Dig deeper into the books with this study guide for CALEB AND KIT, PACK OF DORKS and A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE. 

CALEB AND KIT

Discussion Questions, developed by children's librarian and BookTuber Joie Formando

 

PACK OF DORKS 

Discussion Questions, developed by children's librarian and BookTuber Joie Formando

Chapters 1-3

Before you read:

  1.  “Never judge a book by its cover.” Wrong! Based on the cover of “Pack of Dorks,” what pops into your mind?

2.  Describe your idea of “the perfect dork.” In your opinion, what makes a person “dorky”?

After reading:

  1. “If you want to be popular—and my best friend—you sometimes have to do things you don’t want to do.” (page 7) What do you think of Becky’s statement? What would you do if you were Lucy?

2.    On page 11, Becky says that “everyone wants to be popular.” Do you think this is true?

3.    Using the description on page 17, draw Lucy’s Grandma!

 

Chapters 5-6

Before you read:

  1.    What do you know about Down Syndrome? Do you know anyone with this disorder? How do you think Lucy feels about her new sister? For more information about Down Syndrome, check this link.

2.    Check out this video and article about a cheerleader. What would you do in this situation?

3.    “But everyone, even Tom Lemming, should have a flaw. Keeps them humble. I’m not sure what my flaw is, though. I’ll have to think about it.” Page 38. What are Lucy’s flaws? What are your flaws?

After reading:

  1.    What do you think about Becky’s daily phone calls with Lucy? Do you think Becky is really Lucy’s friend, or is she just doing this to hurt Lucy’s feelings? If you were Lucy, what would you tell Becky?

2.    On page 71, Lucy describes April’s family. Write about your family in your journal. Try to give each family member a distinct characteristic –something that describes them perfectly. 

Chapters 6-10

1.   On pages 85-86, Lucy tells us about the different jobs each wolf has in the pack and says, “I wondered where I would fit if I were Lucy Wolf.” Where do you think you would fit in?

2.  On page 88, Lucy thinks the scapegoat should go off on its own, “form his own pack with other scapegoats, and be awesome.” Do you know what Lucy is hinting at here? In the writing world, we call this foreshadowing — what does that mean?

3.  “I wasn’t willing to do anything it took to be popular. I wasn’t going to be mean to people who were nice to me and be friendly to people who were mean. I was through with her and was going to make my own pack. I mean, friends.” What do you think about Lucy’s decision?

4.  How do you feel about Lucy finding Sam in the locker room? What would you have done if someone did that to one of your friends?

Chapter 11

1.  In Chapter 11, Lucy and April start Tae Kwon Do, but it’s HARD. Lucy will only get better if she practices. What’s something you like to do, but you have to practice to get better? Draw a picture of yourself!

2.  After Lucy’s first Karate class, she feels proud. Write about a time where you felt proud. 

The rest of the story! 

1.  On p. 189, Lucy tries to describe her experience at the wolf sanctuary to Grandma. How would you describe what Lucy and Sam experienced? What would you tell your friends about the wolves if you were there, too?

2. Sam is now Lucy’s best friend (p.191). Write about your best friend(s). What qualities do you look for in a friend?

3.  “She’s not all that different from me, is she?” I said. “Not really, I mean.”
“Sound like you had an epiphany today. It means you realized something important. You know what? I had the same epiphany.” (p.197).

What was Lucy’s epiphany? Have you ever had an epiphany before?

4.  What do you think about the ending of “Pack of Dorks?” Lucy is willing to forgive Becky! Would you do the same?

5.  What do you think was the message of this novel? What have you learned from Lucy’s story? 


A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE 

Goodreads reviewer Edward Ventura created these questions to delve a little deeper into A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE:

Discussion questions 


Remembering How would you describe Alice to a friend?


Understanding What can you say in how Mrs. Dexter, the librarian, spoke to Alice?


Applying If you were Alice how would you show your understanding of your relationship with Eliza before and after you moved?


Analyzing Why do you think Alice and Eliza's parents always kept them in the same class?


Evaluating Think of when Alice was bitten by “Chuck” and write about how she could have handled the situation differently.


Creating Use your imagination and draw a picture of two of the following locations: the sycamore tree, the diner, the lake, or the children’s section in the library.

 

 


A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE

Discussion Guide for Visually Impaired Students

CREATED BY kathi garza, teacher at the texas school for the blind and visually impaired

 

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired recently used A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE as its summer reading club book pick! Here is a modified breakdown of their study guide for the book, as created by teacher Kathi Garza. Thanks, Kathi! 

