Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dead Girls Don't Write Letters

Teacher’s Guide for

Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters

by Gail Giles

Prediction Guide:


What do you think this book is about? Do you think it has fantasy elements if a dead girl is writing letters? Who do you think could be telling the story?

 After reading each chapter make a prediction from these questions:

  1. How did that letter get to Sunny?
  2. Why doesn’t Sunny miss Jazz?

Chapter 2
  1. What will Sunny’s parents say and do?
  2. How will the school/town react?

  1. What will the reunion be like?
  2. Will Jazz treat Sunny better than before?

Chapter 4
  1. Who was it?
  2. Will the parents believe it or not?

Chapter 5
  1. Who will be the first to confront the new girl?
  2. How does she know so much about the family?

Chapter 6
  1. How long will she stay?
  2. Will she admit to Sunny that she is a fraud?

Chapter 7
  1. Will Jazz go away again?
  2. Will Sunny’s mom realize she is an imposter too?

Chapter 8
  1. What could be, “I’d caught sight of the tail, now I could follow it to the rat” mean?

Chapter 9
  1. Will she get a chance to read the journal?
  2. What will it say?

Chapter 10
  1. When will Sunny confront her?
2. Will she ever know the truth about her sister?

Chapter 11
  1. Will Sunny and her parents make amends?
2. What will happen to Sunny’s mom if she realizes the truth?

Chapter 12
  1. What will Sunny’s dad uncover?
  2. Will “Jazz” trust her with the diary?

Chapter 13
  1. Who is Karen?
  2. Why is this girl pretending to be her sister?

Chapter 14
  1. So who is this girl really?
  2. Will Sunny’s dad now confront her?

Chapter 15
  1. Will the Chief find out the imposter is staying with Sunny? What will he do?
  2. What will happen next?

Chapter 16
  1. Why is mom talking in the past tense around “Jazz?”
  2. Will anyone from school come by?

Chapter 17
  1. Is this journal entry true? What makes you think so/not?
    2. How will it effect Sunny’s decisions?

Chapter 18
  1. Will she call the police?
  2. How could she be dangerous?

Chapter 19

  1. What happens after the book closes?

Comprehension Guide/ Quiz Questions for

Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters

by Gail Giles


  1. Describe the internal and external conflicts of the story.
  2. Find a quote that best represents Sunny as a main character.


  1. Give examples of how Sunny is revealed as not being a reliable narrator.
  2. Describe Sunny’s relationship with her parents.
  3. In chapter one the author mentions that Sunny forges her letter back into school each day. Explain why this detail is so important to the interpretation of the ending.


  1. Write five interview questions you would ask Jazz.
  2. Write a report as if you were the Police Chief about Not-Jazz’s appearance at the Reynolds’s home.

  1. Compare and contrast Sunny and Jazz.
  2. How would this story be different if told through the eyes of NotJazz? Her mother?
  3. Sunny sometimes uses mirror writing like Leonardo DaVinci did to hide his inventions. What secrets does Sunny have to hide? What does this tell us about her?

  1. How would you have handled the stranger appearing at your door?
  2. Anticipate what Sunny will do when she receives the last yellow letter.

  1. Justify your interpretation of the ending. Did Sunny invent Jazz and write letter to herself? Or, is Jazz real and Sunny’s life is not in jeopardy?
  2. Why do you think the author left the ending purposefully vague enough to be interpreted in different ways? Do you like this literary technique? How did it create another twist in the plot?

Multiple Intelligence Projects for

Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters

by Gail Giles

Verbal/ Linguistic:

Write a dramatic monologue through one of the character’s point of view in the story. Be sure it sounds like what that character would say and reveals something about them.


Write letters to a friend as you both read the novel. Discuss important elements of the story- setting, plot, character, and make predictions about what you think will happen next. For full credit, you must each write five letters.


Fill out the character chart on the following page

Visual/ Spatial:

Pretend you are designing the set for the movie version of the novel. Just like an interior designer does, make storyboards about each room- choosing fabrics, colors and accessories that you think would help add drama and interest to the set and not distract from the storyline. (You  might want to make a collage from pictures from magazines and with sample colors from the hardware store).


Create a piece of art representing the inner turmoil of Sunny’s life. Try to capture her thoughts in art- give contemplation to your palette, line, and your movement. In a brief journal discuss why you made the choices you did.


Act out the dramatic monologues.


Act out a scene that happens two months after the close of the novel.

Musical/ Rhythmic:

Find music you think Sunny would most enjoy listening to at her new boarding school. Write a journal about why you chose this music.


Read Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee
and answer these questions:
  1. Why do you think the author chose this particular poem for Sunny to be reading?
  2. How does chaos relate to both Annabel Lee and Dead Girls?
  3. Who does the author want you to relate to in the poem- the narrator or Annabel?

Sunny admits that she has no friends- not one. Write a letter to Sunny explaining what it takes to be your friend, and how she might find one for herself.


Sunny doesn’t seem to know herself very well. She seems as shocked by the ending as the reader! Just for fun visit: and take a free personality tests. After all, it is terribly important to find out what type of dog you are, or maybe the kind of Hollywood Diva you’d make. Print out your answers and share with friends.


There are only a few ways to get to know any given character: what they say, what they do, how they treat people, and how others treat them. Fill out this chart to explore the relationships from Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters.

Be sure to give page numbers with your chosen quotes and examples!

Things she says
(find a quote)
Things she does
(give examples)
How treats others  (examples)
How others treat her