Discussion location: library

Ethan Gage
Nate Shields-Auble
Wes Crawford
Taylor Morrison
Monica Austin
Trudy Briggs

1. Student Facilitator(s): Wes Crawford

2. Protocols:
Whip questions for beginning of the discussion:
  • How did you like the book?
  • How did you respond to a certain character?
  • What did you care most about in the book?
  • Describe your level of understanding.
Whip questions for the middle of the discussion:
  • How did you respond to a plot event?
  • What passage(s) made an impact on you?
  • What points already said do you agree or disagree with?
Whip questions for the end of the discussion:
  • What comment made today most affected your thinking?
  • What have you learned most about the book/the issues raised by the book today?
  • What questions still linger for you?

Ten Words or Less
In ten words or less, summarize the book in ten words or less, giving everyone three minutes to think about it. After the three minutes is over go around the group and share your thoughts, giving everyone a chance to share their thoughts.

3. Discussion Questions:

  • Personal Response Questions
• Would you have done something to help Hassan if you were Amir?
• What passions do Hassan and Amir share?
• Why do you think that Amir never brought up what happened to Hassan to anyone throughout the rest of his life?
• If you had witnessed your friend being rapped, would you confront them about it?
• Do you like that Ali lied to Hassan and said that he was adopted?
• Do you like Amir at the beginning and at the end of the book?
• Does the invasion of the Soviets scare you?

  • Open-ended, analytical questions
• Why did Amir not tell Hassan that he saw what happened to him?
• Did you like how the book ended and if not, how would of you ended the book?
• Would you have gotten into the back of the gas truck to get across the border?
• What is so significant about the kite flying? How does it sum up the book (why is it the title?)?
• Would you have been shocked to find out that the boy you had been living with was your brother?
• Is Baba mean to Amir throughout the story?
• What is the single most important event in the entire book?
• Who is your favorite character and why?

  • Significant passage questions
• Did you like how the book was written?
• Do you like how the author puts some of his native language in to the book to help enhance the overall story?
• Do you think that the author did a good job and italicizing important words in the book?
• What do you think the true meaning of this story is?
• Does Hosseini tell the story the best way possible?

4. Culture & Context

We recognize that we're reading books that take place in different cultures than ours. What do you need to know about this culture that would give you deeper insight to the story? Use a Historical/Biographical approach and pose questions. The bullets below give you some places to start. Each group member should pose at least one question, and each group member should research a resource and post his or her findings that respond to the question. Post a resource for someone else's question. Label your questions and posts so we can see that everyone contributed to both steps.

    • history and political conflict of the nation depending on the time it takes place: historical articles or current news
    • cultural or religious traditions
    • biographical information about the author
    • articles of literary criticism (using Marvel)
    • author information -- interviews, obituaries, statements
    • book reviews
    • research allusions and cultural references

1. In the book Amir is Pushtun and Hassan is Hazara, what is the difference between these two religions (Wes)?
http://fensti.freehostia.com/Engl180/KiteRunner/Tribes.html (Nate)

2. In the book the government makes the switch from a republic to a dictatorship, is this still continuing today(Nate)?
http://www.usip.org/node/5023 (Ethan)

3. What's the authors connection to Afghanistan and does the book have anything to do with his childhood(Taylor)?
http://www.rferl.org/content/interview-kite-runner-afghan-emigre-writer-khaled-hosseini/24621078.html (Wes)

4. What is the reason for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan during Amir and Hassan's childhood? (Ethan)
http://www.e-ir.info/2010/01/03/the-soviet-union%E2%80%99s-last-war/ (Taylor)

5. Pre-Discussion Processing
  • Characters - Amir is the main character and narrator, Hassan is Amir's close friend and a man servant for Amir's house hold, Baba is Amir's father who slept with Ali's wife, Ali is the adopted father of Hassan and is also a servant for Amir's house, and Soraya is the girl that Amir meets in America and marries her.
  • Setting - The setting is in Afganistan and it starts in the year of 1963 and then moves throughout the 70's. Then the setting changes to America after Amir has to leave Afganistan because of the Soviet's invasion.
  • Important plot events - Choose at least 3 significant plot elements and explain their importance - The first important plot event is when the Soviets invade Afghanistan because that caused Baba and Amir to move to the United States, where Amir met Soraya, and leave their life in Afghanistan behind
  • Conflicts - The two conflicts in this book is Amir and Baba dealing with there sins. Amir's sin is watching Hassan get beat up and not doing anything to stop it and Baba's sin is sleeping with Ali's wife, which leads to the birth of Hassan.
  • Narration (point of view) - Amir is the narrator in this book and he tells the story from his point of view. He does a great job in telling the story, and he goes into detail when needed. Overall Amir is a great narrator and really pulls you in and makes you feel like you are living the events along with him.
  • Important passages - Have at least 5 important passages on the wiki; a brief comment or question about how and why the passage is important should follow each

1. "It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn't make everything all right. It didn't make anything all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird's flight. But I'll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting." pg. 371 This passage is important because it relates back to Hassan and how he always smiled and now Sohrab is smiling again. It also is like how each of Amir's problems went away one at a time, just like the snow.

2. "What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace. I laughed because I saw that, in some hidden nook in a corner of my mind, I'd even been looking forward to this. I remembered the say on the hill I had pelted Hassan with pomegranates and tried to provoke him. He'd just stood there, doing nothing, red juice soaking through his shirt like blood. Then he'd taken the pomegranate from my hand, crushed it against his forehead. Are you satisfied now? he'd hiss. Do you feel better? I hadn't been happy and I hadn't felt happy and I hadn't felt better, not at all. But I did now. My body broken-just how badly I wouldn't find out until later-but I felt healed. Healed at last. I laughed." pg. 289 He feels better because he finally got to stick up for himself without having to put Hassan in danger and no matter how he tried to take the guilt away, the only way he could was to face the person that caused the whole problem in the beginning.

3. “But all I heard - all I will myself to hear - was the thudding of the blood in my head. All I saw was the blue kite. All I smelled was victory. Salvation. Redemption. If Baba was wrong and there was a God lie they said in school, then He’d let me win. I didn’t know what the other guy was playing for, maybe just for bragging rights. But this was my one chance to become someone who was looked at, not seen, listened to, not heard.” pg. 65 Is amir really playing for fun, or is he just trying to prove to his father that he is good at something?

4. “Boot heels clicked on asphalt. Someone flung open the tarpaulin hanging over the back of the truck, and the three faces peered in. One was Karim, the other two were soldiers, one Afgan, the other s grinning Russian, face like a bulldog’s, cigarette dangling from the side of his mouth.” pg. 114 At this point in trying to cross the border, do you think that everyone in the gas truck felt like there chances of getting across the border was over, because they had been spotted by Russian soldiers.

5.“I remembered how green the playing field grass had been in the ’70’s when Baba used to bring me to the soccer games here. Now the pitch was a mess. There were holes and craters everywhere, most notably a pair of deep holes in the ground behind the southend goalposts. And there was no grass at all, just dirt. When the two teams finally took the field - all wearing long pants despite the heat - and play began, it became difficult to follow the ball in the clouds of dust kicked up by the players. Young, whip-toting Talibs roamed the aisles, striking anyone who cheered too loudly.” pg.268 It would of been quite weird for Amir to go back to a place like this. Amir loved to watch the game of soccer, but now the place he was was torn apart and mistreated. That must of been hard for Amir to see.