The Darkest Path
Reading Level: Ages 12-17
This literature guide was created as part of an 11th grade project at Castle Park High School in Indiana. The students chose the book to read, produced a video book talk (link below) and wrote the following questions and project ideas to stimulate thought and action about real issues.
- Have you ever wanted to run away? If you wanted to, why?
- Have you ever been in a situation where you had to act as caretaker for someone?
- Do you know of an instance where a figure of authority has been hateful toward you? Explain what happened.
- How far would you go to see your family in the midst of a civil war?
There are always arguments between brothers and sisters, whether for a simple reason or for tough decisions. Write about a time when you argued with your brother, sister, or anyone that is really close to you. Explain what you did and how you resolved the conflict.
- What happened after Callum left The Glorious Path?
- If Grey hadn’t died, what might the ending have been?
- Based from your reading, would you consider Quarles an antagonist or a protagonist? Support your answer with a quote.
- Even though Wade helps Callum by giving him food and shelter, why does he want to turn Cal to Path armies?
- If you were in Cal’s position, would you leave The Glorious Path? Why?
- How do Natalie and Callum help each other?
- How is Callum similar to his dog, Bear?
- What is Natalie’s motivation? Why does she want to help people of Wyoming?
- How does Nat react when Alec says he has a personal body guard to protect him? Support your answer with a quote from the book.
- How would the ending be if Callum actually made it to the plane?
- Describe Nathan Hill. What’s his big plan?
- Compare James from beginning of the story to James at the end. How has he gotten different?
- Why does Nat want to kill Nathan Hill? What do we learn about her parents?
- Why does Cal save Nathan Hill’s life even though he hates The Glorious Path?
- After finally arriving in New York, what is it that makes Cal and James so upset?
- The Glorious Path Army is similar to Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. Read about how the charity Invisible Children organized a social media movement to stop Joseph Kony in April 2012.
- Have you ever made friends at first sight, just like Nat and Callum?
- How is U.S. Civil War of 1860s similar to the civil war in the book The Darkest Path?
- Natalie helps her home town by getting a supply truck, even when the country is at war. Have you done something selfless that was helpful toward other people? Explain what you did.
- Do you have one close friend that you trust and count on? How far would you go with them even though your life is on the line?
- How bad would you feel for going so far nothing? Explain what you did.
- Grey saved Callum’s life by lying to the guards. Would you risk your life just like Grey did for someone else? Why or why not?
- Do you think Cal made the right decision by leaving the Glorious Path? Explain why or why not.
- If you were in Cal’s position, would you take the dog with you even though it is helpless?
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is similar to The Darkest Path because the both involve a young male character trying to survive by himself. Is The Darkest Path a survival story?
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Stand by Stephen King are both similar to the The Darkest Path because they are set in a post-apocalyptic world. What do we learn from reading this type of fiction?
- Do fundraising activities for abandoned and abused animals.
- Evaluate 5 choices made by characters in the book and how the story would change if each decision would have been different.
- Call the local animal shelter and ask what their needs are to help rescued animals.