Junior Great Books 

By: Claudia & Shirley


     Any GT ELA class is incomplete without these superb, useful books! Stories vary from folktales to real life experiences, but still following the same instant excitement story after story. Each book contains multiple stories of opposite genres, which is also a good way to get used to reading different types of writing. After you read the story, you are expected to answer questions in the Jr. Great Book workbook, regarding the story. But do not worry, these questions aren't the boring type... even though they do make you think a great deal! These questions differ from each other and often ask you to defend your stance, which is an important prospect of life.So happy thinking and happy reading!



    This is a copy of our class's Jr. Great Book cover page.The picture describes a Jr. Great Book story we have yet to read, titled "The Last Great Snake". 





    Check out some of the awesome JGB stories we have already read!


                  Through the Tunnel

                                A Story Written by Doris Lessing


     This is an inspirational work about succeeding young ambitions. Young English boy Jerry plans a peaceful vacation with his single mom, located in a beach with rocky surroundings. Getting there, they decide to spend their long days relaxing on the shoreline. One day, being the curious boy Jerry was, he became astounded by the rocky cliffs close by. Arriving there, Jerry decides to explore the tunneled environment. That caused him to meet some native boys who oddly have the physical ability of crossing the lengthy tunnel without getting hurt. Jerry, unfortunately, is not able to succeed as they did. This does not satisfy Jerry's taste, AT ALL. Eventually causing him to firmly decide to change that unlucky disability for the better. YOU will have to read on to discover Jerry's future!   






       Raymond's Run 

                                     A Story Written by Toni Cade Bambara


     Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker (Squeaky for short) has her whole life in front of her devoted to running. Sometimes she just wants to succeed a wee bit too much. There's no track meet that she's never won first place at. She's definitely not the kind of girl who envies scented flowers or frilly dresses. In fact, all she's gotta do in life is mind her older brother, Raymond, and think about beating everybody at everything especially running. And also the fact that her arch-enemy Gretchen is really getting on Squeaky's last nerves, and is all about outrunning Squeaky at the May Day races. Want to know what happens, huh?!? THEN READ THE STORY TO FIND OUT!






                My Greatest Ambition

                                      A Story Written by Morris Lurie


     Morris Lurie's greatest ambition is to have one of his comic strips published into Boy Magazine. This story is a journey through Morris' attempt to getting his comic published. But to get this done Morris must have a meeting with the head of the magazine, Mr.Randell, which doesn't end up how he planned. See Morris had the idea that he would be discussing his comic with Mr.Randell, but instead the men from the magazine business are starting to get sidetracked and not going deeper into the point. Finally, Morris is proposed something that is not related to his much cared for comic. Disappointment fills Morris. This causes him to lose his not common ambition. Pretty interesting huh? READ ON TO GET THE DETAILS!






                             A Likely Place

                                      A Story Written by Paula Fox


     This is a story about a lonely ten year old boy named Lewis. Who is forced to stay home with a goofy and unusual babysitter while his parents go on vacation to Chicago. While they are gone Lewis goes on a walk to the park. When there Lewis meets an old man named Madruga. Through the story  Lewis  and Madruga meet every day and become best of friends and then go and find a .....Well I could tell you but then YOU WOULDN'T READ THE STORY!






      Bad Characters 

                                    A Story Written by Jean Stafford

     Who ever thought the most cruel bully could ever get worse? Emily Vanderpool is easily discriminated by everybody about her, including her family. Gaining and losing friends are one out of many unsatisfactory characteristics of hers. One day while being home alone, Emily experiences a theft attempt regarding her mom's delicious cake. The thief herself is none other than Emily's about to be new-friend, Leslie. Well well what do you know, a thief as a friend, know how did Emily feel about that? The moment she realized her fault that she was  befriending this bizarre creature was not the best time, for it was a little too late. Leslie plans a reunion  at the local 50 Cents Store and includes Emily in the theft process. You may wonder, how did Emily get out of the mess? Did she remain friends with Leslie? Does Leslie describe her background eventually? All these questions would be answered  IF YOU COULD JUST FIND TIME TO READ THE STORY!






      Chura and Marwe 

                               African folktale Told by Humphrey Harman



     This is a story of unconditional  love and friendship. Chura and Marwe are two very diverse enslaved children living through hardship and unfairness. Chura is an unattractive male, while Marwe is a very attractive female. Even through these differences, they are the best of friends and care for each other tenderly. When they think life can't get any worse for them, an accident occurs and they lose each other. Marwe is sent to another world and treated well until grown-up. While Chura remains in the world above and becomes a great warrior of extreme strength. Time passes as they forget each other, until one day when Marwe is forced to make an important decision regarding her future and marriage. Will the friends ever see each other again? Will they, WILL THEY?







                              A Story Written by Mary La Chapelle


     Frances and her brother Jimmy were very close to each other. But when Jimmy unexpectedly starts having little seizures everything changes. Frances then realizes that she must look after her little brother at all times. But when Frances and her brother go on an adventure something terribly wrong happens to Jimmy. Will Jimmy and Frances get home safely? GO AND FIND OUT!










     Junior Great Book Workbook Activities 

Shared Inquiry

  This is a wonderful tool for speaking up and stating your point in public. Basically during Shared Inquiry you reflect back on the story you have read and discuss its subject as a class. This is extremely helpful practice for life in reality, because its what you do during a business meeting, court trial, or a simple reunion. Our class loves it when we get the chance to participate in one! We enjoy listening to each others opinions and feedback on the story, as well as asking questions and making inferences. Its a great way to learn from others!

The Rules of Shared Inquiry

1.) Always contribute to the discussion being held, but don't be rude and interrupt people!

2.)Evidence is needed at all times! Without it you basically wouldn't have read the story.

3.) Make sure to have read the story being discussed about. Or else you won't be able to participate!(that really stinks)

4.) Only discuss the story or certain part of the  story, not any other one.

5.) The leader ( Ms. Tutuska) asks the questions and we as pupils answer them back.

6.) A real Shared Inquiry is portrayed in the shape of a horseshoe (ours at least!), meaning all of our desks are somewhat resembling a horseshoe.

              ALSO KNOWN AS.... 

Questions of Fact

These questions are made for remembering particular details and putting those details together with your own evidence of every-day life. You just need to know your stuff!

Questions of Interpretation

are the basis of Junior Great Books in our lives. Making you use different clues from the story, to make you answer the question are interpretive questions. You do nothing but infer again and again and again!

Questions of Evaluation

demands how the story fits into your life and asks if you are in agreement with the question being asked. Answering such questions, can lead you to more opinion's on how your belief's or ideas are based.

Writing Your Own Interpretive Questions

This is one of the best ways to form your own opinions about the story. You look for words or phrases that make you really wonder about. Also looking for passages that you feel very strongly about is another way to create your "own" interpretive questions.


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