Here are the questions developed for our discussion. Because our book club only had one evening to discuss the book we did not get to every questions… but both leaders felt this book would make a fabulous extended literature unit, so we have included our full list here:
- What was your favorite thing about the book?
- What is the significance of the title?
- “booked” is a soccer term – what other soccer terms are used in the story; do these terms mean just one thing?
- How is Nick “fouled” throughout the book? Who/what commits “fouls” against him? How does he “foul” himself?
- What does Nick like?
- Nick’s Dad makes him read the dictionary.
- How does Nick feel about this?
- How would you feel about this?
- How were Nick’s “dictionary” words presented in the book?
- Which footnoted word was new to you? Which was your favorite? (LIMERENCE was the overwhelming favorite in our group!)
- What kinds of bullying are portrayed in the book? How does Nick handle bullying?
- Who is your favorite adult in the book? Why?
- Many characters go through a great deal of change in Booked. Describe one character and how s/he changes. How do these changes effect Nick? How does Nick deal with the many changes in his own life?
- On page page 77 Mr. Mac is wearing a t-shirt that says “Similies are like metaphors.” Why is this funny? How does this statement relate to the book as a whole? How are the changes in Mr. Mac’s life alike and different from the changes in Nick’s life?
- Mr. Mac has an obsession with dragonflies. What do dragonflies represent in the story? What do you think is in the dragonfly box?
- What kinds of poems were used to tell this story? Which forms did you enjoy? Which forms were you already familiar with and which were new to you? How would the story be different if the book were written in a different format?
- On page 18 Nick defines “malapropism.” Find an example of a malaprop in the story and explain it’s double meaning.
- Read “Blackjack on the Way to School” on page 10. Count the syllables in the poem. What is going on in this poem and how does it relate to the story?
- What is the name of Nick’s high school. How does this relate to the story? Hint: see page 39!
- Read the poem entitled “What happens to a dream destroyed?” on page 268. Next read the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes. How are these two poems similar? Different? Why has the author made this comparison?
- Read the poem “Books You Find on Google” on page 243. How was this poem written? Why might the author use this format? Which of these titles do you recognize, which have you already read?
For further investigation of the text, explore these other titles assigned by Ms. Hardwick throughout “Booked”:
The Adventures of Huck Finn by Mark Twain
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
All the Broken Pieces by Anne E. Burg
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Also see the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansburry.