Promises to Keep (middle and jr. higrades)




1.This novel centers on peer pressure to act "cool."  The protagonist, Patty, wants so badly to be a part of the cool crowd at her school that she neglects those who are her true friends and makes some bad decisions in order to ingratiate herself with cool Penni.


*Discuss and evaluate what is important in the students' own value systems.

*Discuss the power of peer pressure in the students' lives.


 2. As a second theme, the novel presents the juxtaposition of Patty with a prison inmate to show that we are all very much alike.  Our life outcomes are based on basic decisions all of us make. Each choice we make steers us on our journey. Patty may think she is nothing like prison inmate Fango, but in fact, she is making decisions much like the ones he made at her age.


*Discuss the similarities between Patty and Fango.


3.The story also shows that others are not always what they seem to be.  Patty envies Penni's seemingly perfect life,but in fact, Penni has reason to envy Patty's life (chapter 11).


*What does Patty envy about Penni?
*What might Penni envy about Patty's life?


4.Patty's strong family unit and long-term friendships are important componentsin her life and affect her moral strength.


*Throughout the book, find evidences of Patty's strong family structure.

*On paper or orally, describe the qualities of Patty, Penni, Tracy, Gary, Fango.

*Bythe end of the book, how do we know Patty has put her priorities in order?




*Write a poem.

*Give each chapter a title (a good exercise in finding theme and main idea).

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