Study Guide

Autobiography of My Dead Brother Friendship

By Walter Dean Myers

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Jesse always thought he and Rise would be together forever. After all, they've been best friends almost since birth and Jesse never had a reason to think that would ever change… until recently. Rise has been acting really weird lately (secretly transforming into a criminal will do that to you), and Jesse increasingly notices that he doesn't enjoy hanging out with him. Autobiography of My Dead brother is about physical death—like, a lot of it—but it's also about the death of Jesse and Rise's friendship. At the same time, it's about the birth of a new friendship: the one that Jesse and C.J. share. Call it a thin silver lining in an otherwise dark book.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Do you think Rise is a good friend? Why or why not?
  2. All of the action in the novel takes place after Rise and Jesse start having problems. How does the author show us what their friendship was like before Rise started to change? Give examples. What effect does this have on your reading experience?
  3. What do you think would have happened if Jesse went to his parents with his concerns about Rise? Why?

Chew on This

At its core, Autobiography of My Dead Brother is about the importance of friendship.

At its core, Autobiography of My Dead Brother is about the limits of friendship.

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