Summer Reading Project

Dear Young Writers,

We’re excited to kick off the first school-wide event of the 2011-2012 school year with the first ever Young Writers’ summer reading project based on the first six chapters of Sherman Alexie’s humorously poignant, award-winning novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. (Click here to download the pages students are expected to read. Be patient, it may take a moment to download.) When we return to school in September each advisory will use this book as a touchstone for discussions, activities, and ultimately to help us plan the first Young Writers community event of the new school year.

When you arrive to school in September your advisor will expect all the students in your advisory to be prepared to discuss these chapters and share their written responses.  After you complete the reading and written responses you will receive your very own copy of the book to keep, forever!


The Assignment: Read the enclosed chapters and choose any 4 of the following questions to respond to as you read: 

  • Choose a line from the reading that you really like, explain what it means to you and why you like it. (Include the quote & page number)
  • Imagine that you are friends with one of the characters in the book who is dealing with a difficult situation. Write a letter of advice to him/her describing what you would do in his/her  situation.
  • Discuss similarities or differences you have with one of the characters. Be specific: in what ways are you alike or different from this character?
  • Look at the illustrations on pages 5, 6, 12, 27 and 29. Each of them represents not just what the characters look like, but important aspects of their personalities (their desires, goals, fears,    etc.). Choose an important person in your life and create a similar kind of illustration that shows who this person is.
  • Discuss how a character or something in the story reminds you of something happening in the world today. Be specific about what happens in the story and the connection to the larger world.
  • On page 31, Arnold asks, “What do you do when the world has declared nuclear war on you?” Why is he so upset at this point in the book? Think of a time when you felt “the world has    declared nuclear war on you.” Describe that time and discuss how you responded.
  • Consider the themes and stories in these chapters. Why do you think we would choose this text to read as a school in preparation for the new school year? How do you think this reading might be relevant to discuss as a community at the beginning of the school year?

Response Guidelines: Make sure that each of your 4 responses:

  • Has a heading with your first and last name and the question you are answering.
  • Is completed on a piece of loose leaf or is typed and printed so that you can turn it in to your advisor.
  • Is approximately one-page in lenth. Go into as much detail in each response as you can!
  • Includes specific evidence from the text and from your personal experience.
  • Is written in complete sentences.

We look forward to starting the school year with great discussions about this shared text and to seeing you and your families at the first community event for the 2011-2012 school year!

Your Young Writers Adviors

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AAden Stern,
Jun 24, 2011, 8:55 AM
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