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Personal Project: Book Inquiry

Examples

Sometimes it is helpful to see some examples as you begin planning a
personal project. Here is a list of example questions paired with lists
of books. You can use these questions and lists of books to spark your
own questions and lists of books.

Where a rubric can be used to compare data for a best book type of question, the example
questions below will require you to move beyond creating and using a rubric system (Step 4).
Instead, come up with a list of questions/themes/things to look for, around which you will collect
data as you read for Step 5.

What is the most realistic story about living alone in the wilderness? Take notes while
reading about details, survival skills, What is luck vs. what could really happen? How long did
the character live in the wilderness? How did they end up there?
Hatchet
My Side of the Mountain
Julie and the Wolves
The Island of the Blue Dolphins
The Cay

How do different characters show bravery? What is similar and different? Character Traits,
Appearance, Interaction with Others, Actions
Wonder
Harry Potter
Number the Stars
Hatchet

How are these girls diaries similar and different?
The Diary of Anne Frank
Zalta's Diary
The Long Journey
The Winter of Red Snow

How are female characters and male characters portrayed differently in fantasy/adventure
series? Character Traits, Appearance, Interaction with Others, Actions
Harry Potter
Wildwood
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Golden Compass

What are plot similarities and differences in fantasy/adventure books? For this, write
summaries and think about the arc of the storyline. Take lots of notes while reading and then
reflect after.
Harry Potter
Wildwood
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Golden Compass

Some authors use multiple points of view in their stories. How do different authors use this
strategy and what does it accomplish? How many points of view are there?
What does each accomplish? Why did the author employ these different perspectives?
Wonder
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
The Whipping Boy
Every Soul a Star
Schooled
A Tangle of Knots
Origami Yoda Series
The View from Saturday

How are the villains in fantasy/adventure books portrayed differently? Character Traits,
Appearance, Interaction with Others, Actions
Harry Potter
Wildwood
The Mysterious Benedict Society?
The Golden Compass

What are some similarities and differences between books told from an animal's
perspective? Structure of writing, animal's intelligence, does the animal "talk" to people, etc.
The One and Only Ivan
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
Bunnicula
Ribsy

How is the plot structure similar and different in the first three Harry Potter books or any
series? For this, write summaries and think about the arc of the storyline. Take lots of notes
while reading and then reflect after.

How do things turn out for orphans in different stories? What are similarities and
differences? What are the beginning, middle, end circumstances for the orphan? How are
they similar/different to other orphans? How do they change throughout the story?
Mysterious Benedict Society
Harry Potter
Anne of Green Gables
The Golden Compass
Peter Pan
The Secret Garden
Charmed Life