What kind of author starts out what kind of a story with a question as its first sentence? As it turns out, a great number of highly regarded authors and some very recognizable stories do just that. There are over 1,200 presented here, in a 90 page Word document. Some stories even start out asking two or three or more questions in a row. Whether provocative or offensive, bland or seemingly meaningless, questions draw the reader immediately into the story and get them thinking and involved right away. Don’t you agree?
I hope you and your students find the list of questions as enjoyable to read as I do. Reading them one after another in order can be quite interesting, as you will see the humor, the contrasts, the similarities, the absurdities, and the repetition in the lines.
The collection includes selected opening lines from juvenile, young adult, and adult books in all genres. They are arranged alphabetically by the question asked for your convenience. Each entry includes the author, title, and date of the story.
Included are some ways you can use the collection of Opening Lines in the classroom to help improve reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and analytical skills.
As a lifelong reader and 15-year librarian, I have had access to literally tens of thousands of books, and I have collected these lines over a number of years (decades actually). I have personally viewed each book, verified each line, and keyed them all in myself.
Great for enhancing your lesson plans, Web and Year Book pages, newsletters, flyers, bookmarks, posters, and other educational and promotional materials for your library or classroom, you’re sure to find something here that you can use.
All the Opening Lines fall under the Fair Use guidelines of the Copyright Act and though they remain the property of the copyright holder, feel free to use them in the classroom as you please. They are presented in a user-friendly Word format so it’s easy to print, to do key-word searches (control + f), and to copy-and-paste.
This is just one of many such collections in the Literary Opening Lines series. See our other offerings for opening lines that contain animals, lines that feature libraries and librarians, one-and-two word lines, lines with stormy weather, etc.