"A Long Way Gone" by Ishmael Beah (2007; nonfiction) is a harrowing account of the author’s experience as a child solider in Sierra Leone's civil war in the 1990s, when he was a young teenager. Despite the violence depicted in "A Long Way Gone," nearly all my students have liked this book very much. Be aware that this book also contains references to taking drugs
I used these materials when I taught the book in my integrated reading-writing course for underprepared first-year students at my university. This package includes two items:
1) A comprehension test on the entire book, consisting of 27 multiple-choice questions (students answer any 25 and can omit any two) and one essay.
Students who read the entire book will find the test fairly easy so they have the potential to earn high scores. Tell this to students in advance to create an incentive to read. Students who do not finish the book inevitably earn lower scores. The 27 multiple-choice questions are chronological so you can tell by the errors where the students stopped reading. An answer key is provided, with page references.
2) A seven-question “halfway” quiz, which you can use to determine if students are halfway through the book by a certain date. Students who have read at least half of the book will find these questions easy, so this halfway quiz provides another incentive to read. An answer key is provided, with page references.