Let's Talk about Books: Son by Lois Lowery and Questioning Journals

I'm on a young adult kick.  I read Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger when I was working on my reading specialist.  My favorite has always been Gathering Blue. 

Son by Lois Lowery is my vacation book!  I'm so excited :)

What amazes most about Lois Lowery is how her books really make the readers visualize her writing, and then her books really make students think.  She also writes in a way that only reveals information in bits and pieces, and leaves the reader with lots of questions.  This can pose a challenge to struggling readers. 

I like using her books with "Questioning Journals."  This strategy is from Strategies that Work.  I have had great luck using this with students in fifth grade that struggle with comprehension.  Many times they just read the words and don't stop to think and process.

Before we even attempt a chapter book, I model the questioning strategy with picture books.   Maury County Literacy Links has some great picture books to use with all sorts of reading strategies!

These are three other of my favorite books to use to help students practice answering questions!


I say things like, "I wonder why this happened?" or "Why is the character thinking this?"  I ask lots of "why" questions.

I stop OFTEN and ask questions about what I'm reading.  Sometimes I feel that it is almost too much, but it really isn't for struggling readers. 

Then when they are reading, we stop after every page and they write down one question they have in their questioning journal about what they just read.  We pretty much go a page at a time (for an entire chapter) asking and answering their questions. 

We learn that sometimes the answers are right there in the text, sometimes they are inferred, and other times their question isn't answered. 

Here is a freebie to help students create an interactive questioning notebook.


  1. My intervention kiddos do a lot of questioning too!! Thank you for some book examples that are great for practicing that skill. Great blog post! :)

    Mind Sparks

    1. I'm so happy this post was helpful!!

  2. I loved reading Giver, growing up and I loved Lois Lowry books. I pulled Giver out to read again this summer since it has been years. I will have to check out Son as well! Thanks for sharing the questioning freebie, as well
    Miss King's Enchanted Kingdom

  3. I'm glad you liked the freebie :)

  4. I just picked up her new book at the bookstore, I'm so excited to dive into it! :)

    Fun in PreK-1 & Kinder


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