Reading Comprehension for Any Book – Questions to ask your Child for any Book

We love taking novels and turning them into novel unit studies — as evidenced by our ever-growing list of free novel studies!  Sometimes, however, you just want to read the book without doing an in-depth unit…and that’s why we’ve created this list of questions for any age, any book…


  • Where does this story take place?
  • What is this place like?
  • When did this story take place? How do you know?
  • Have you ever been in a place like this? Could there be a place like this in real life?
  • Did the story take place a long time ago/in the future/now?
  • Which part of the story best describes the setting?
  • Are there any particular words that create this atmosphere?
  • Is there anything I can tell about the setting even though it does not say it directly?
    • For example: I know it is winter if there is snow on the ground.


  • What are the main things that happened in the story (beginning, middle, and end)?
  • Were you able to guess what was going to happen next? What clues did you use to help you?
  • What would you have done differently if you had been one of the characters?
  • Can you think of another way that the story might have happened?
  • Can you think of another way your story might have ended?
  • What might have happened if a certain action had not taken place?
  • Which chapter do you think is the most important to the story?
  • Who has a problem or what is the problem? Is there one problem or more than one problem in the story?
  • How is the problem solved? How do you know that?


  • Who are the main characters in the story?
  • Do you like or dislike them? Why?
  • Who is the most important character in the story? Why?
  • Do any of the characters change in the story? How?
  • Does a character do things that are good/bad? What?
  • Choose a character. Why is this character important in the story? Why?
  • Do any of the characters change during the story? In what way?
  • Do any of the characters do things you think are good/bad? What? Why do you think it is good/bad?


  • What special words does the author use to help you see, hear, smell, taste things in the story?
  • What pictures did the author leave in your mind?
  • What did you like about the way the author has written the story?
  • What did you dislike about the way the author has written the story?
  • How did the author describe the characters?
  • Were there any unusual ways of saying things?
  • How does the author keep you interested?
  • What strengths does the author have?
  • What do you like about his or her style?


  • Did the author include illustration with the book? Who is the illustrator?
  • What kind of illustrations did the author use? (diagrams, photographs, maps, charts, graphs, tables, drawn pictures)
  • Did the illustrations help you understand the information better? Why or why not?
  • What illustrations or pictures are the most interesting to you? Why?
  • What illustrations could the author have added to make the information easier to understand?
  • Were labels and captions used? If so, did they help you understand the information better? Why or why not?
  • What do you think the illustrator needed to know in order to illustrate the story?


  • Why do you think the author wrote this book?
  • Do you think there is a message in this story? What is it?
  • Have you learned a lesson from reading this story? What is it?


  • How did you feel while reading this story? Why did you feel that way?
  • What was the most exciting thing that happened?
  • What was the funniest/ saddest/ strangest thing that happened in the story?
  • What do you remember most about the story?
  • How did the author make you feel the way you did?
  • Does the mood of the story change? How?


  • Do you understand what the author is saying? What information is the easiest for you to understand? Why?
  • Would you like to learn more about this topic? Why?
  • Would this book or information be different if it were written 10 years ago?
  • Be reading, did you discover anything that could help you outside of school?
  • Is this book like any other book you have read? How is it alike or different? Which one do you like better? Why?
  • Was the information well organized? Give an example of why or why not?
  • Is the information told straight to you or is it in the story form?
  • What could the author have done to make the information easier to understand?


  • Who is the author?
  • What is the author trying to tell you in the book?
  • What did the author have to know to write this book?
  • What do you know about the author? How can you tell?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this book?


  • What topic(s) does this book or chapter describe?
  • Is the information easy for you to understand? Why?
  • What facts did you like learning about the most? Why?
  • What information would you like to share with someone else?
  • Would you like to read more books about this topic? Why?
  • What else would you like to know about this topic? How can you find out?
  • Was the title misleading? Did you expect to discover information that wasn’t there?
  • Did the book/story/chapter give you enough information? If not, what else do you need to know?


Yvie has 20+  years of experience in education and counseling, and has a passion for helping other homeschool moms! You can find more of her thoughts over on her blog Homeschool On The Range.

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