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1 Hawthorne Children's Young Adult- General

Go Ask Alice

by

Go Ask Alice Cover

ISBN13: 9781416914631
ISBN10: 1416914633
Condition: Worn Condition or Underlined
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Reading Group Guide

A Guide for Reading Groups

GO ASK ALICE

About This Book

She doesn't want to get hooked on drugs. Every time after she uses, she feels guilty and low and vows to stay away. But she just can't resist the way the drugs make her feel — beautiful and popular and connected to the world around her. And since nobody understands how alone and miserable she is without the drugs, how can they possibly understand how much she needs them? We may not know her name, but we can imagine how she feels as her diary records a descent into drug-induced madness.

Discussion Questions

1. Every time the main character has something important happen in her life — a summer with her grandparents, her family's move, an invitation to a big party, etc — she focuses on her weight and wardrobe. Does this help her fit in and make friends? Is it good for her? Are there any connections between this and the things that happen to her later?

2. As her family prepares to move, the narrator says, "Even now I'm not really sure which parts of myself are real and which parts are things I've gotten from books." Do you understand what she means by this? As time passes, what else does she use to define who she is? What are some other (possibly better) things that you can use to create an identity for yourself?

3. The main character does not feel like she fits in with her other family members, nor does she belong to any group at school. What causes her to feel so separated and different? Do these reasons change throughout the course of the story? Do you think she really is as odd as she feels?

4. How does the writer get along with the other members of her family? Do her parents understand her? Is her relationship with her mother unusual for a teenage girl?

5. "Anonymous" makes friends at different times throughout the book, but none of them are in her life for very long. Why do the different friendships end? What does each person — Jill, Gerta, Beth, Chris, etc — mean to the writer? Is she a good friend to each of them? Who do you think is the best friend to have?

6. Do you think that the narrator's life is really as horrible as she makes it out to be? Do you know of people who have it worse than she does? Where else, besides drugs, could she have turned to solve her problems?

7. The main character spends a lot of time justifying her actions — she only sells drugs to kids who would buy them anyway, she didn't realize she was dropping acid the first time, etc. What are some of her other excuses? Does she really believe all of these? Do you think any of her actions are justified?

8. Why is it so hard for her to remain clean? Why do her former friends give her such a hard time? Is there anyone who helps her go straight? Would it be that hard to switch crowds at your school?

9. The second time the writer runs away from home, the tone and style of her diary entries change radically. What are some of these changes? Why do you think her writing style changes during this time?

10. Why is the author so obsessed with death, and with what happens to bodies after they are buried? Do you think these thoughts affect the acid trip that lands her in the hospital?

11. How do you feel about the ending of the book? Does it fit with the rest of the story?

12. There has been some debate about the authorship of this book, with many people saying that it is not an actual diary but is instead a fictionalized account created by an editor or another writer. Who do you think wrote the book? Does the author understand what it's like to be a teenager and address the problems that young people have? Does it change the way you feel about the book to think that it might not be a true story?

13. Go Ask Alice was written over 30 years ago — is it still relevant today? How has life changed for people your age? What things are the same?

Activities

1. Most communities have a helpline that people can call when they feel like they have nobody to talk to. After completing some training, you may be able to work at such a helpline. Check into opportunities and consider volunteering. Or talk to your school officials about starting some sort of peer counseling group at your school. You can help others just by listening to their stories.

2. Choose your favorite scene from the book and rewrite it using modern language. Make it sound like something that you might write in a diary.

3. Go Ask Alice was written in the 1970's, a decade with a very unique sense of style. There are several books with 70's-style crafts — macramé, string art, clothing items, etc. Make your own 1970's project to wear or use as decoration.

4. The narrator tries to change her image several times throughout the story. Figure out how you could change your image, even for a day, and see how it works. Consider changing your clothes, your hairstyle, the people you hang out with, or your attitude toward school. See if you have as much trouble changing as the character does in the story.

5. In the book, the main character talks about how drugs make her feel more connected, both to other people and to the world that she lives in. Find something that makes you feel like you belong and make it a part of your life. Perhaps you can do some charitable work, start a book club, paint, or chat online. Be creative!

6. There have been other books that deal with teenagers and drugs, most notably Crank by Ellen Hopkins and Smack by Melvin Burgess. Read one or more of these books and compare them to Go Ask Alice.

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon and Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers * SimonSaysTEACH.com

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

reneeteeuwen, October 18, 2013 (view all comments by reneeteeuwen)
it was an amazing book, i loved how it brought me to tears. its something i could recommend to anyone
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dancegurl228, March 20, 2013 (view all comments by dancegurl228)
Go Ask Alice is a wonderfully written diary. It literally changed my life and how I think about drugs. I used to think that teen deaths from overdoses were very rare, now though, sadly, after reading Go Ask Alice, I realized that they are common, very common, they happen everyday. I definitely recommend this fabulously written book to anyone who is looking for a short poetic read that will change your life.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
kristy102_4ever, October 24, 2012 (view all comments by kristy102_4ever)
To Hell And Back!

Reading Go Ask Alice was a very shocking experience. It was surprising that someone so young could go through so much in their life and keep a diary of it. The story really begins with a normal girl that just wanted to write and express her feelings, but instead her story became a life-changing book for millions of young women. The readers never know her name��"the diary was supposed to be private, but her parents published it anonymously.

It seems like she was just an ordinary girl going through changes, heartbreaks and every other thing that a teenager would go through. Then her story takes an unexpected twist when she starts hanging out with the wrong crowd and began experimenting with drugs. She would always say she would stop, but it only got worse and worse until she ended up homeless and aimlessly wandering the streets. However, somehow she would always ends up right back home.

When she started to get healthy again that’s when all her so called friends started to make her life hell everyday. They even drugged her and she got send to a mental institution eventually she got better she started living life to the fullest! Sadly tragedy struck and life for her family would never be he same.

This book is an eye opener about a young women who went through so much. Part of the tragedy was that she felt that she didn’t have support from anyone. Finally, she broke down��"or DRUGS broke her spirit. Sadly, there is a value in reading this story. Maybe someone out there who would read this book might be going through the same thing. It might change that person's life, you never know! Honestly everyone should get a chance to read this book whatever lifestyle they have. It teaches you that you're not the only one that goes through problems in life there are way more tragic things people go through. It teaches you a very good moral lesson; drugs do not help ease your suffering, it makes it worse!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416914631
Author:
Anonymous
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - General
Subject:
Social Situations - Adolescence
Subject:
Social Situations - Drugs, Alcohol, & Substance Abuse
Subject:
Drug abuse
Subject:
Diaries
Subject:
Situations / Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse
Subject:
Social Issues - Adolescence
Subject:
Social Issues - Drugs, Alcohol, & Substance Abuse
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-Drugs, Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Subject:
drugs; drug addiction; addiction; LSD; alcoholism; depression; suicide
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
December 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
f/c cvr
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7 x 5 in 5.635 oz
Age Level:
12-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Featured Titles
Children's » Sale Books
Featured Titles » Banned Books » Young Adult
Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Adolescence
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse
Young Adult » General
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Biographies

Go Ask Alice Used Trade Paper
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$4.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Simon Pulse - English 9781416914631 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , January 24th

After you've had it, there isn't even life without drugs....

It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth — and ultimately her life.

Read her diary.

Enter her world.

You will never forget her.

For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl's harrowing decent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful — and as timely — today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.

"Synopsis" by , In the 35 years since its original publication, this acclaimed, bestselling diary-format account of a teenage girl's harrowing descent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teens readers. This special anniversary edition includes a readers' group guide. Original.
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