Wildfire Run

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The president's retreat, Camp David, is one of the safest places in the United States. So why can't the President's son, Luke, and his friends Theo and Callie stay there without Secret Service agents constantly hovering over them, watching their every move? And yet, when an earthquake sets off a raging wildfire, causing a chain reaction that wreaks havoc at Camp David, they are suddenly on their own.

Now Luke needs a plan:

  • To override the security systems
  • To save those who were supposed to save him
  • To get through an impassable gate
  • To escape Camp David

Debut author Dee Garretson delivers a heart-pounding tween thriller—an action-packed adventure with undeniable suspense.

Curriculet Details
76 Questions
88 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 5th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining literary devices, grammar and monitoring comprehension. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about figurative language and textual evidence. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of inference, characterization, and diction. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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In this first chapter, we learn about an earthquake that occurs at 5:41 in the morning on August 22. This earthquake sets off a series of events that begin the plot of the story. The next several chapters each tell of different accounts, with different people, in different locations that are affected by the earthquake in Missouri. 


Camp David, formally known as the Naval Support Facility Thurmont, is the President’s country residence. Located in Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland, Camp David has offered Presidents an opportunity for solitude and tranquility, as well as an ideal place to host foreign leaders. President Eisenhower renamed the institution in honor of his grandson David.  (This annotation contains an image)
This detail suggests that Theo _____________________. 


Check out the link to the National Park Service. This site tells about Camp Misty Mount as well as some of the other camps at Catoctin Mountain Park.  (This annotation contains a link)
What can you infer is the reason that Sam Trent and his family are at Camp Misty Mount? 
The leaves on the ground are compared to "fallen fireflies." This is an example of a simile. Similes compare two distinct objects using the words "like" or "as." Watch the video to learn more about similes.  (This annotation contains a video)


Based on this detail, what can you infer about what time of the year it is? 
Personification is a type of figurative language in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human characteristics. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. In this sentence, the hot grease is given the human characteristic of "jumping."  (This annotation contains a video)


Why is Luke so afraid of the sirens? 
Flashbacks are interruptions that writers use to insert past events in order to provide background or context to the current events of a narrative. By using flashbacks, writers allow their readers to gain insight into a character’s motivation and provide a background to a current conflict. Dream sequences and memories are methods used to present flashbacks. Luke's memory is an example of flashback. 
Why is Adam afraid to tell Isabelle that she needs some exercise? 
Secret Service agents are special agents who play a significant role in the life of the President and his family. Visit the site to learn more about Secret Service agents.  (This annotation contains a link)
Which of the following does Luke NOT want to do with Theo? 
This link describes the Bergruutfa beast.  (This annotation contains a link)


Although this is a fictional story, Camp David is a real place. The layout of the grounds and location of security cameras is not public knowledge. So, the places mentioned in the story are fictional. However, the historical information contained in the story is factual. 
What effect does the earthquake have on the pool? 


Pierce Brockett is Luke's dad, also known as the President of the United States. What does Luke notice about his father's face? What does he believe has caused his father to look more like a grandfather? 
Luke's father likes to use this phrase during times of crisis? What do you think it means? 
What role does the Secret Service play in Luke's life? 
The normal dress code for a Secret Service agent is a suit and tie. Many times, they also wear a patriotic lapel pin on their collar.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Luke want to stay at Camp David when his father returns to the White House? 
Make Connections: Have you ever had your "hopes sink?" What does that feel like? 


This fire started in the woods from Sam Trent's stick that he did not realize had caught fire. This was a careless mistake. Notice how one small mistake can cause big problems. How could this have been prevented? 
Which of the following is the simile in this sentence? 


The Hopi Indians, who live in the arid highlands of northern Arizona, have inhabited the same place for a millennium, far longer than any other people in North America. This image shows a young, Hopi girl who might look similar to Callie.  (This annotation contains an image)
Galena, also called lead glance, is the primary ore mineral of lead.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Callie's father suggest she wear sneakers to school? 


Animals have instincts that help them sense danger. Notice how the deer and bear react to the smell of smoke. 