Target Audience:

Students in grades 6-8

 

Course Description:

The Summer Book Club is a unique opportunity for students from across the state to get to know each other while engaging in literacy activities. This summer's book, A Blind Guide to Stinkville, by Beth Vrabel follows the main character, Alice, who faces her visual impairment head on when she moves to a new town with her family. This coming-of-age story centers on Expanded Core Curriculum themes including social skills, independent living skills, O&M, and self-determination. Students will be given access to the book in print or audio format, will read along during the class, and will engage in discussion via Google Classroom. 

 

Learning Objective:

Students will develop literacy skills by reading the assigned book, analyzing elements of fiction as they pertain to the piece, and providing relevant and meaningful contributions to a group discussion using an online platform.

 

Length:

6-Weeks 

 

Week 1 – Chapters 1-3

  • In Chapters 1-3, we meet the main character, Alice, and we learn a lot about her visual impairment caused by albinism. Alice makes many comments about her visual impairment such as, “here, being blind is news” and “no one ever asks me questions.” Her friend Kerica suggests that being the only one in her family with albinism, Alice “must feel a little lonely.” Tell the group about a time when you felt like your loss of vision was news to people, they were overly helpful instead of asking you what you needed, or you felt lonely being the only person in your home or school with a visual impairment. 

 

Week 2 – Chapters 4-6

  • Poll: How do you feel about Eliza after the conversation she had with Alice in Chapter 4 where she suggested that having to help Alice held her back from making new friends? CHOICES – I can relate to Eliza’s feelings. Eliza was insensitive and mean. Eliza’s a really good friend to give Alice honest feedback. 
  • Alice does a lot of growing in the chapters we read this week. Talk about some things she does to show that she is shifting her attitude about her situation and trying to become more independent.

 

Week 3 – Chapters 7-9

  • Poll: What did you think about Tooter peeing on Sandi outside of the library? CHOICES: That was hilarious! - That was disgusting! - Tooter is going to be in BIG trouble!
  • Towards the end of Chapter 9, Alice goes home and works on the laundry. Her mind says to “advocate for herself.” Try advocating for yourself this week by taking on a new responsibility at home or learning a new task. Tells us how it goes here. 

 

Week 4 – Chapters 10-12

  • The entire storyline about Mrs. Dexter and Tooter is hilarious. She was totally fooled about him being a dog guide. Watch the following video on dog guides and tell the group how you feel about potentially working with one when you are an adult. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4n0N4tj0MI

  • One element of fiction that you may have learned about in language arts is “symbolism.” In literature, the term refers to the author’s attempt to use a character or object to represent an abstract idea or a deeper connection. In Chapter 12, Alice interacts with the white squirrel. Besides, the fact that they both have albinism, make a guess about what you think the symbolism between Alice and the squirrel might be. How are they connected or symbolize one another?

 

Week 5 – Chapters 13-15

  • In this week’s reading, Alice spends some time at the library typing her essay. She uses a special trick that makes the font larger on her screen so she can see it as she types. Share a cool trick that you have found useful in accessing your computer with a visual impairment. If you don’t have a neat tip, share what challenges you have using a computer. 
  • At the end of Chapter 15, Alice visits with Mr. Hamlin at the “old folks home.” They have a conversation about how he feels about being there, and he appears to be trying to convince Alice to visit the school for the blind. Do you think she will go visit the school? Why? Why not?

 

Week 6 – Chapters 16-18

  • In Chapter 16, on page 220, Alice describes her visual impairment to Sandi in the library. Her description is brief but complete and accurate. Research your visual impairment using the website below, and write a few sentences about how you could describe your eye condition to a peer. Please remember to put this information into your own words, and if you don’t understand, ask me or someone in your home. 

http://www.afb.org/info/living-with-vision-loss/eye-conditions/12

  • Let’s reflect on the characters. Choose one character and explain what your first impression was of that character. Also include how your feelings might have changed by the end. Please see my example in the comments.

 

When we were first introduced to Mrs. Dexter, I thought she was very insensitive to Alice because she spoke loudly and made many assumptions about what it meant to have a visual impairment. By the end of the story, I realized that Mrs. Dexter just needed someone to educate her since she genuinely didn’t know anything about people with visual impairments. 

 

  • POLL – Would you recommend this book to a friend? CHOICES – Absolutely! - No Way! -  I’m Not Sure. 

 

 

A joyous ride for redemption and understanding..jpg