Starting School with an Enemy
& Sarah and the Naked Truth by Elisa Carbone
Multiple Intelligence Projects:
In both Enemy and Naked Truth, Sarah and her friends deal with kids making fun of
them. Write a letter to someone who made fun of you. BUT, don’t give it to them. Just
write down all the things you feel, what you wish you had said, what you hope they
would learn. Let it all out! Then, shred the evidence and toss out all those bad feelings
Compare Starting School with an Enemy to Sarah and the Naked Truth with a Venn
diagram. List ways that the two books are similar and how they are different. (hint:
consider: characters, plot, theme, setting, and endings).
Choose your favorite scene from either book, then make a new book jacket for the book.
You can use whatever art supplies you want (crayons, markers, paint even collage) but be
sure to have all the important information included. Don’t forget to add jacket copy
(which briefly tells what the story is about… in your own words) and get a few quotes
from classmates to put on the back of the jacket too.
Soccer and basketball both play prominent roles in each book. Play each game with a
group of friends (or with your entire class!) and then write about which one you prefer
and why. As a group discuss what types of skills are needed for each, and how are other
ways outside of playing the game that you could get better. (For example, being a long
distance runner would help for the stamina needed in either game).
In the Naked Truth, the girls go camping. What types of environmental sounds might
they hear? What about when they’re at the ocean? In pairs, take a tape recorder and
document the natural (and maybe unnatural) sounds around your school or home.
As a class, discuss ways that teasing and bullies can be dealt with. With the help of a
teacher, create an action plan that students should follow if they are being picked on.
Then, see if Sarah and her friends followed one similar to yours.
When someone is being picked on, or someone is just being rude, it is usually a good idea
for a person to escape within their own imagination so they don’t lash out and get in
trouble too. Pretend that you’re on the school bus, and some older boys in the back are
saying nasty things about you. Pretend you slouch down in the seat and then start
daydreaming about being somewhere else. Where would you go? What would you be
doing? What does it look like, smell like, sound like? Then, on a small index card, draw a
picture of your special place. Keep it in your book bag or backpack or purse and pull it
out if you need it!
Starting School with an Enemy
1. What is an enemy? How do you think the main character got one?
2. What could happen when you start school with an enemy?
3. What’s it like to move away?
1. Will Sarah keep getting in trouble over Eric?
2. Will Christina still be her friend when she finally gets out of trouble?
3. Will things only get worse between Eric and Sarah?
4. Who do you think will help her most?
5. Will Eric ever get caught for all his troublemaking?
Guide for Sarah and The Naked Truth
1. Have you ever heard the phrase “the naked truth” before? What do you think it
2. Why is Olivia so moody at first?
3. Will Olivia tell everyone at school about her secret?
4. When Sarah tell the basketball team about her truth?
5. How will Christina get Mrs. Green to listen to her?
6. How will the girls get Roger and Eric to leave them alone for good?
7. Will Doug still be Sarah’s friend when he finds out about her?
Comprehension Guide/ quiz questions
All number 1’s are for Starting School with an Enemy, and #2’s are for Sarah and the
1. Tell in your own words what happens between Sarah and Eric.
2. Why is Olivia so afraid of the truth?
1. Describe, in your own words, what Jerod teaches Sarah about the pillow and the
basketball, and how that can help her with Eric.
2. Retell the events that lead up to Sarah revealing her true identity on the basketball
1. What would you have done in Sarah’s shoes after Eric teased her for having had
an accident in her pants?
2. How was Mrs. Green wrong? Is there any other way the girls could have gotten
her to change her mind?
1. Sarah makes a major change in the way she decides to deal with Eric. What was
that pivotal moment where she decides to change her own actions?
2. If Sarah’s parents had signed the permission slip, do you think she would have
told the team about her real identity?
1. How would you deal with Eric?
2.Eric and Roger believe they caused Olivia’s leg to be injured. How do you think they’ll
act in the future? Will it change them? Why or why not.
1. Predict what Sarah does the next time someone says something nasty to her.
2. What do you think the girls’ parents said about helping Christina talk about El
Salvador instead of Maine?