Smoky Night

Bunting, E., & Diaz, D. (1994). Smoky night. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.

smoky night


A connection i have noticed between this book and another is the book Wonder.  So far from what i have read,wonder is story about a boy that is constantly being judge by his appearance.  In the begin of Smoky Night, the mom judges the store clerk by here race, which people can tell because of her appearance. At the end of the story the mom realizes they haven’t given the store clerk a chance to get to know her, just like the other kids never give august a chance.


I really enjoyed the creative way the author used the cats to teach the community that even though they may not like each other at first, by being in a dangerous situation together allows for people to work together and can come closer. This book is a great story for all ages and has a powerful message.  My only critique is the illustration. The abstract style is very nice, but i feet abstract images take away a lot of emotion away in art. Using realistic drawing would have allowed the author to show stronger emotion in the faces of the town people.

Lesson Plan Teaching Tolerance 


  • Students will experience discrimination and develop a sense of fairness and equity.
  • Students will apply literature to real life experiences.
  • Students will become empowered to take responsibility for their environment.


Take students out in the hall and mark off an area about 40 feet long with sections ranging from 1 to 10.

Encourage students not to talk during this exercise, but to keep their eyes open. Then say, “I’m going to name some concepts, items or titles. I want you to move to an area based on how you rate each one. For instance, if you like something a great deal, move to the 7 or 8 area. If you love it, move to 10. If you really hate it, move to the 1 or 2 area.” Then read the following list:

  • ice cream
  • broccoli
  • professional athletes
  • jazz
  • opera
  • rock ‘n’ roll
  • rap/hip hop
  • action movies

After each concept or item, allow students time to move and look at where their peers moved. With each new topic, expect a lot of movement, a lot of looking around, some laughter and a few remarks

Discussion Question

  1. Has anyone every judge someone by their appearance? who? how was he or she not what you though?


One thought on “Smoky Night

  1. Andy says:

    Great job on this blog. The connection you made between the two books is an excellent approach for students to make connections from the books they will read in the classroom. Can you make a connection with your life experiences and the books? Nice job on providing ideas to use with the book.


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