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“Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers is a compelling high-interest nonfiction book that gives students an opportunity to practice reading comprehension. I wrote these eight sets of discussion questions for the Introduction to College Reading course that I taught in a pre-college summer bridge program in which “Zeitoun” was the primary text. This book and discussion questions are also suitable for high school students and adult education.
I divide the book into eight segments, each of which is about 40 pages. About 10 to 15 discussion questions accompany each segment of the book. The questions are written chronologically to correspond to events in the book. Most questions can be answered with a word, phase, or brief sentence. Here are a few examples:
- Question from pp. 1-34: What do we learn about Zeitoun’s father, Mahmoud?
- Question from pp. 78-116: On Wednesday, August 31, when Zeitoun takes his canoe out for the first time, what does he see?
- Question from pp. 116-154: At night, Zeitoun looks at photos of his brother Ahmad, who worked as a ___________.
- Question from pp, 240-282: Describe a few things that happened to Zeitoun at Hunt Correctional Center between September 9-18.
The questions are designed to be relatively easy for students who complete the reading, thus creating an incentive to read. The questions can be used as worksheets, homework assignments, small- or large- group discussions, or even quizzes.
An answer key for each set of questions is included, with page references next to each answer.