Soar by Joan Bauer Discussion Questions

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

''Soar'' is a novel for your sports lovers, with added elements of robots, medicine and friendship to appeal to your whole class. After your students read ''Soar'', discuss the story, literary elements and personal responses using these questions to get you started.


Sports, relationships, team-building, encouragement, scandal, heartbreak and recovery. Joan Bauer's Soar has it all. This novel is narrated by Jeremiah, a (probably) 12-year-old heart transplant survivor who loves baseball. Jeremiah moves to a new town hoping to enjoy their championship baseball team, but instead he arrives just in time to see the town plunged into a steroid scandal. Jeremiah's efforts eventually help the town rebuild both its middle school baseball team and its hopeful spirit. Fun and broadly appealing in subject matter, the book also touches on a number of worthwhile discussion topics. Use these questions to get your middle school students thinking more deeply about Soar.

Questions About the Story

  • Why does Jeremiah say he has an eagle inside him?
  • How does Jeremiah deal with his limitations? How do his limitations affect his experience in Hillcrest?
  • What are Jeremiah's expectations when he moves to Hillcrest? How does his actual experience differ?
  • What is the function of the robots in the story?
  • Jeremiah watches the middle school baseball players and offers to coach the team without being asked. What personality characteristics enable him to make this bold move? Would you be able to do something like that? If not, what would hold you back?
  • How do the descriptions of the eagles and the eagle cam add to your understanding of Jeremiah's character?
  • Jeremiah knows about waiting. Why? In what ways do you know about waiting? Why is waiting important?
  • What does the name change (from ''Muskrats'' to ''Eagles'') do for the team?
  • How does the team grow throughout the season?
  • What is Benny's role in the story?

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