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Guiding Questions - Don't You Know There's a War On

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 12 months ago

Don’t You Know There’s a War On? By Avi

Guiding Questions

Chapters 1-10

1.    Why does Avi have Howie speaking slang? What are some of the sayings he uses?

2.    What are some common slang phrases you use? Do you think your slang would sound funny or be confusing 60 years from now?

3.    What do we know about Howie’s character from his adventure in the house? Would you want him as a friend?

4.    How is this war different from the Iraq war?

Chapters 11-19

1.    How does Miss Gossim treat Howie when he’s late? How does she react when he tells her he’s been spying on others? What does this tell you about her?

2.    How do Howie and Dennie feel about their teacher?  Are their feelings the same? Why don’t they talk about her?

3.    Why do you think she was fired? Are there any text clues that help you make a guess?

4.    Avi helps us to understand life in the 1940’s. What details about the setting do you notice?

Chapters 20-29

1.    What is rationing? What things are hard to buy? Why do you think some things were rationed during WWII?

2.    Why was Howie’s father’s letter called a “Swiss cheese” letter? What was said in the letter that bothered Howie and his mother?

3.    What is the purpose of a “blackout”? Do Howie and his sister respond to it the blackout in the same way? How would you feel if you had to practice blackouts today?

4.    What do we learn about Miss Gossim when Howie is at her apartment? Why does she tell him so much about her?

5.    Do you think the petition was a good idea? Would it have worked? Was it all right that Howie broke his promise to Miss Gossim?

Chapters 30-39

1.    What do you think about Gloria’s plan to save Miss Gossim’s job? How will Miss Gossim react to Howie interfering in her life?

2.    Many of the children in this story have parents and relatives fighting in the war. How do they react to them being in constant danger? Do you have anyone you need to worry about constantly?

3.    How was going to the movies in the 1940s different from now? Would you have enjoyed the Saturday show?

4.    How do you think Mrs. Wolch will respond to Howie and Gloria’s information? How do you think Dr. Lomister will respond?

Chapters 40 – 49

1.    Why did Howie study so hard for his math test? Was it just to please Miss Gossim?

2.    Why does Howie decide not to tell Dennie that his dad is home? Do you think that was a good idea?

3.    What did Miss Gossim tell Howie that made him so happy? Why did Howie tell Dennie, “She said I should try to be more like my best friend – you?”

4.    How much time passes during the novel? What are some different ways that Avi shows the passing of time?

5.    “Don’t you know there’s a war on,” is a phrase used throughout the book.  What does it mean? Does it mean different things to different people, or at different point in the book?


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