While reading your book for the quarter you'll need to write a series of one-page reflections--a kind of reading journal. I am looking for two things while I read your work, so you can keep these in mind as you write, to make sure you accomplish them:
  1. Proof that you read the book. By reading this, can I detect that you have actually read the book and not simply read a page or two?
  2. Evidence of your thinking while you read the book. Does the writing give me an idea of what your reaction is to what you've read?

The following list contains ideas that might get you started on a reading journal entry:

  • Analyze a scene from the perspective of different characters. If a major event has occurred, write how you think each character involved felt about the event and its outcome.
  • Decide how much you like a character, and discuss whether you think you would be friends with that character if he/she were at Central. What characteristics would you have liked or not liked?
  • Choose a character from the story, and describe something about that person that the author does not say. So if an author does not tell you about a character’s home, guess from what the author has said what you think the home would be like.
  • Try to infer what a character’s motivations are for doing certain things. Why did your character act that way? What does that action tell you about the character?
  • Trace how a character has changed through the course of the book. What was a character like early on? What is that character like later? What changed the character?
  • Are there any foils in your book? Identify them and explain how the characters are foils.
  • Pick an interesting line or passage and reflect on what it may mean to you and/or to the plot or characters in your book
  • Make yourself an advice columnist and have a character write to you needing advice on a problem she/he faces.
  • Pretend to be a character in your book, and write a letter to someone as if you were that character.

  • Predict the ending of your book, or predict what an event will cause to happen. Be sure to base your predictions upon things that have already happened.
  • Rewrite a part of the book. Maybe suggest a different ending, or suggest how the plot would have turned out if you changed something.
  • Decide what the most suspenseful parts of your book are. Why are these events suspenseful? What makes them suspenseful?
  • Identify the points of the plot curve, and defend your choices.
  • Find a conflict or conflicts in your story, and explore how you think those conflicts will play out. If the conflicts already played out, explore whether they played out like you thought they would.
  • Try to identify a very important scene in your book. Explain why it is so important.
  • Reflect on the ending of your book. Did it end like you thought it would? Were there any twists to the plot? Are you satisfied with the ending? Or would you have done it differently?

  • Discuss the importance of the setting. Why might the author have chosen this setting? How would the book be different if the setting were entirely different?
  • Compare and contrast two settings in the book. Where did the bad things happen and where did the good things happen? How were the places different?
  • How does the setting affect the main character? What has a good influence and what has a bad influence on the character?
  • Does the setting change? What is the purpose of the change? Does it correspond with the development of the plot?
  • From what point of view is your book told? How does this help the story? How would the book be different if the author used a different point of view?

  • Decide what kind of religious or philosophical beliefs the author holds and explore what elements you see in your book that support your thought.
  • Compare your book to another book you have read, and discuss the differences. Which one was better? Why?
  • Tell about your reaction to a scene you read. Did something surprise you? Shock you? Disappoint you? Make you cry? How did you feel? What made you feel that way?
  • Find something difficult about your book, and try to explain why it is difficult. Why do you think the author might have included something like that in the book?
  • Do you think students will enjoy reading your book fifty years from now? Why or why not?
  • Write a recommendation for your book.
  • Think of someone who would or would not want to read your book. Explain why they would feel that way - be sure to reflect on characteristics of your book as well as characteristics of your person.