5th grade literature circle book:The Power of Un by Nancy Etchemendy

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The Power or Un is a great book about a boy (with all the normal, realistic middle school issues) who meets his “future self” who has come to give him a tool that gives him the ability to undo his mistakes.  I’m not sure why all the items are numberd “1” below, but you can cut and paste and change as needed.

Chapter 1:

  1. From who’s point of view is this story being told?  ___________________________

Describe this person.

  1. What is “shrapnel”?   Why do you think kids would call their teacher this name?
  1. How does the main character in this story feel about Rainey Frogner?
  1. Why does the main character carry straws around with him?
  1. What two unexpected events occurred when the main character was attempting to hit his math teacher with a spitball?
  1. “…. The whole class gasped as if it were a single organism.”    What do you suppose this means?
  1. Who was blamed for the spitball?  Why ?
  1. How is a spitball like a spider stepping on her web?
  1. What ruined all of Gib’s plans?

10.   What happened to Gib while he was out on his “angry” walk?

11.   This part of the story provides background information that helps us understand the rest of the story.  We studied story elements at the beginning of this year.  What is the name for this part of a story? _________________________

Chapter 2:

  1. What finally made Gib decide that this person wasn’t going to hurt him?
  1. What did the man give to Gib?  What is the thing used for?
  1. At the end of chapter two, what is you impression so far?  Who do you think this strange man is?  Why does he feel that it is so important to give this “thing” to Gib?

Chapter 3:

  1. After the man disappeared, what happened?
  1. What do we learn about Gib’s mother in chapter 2?
  1. What probably prevented Gib from getting in trouble when he was late for dinner?
  1. At the last moment, what happened that made Gib think he wouldn’t go to the carnival at all?
  1. Who or what do you suppose the  “footsteps” belong to ( at the end of ch. 3)?

Chapter 4:

  1. What was Gib hoping to get to do before leaving for the carnival?   Why didn’t he do it?
  1. How did Roxy cause a problem shortly after they arrived at the carnival?
  2. What did Madam Isis say about Ash’s future?
  1. What about Roxy’s future?
  1. List some things that made Madam Isis very convincing.
  1. What does the future hold for Gib, according to Madam Isis?

Chapter 5:

  1. How did Ash explain the odd coincidences?
  1. How were Gib and Ash handling going on rides at the carnival with Roxy there?
  1. What did Gib want to do more than anything else?    What did Gib think was the solution that would allow him to do what he wanted to do?
  1. What unexpected problems came up with this idea?
  1. What did Gib witness from his vantage point on top of the “Devil’s Elevator”.

Chapter 6:

  1. What did Gib realize about Roxy after the accident?
  1. What did Gib do after hearing about his sister’s condition?
  1. Why hadn’t the Unner worked when Gib had tried it before (a couple of chapters ago)?
  1. List several things that Ash did that helped Gib figure out the Unner?

Chapter 7:

  1. How did Gib know the Unner worked?
  1. Why doesn’t Ash believe the Unner works?
  1. How did Gib finally convince Ash that the Unner works?
  1. Was Gib’s math correct?   How many minutes are in 13 hours and 15 minutes?

Chapter 8:

  1. Where (in time) did Gib end up being sent by the Unner?
  1. What mistakes did Gib make as he figured out his situation?
  1. What do you think was going through Rainey’s head as he was figuring things out?
  1. What did Gib decided he needed to change about his interaction with Rainey?
  1. What do you think could change in the future as a result of Gib interacting with Rainey differently?
  1. What other things did Gib change during his school day?  Which one was the most important?
  1. What did Gib keep worrying about as he relived his day?

Chapter 9:

  1. Why was the class silent as chapter 9 began?
  1. What do you think the author means when it says . . . “I felt like I might burp rainbows any second.”
  1. What has changed as a result of the changes Gib made to “reality”?
  1. What was strange about the encounter with the odd man in the woods this time?
  1. What did Gib realize about the man from the woods in this chapter?

Chapter 10:

  1. What does Gib find out that surprises him and makes him worry that all the changes he has made so far don’t matter?
  1. Gib knows that he has to stay ___   ____________   _______   _______ if he wants the evening at the carnival to go well.
  1. In the beginning of the book, it mentions something about Gib having a broken leg.   This hasn’t happened in the story so far… predict how Gib might break his leg.
  1. Ash has another important realization in this chapter.  This time, it’s about the man from the woods.  What is it?  Do you think his theory explains the situation or not?  Why?
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