why are Auggie and Jack laughing? What is so funny about what Justin said?
Have you noticed anything different about this new section of the novel? Yes, the author has done another character switch. But, look closely at the text. What is it missing? If you said capital letters you would be correct! Now, the real question is why? We've got to continue to read to find out!
What does Justin notice about Olivia?
It's interesting how this book showcases that EVERYONE has problems - not just Auggie. Jack doesn't come from much money; Justin doesn't have much of a home life; Via has lost her two best friends. Everyone has obstacles in their lives. These details make this novel authentic and realistic and honest, don't you think?
What literary device is being used in the highlighted paragraph?
What a great image! This author really knows how to be specific and bring the images to life in your head. Below is a picture of those "little-rascal" kids. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do the boys get scared by Justin's actions? What is it that he implies by tapping on his fiddle case?
This part seems a little confusing - even for good readers. Why is this scene here? Why does the author create a scene where Justin discovers that Miranda used to be friends with Via and close to Auggie. Sometimes the author doesn't tell us everything right away. We may need to read more to find out.
Why does Via not want her parents to come to her play?
Part 2 Quiz
Similes are literary devices that help writers paint pictures in a reader's mind. Here the author is comparing two unlike things that somehow connect together and make sense. The author is comparing Auggie to the North Pole. How does that make sense?
The details in this chapter suggest that Auggie is
Auggie is always making comparisons and references to Star Wars. And now his hearing aids are also linked to the movie. Below is a picture of Lobot. Try and put together the picture in your head of Auggie and now Lobot. Oh goodness...do you feel worse for Auggie now? (This annotation contains an image)
Has that ever happened to you? Please describe a time when you worried about something and it turned out to be nothing. Use details to support your answer.
Characters can be classified as protagonist and sometimes antagonist. A protagonist is usually the main character in the story. The protagonist can change depending on what is happening. Watch the video below and then think about who the protagonist and the antagonist are in this scene. (This annotation contains a video)
What stops the fight Auggie is having with his mother and his sister?
When dogs are in pain, sometimes they hide it from their owners. As Daisy had been sick for a while, perhaps she wasn't letting on how much pain she was in. In addition, dogs sometimes become aggressive in order to protect the painful area - biting or snapping at someone who comes close. Daisy bit Auggie's mom when she went near her belly. Poor Auggie, Via and Daisy. It's one of the worst things in the world to see your pet in pain and even worse knowing that you may have just said goodbye forever.
What theme is beginning to emerge with the scene of Daisy's death?
Everyone has their own beliefs about heaven and where people go after they die. In the cartoon below, the cartoonist takes a different spin on pets and heaven. They can't wait for you to get there to see you again, instead of the other way around. (This annotation contains an image)
Hmmm...I think the author just gave us a hint to why Miranda has been acting so different at the start of the year. Go back and re-read the section where Auggie's parents are talking about Miranda's mother and father. What could have caused Miranda to suddenly change over the summer and treat Via in a different way?
What a cool rule! Watch the video below to see some actors do a curtain call and receive a standing ovation. You only need to watch the first 30 seconds or so to get the idea. (This annotation contains a video)
How was Auggie feeling during this section?
Now that we are reading the story from Miranda's perspective, it puts a different spin on her behavior towards Via. Maybe it wasn't anything Via did - maybe it's more what Miranda did. This story is full of different layers. The author creates each layer that complicates the story. No one is all good or all bad, just like in real life.
How does Miranda show compassion towards Via and her family?
So, have you noticed that everyone who has a perspective in this book has had to deal with the subject of rejection? Even Miranda has this happen to her. No one in this book seems to be able to escape it...
Why do you think Miranda gave up her part to let Via go on stage? Use details from the story to support your answer.
Who finally convinces Miranda to come out to dinner with Via's family?
Auggie is just like every fifth-grade boy who is just trying to figure out where he fits in and who he is. He can't get away from the facial deformity, but he can get rid of his Star Wars bag. Below is a picture of what it might have looked like. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Auggie mean when he says "I'm trying to, you know, change my image a bit"?
This highlighted section contains symbolism. We went over the definition earlier in the story. When Auggie takes Baboo from his bag and leaves it for his mom, it symbolizes him growing up. Can you imagine how choked up his mother will be when she finds it?
Auggie has a GREAT first day on the nature reserve trip. Pretend you are Auggie and write a letter to your mom telling her about all the things you did the first day. Use details from the story in your letter.
Of course you have to see the scene from the movie Close Encounters and hear the music. You might be a tad too young to have seen the movie, but here is the clip from the scene. (This annotation contains a video)
What was the most important message within the big announcement from the Broarwood Nature Reserve?
Remember when something unexpected happens, as a reader, you need to slow down and pay attention. Is the author giving a hint as to what is to come (foreshadowing) or is there a potential conflict about to happen? We need to keep reading to find out.
What can we infer about Auggie based on his action in the highlighted sentence?
So, the author was definitely foreshadowing a big event in the last chapter. But, did you expect THIS? Since Auggie had been sort of sheltered as a homeschooler and then at Beecher Prep. He hasn't had much contact with other kids from other schools. Who knew they would be this cruel? What is encouraging is how the kids from Beecher Prep stand up for Auggie. There is definite progress being made.
Even though it was a scary situation while it was happening, how are the boys feeling afterwards? Use details from the text to support your answer.
Can you picture this? The author is using a simile to put a picture in your head of what she is thinking. Have you ever been in a place so dark that you absolutely cannot see anything? The black ink simile really works in this situation!
In this section, the author introduces a new theme. Auggie realizes it as he comes back from the attack to the movie area. What is the emerging theme?
Maybe this is a true indication that the Beecher Prep community cares about Auggie as a human being. They seem to have stopped thinking about him as some sort of freak and now care about his well-being. Why does it always take some sort of "event" for people to understand their true feelings?
Why is Auggie so "bummed?"
What is Auggie worried about for the future?
"Bear" sounds like a great name. Here is a picture of what Bear may look like. Isn't he cute? (This annotation contains an image)
Summarize this "seismic" shift in the way things are at school for Auggie. Use the Define feature to look up the word seismic if you need to. Use details from the story to support your summary.
"Hairy" is an understatement for Auggie. He survived some pretty terrible situations during the school year at Beecher Prep thanks to his friends. In addition, describing the school issues as "hairy" is a literary device. Do you remember which one?
Why does Auggie represent himself as a duck in his self-portrait?
This is an actual song. It is by The Magnetic Fields. Below is a video that has an animation depicting the events and the lyrics along with the actual song. Enjoy! (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Auggie suddenly smile and rub his palms together after discovering his father threw out his beloved astronaut helmet?
Graduations from any grade are a big deal. At Beecher Prep they hold theirs in a fancy auditorium to make it super special. Below is a picture of what the auditorium might have looked like. (This annotation contains an image)
From what you know from the whole book, how would you describe the character of Jack? Use details you can remember to support your answer.
Do you think Mr. Tushman is talking about how the kids treated Auggie during the year? He is not coming right out and saying it...but, if you read between the lines - you know. This is called inferring. It's one of the most important reading skills you can learn. In fact, it's one of the most important skills to have in real life!
Do you get the feeling something is coming? This is foreshadowing. Do you think Auggie is going to win an award? He is one of the top students in the school, so it is possible... We are just going to have to keep reading to find out!
What literary device is being used here?
Of course you have to have this music in your head as you picture the scene. Here it is (and the scene from Star Wars.) (This annotation contains a video)
Part 3 Quiz