Luke's memory is an example of __________________. 
When the sirens go off again, notice Luke's reaction. What does his reaction suggest about the kind of affect the sirens have on him? 
Quiz 1 


Third-person point of view is that of an outsider looking at the action. The writer may choose third-person omniscient, in which the thoughts of every character are open to the reader, or third-person limited, in which the reader enters only one character's mind. Watch the video and then answer the question below.  (This annotation contains a video)
From which point of view is this story written? 
What do you think causes Agent Erickson to sneeze? Could he be allergic to cats? 
What is Agent Erickson allergic to? 
Why do you think Callie gets excited about seeing a bear? 
What makes the Belgian Malinois a good dog for protecting the President of the United States? Use information from the annotation above. 
A Belgian Malinois is classified as a breed of their own. Their temperament is described as watchful, protective, alert, friendly, hard-working, confident, stubborn, and active. How does this type of temperament make this dog a good choice for protecting the President of the United States? Watch the video to learn more about the Belgian Malinois.  (This annotation contains a video)


Why do Luke and Theo need a laptop? 
Make Connections: Do you have a pet? If so, what kind? If you could have any pet in the world, what would you have? 
Which of the following is the simile in the sentence? 
Why do you think Luke has an extraordinary tree house? Could it have anything to do with him being the President's son? 
Theo thinks Luke's idea is ____________. 
How do you think Luke feels about his idea now? 


Helicopters used to carry the President and his agents look similar to this one. (This annotation contains an image)
What is meant by the expression "you have a good head on your shoulders?" 
"Make haste slowly" is a phrase that suggests activities should be performed with a proper balance of urgency and diligence. If tasks are overly rushed, mistakes are made and good long-term results are not achieved. This expression is known as an oxymoron. An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect. Haste means 'a speedy or quick action.' The opposite of that is "slowly." 
Why are there always three identical helicopters in the air when the President is being transported? Cite textual evidence to support your answer. 


Imagery is the use of figurative language to create visual representations of actions, objects and ideas in our mind in such a way that they appeal to our physical senses. Watch the video to learn more about why authors use imagery in writing.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which literary device is used in this sentence? 
Why does Callie think giving Luke the galena would mend their friendship? 
What does this detail suggest about how badly Callie wants to keep Tocho? 


Although this story is told from several different perspectives, Luke is the main character (the protagonist). Callie is the antagonist (the character in conflict with the protagonist). 
Which object are Luke and Theo using to test the robot? 
"Ping" is a sound word. Sounds words are known as onomatopoeia. Check out more examples of onomatopoeia below.  (This annotation contains an image)
A hyperbole is a deliberate exaggeration of actions and ideas for the sake of emphasis. Luke does not really "crack up." Watch the video to learn more about hyperbole.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which literary device is used in this sentence? 
Who is Luke worried about? 
Personification is a type of figurative language in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. In this sentence, Luke's words are given the human characteristic of tumbling. 


Why does Callie's voice sound small? 
The birds probably sense the danger of the fire and are trying to get out of the woods. 
Every year, wildfires in California cause millions of dollars in damage and sometimes cost people their life.  (This annotation contains an image)
How does Grant feel about Callie bringing the kitten and the camera to Camp David? 
Theo tries to make Callie feel ___________ by reassuring her that the fire will probably not even reach Camp David. 
Staccato means 'short and not sounding connected; sudden and brief.' This is the reason Luke could not tell what the agents were saying. 
What is Luke paranoid about? Why is he worried about terrorists? 
How is Hector different from most of the other soldiers? 


Why is Callie bleeding? 
Create mental pictures as you read. Can you visualize what Callie looks like as she is described in the text? 
Why is Theo acting strange? Is it possible that bumping his head could cause him to act different? Why or why not? 
How does Isabelle know that Grant is still alive? 
Why must everyone evacuate the area immediately? 
The chapter ends with a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger leaves us wondering what will happen next.  


Why will using a rope line NOT work? Cite textual evidence to support your answer. 
This detail about Luke reveals that he is a problem-solver. He wants to take action before anything else happens.  
The use of ____________ helps paint a picture of the fire in the reader's mind. 


The title of this chapter is ‘The Quagmire’. A quagmire can be defined as a difficult predicament. As you read, pay attention to how Luke and his friends get into a predicament and what it takes from each of them to get out of it. 
Why is it wise to listen to Colonel Donlin? 
Why might the Colonel laugh at what Luke said?  
Can you picture the colonel's jeep? What is meant by "it looked like it had survived many wars?" What kind of condition do you think it is in? 
The colonel says "The code today is four-nine-eight-three-two-eight." What does the word today suggest in this sentence?  
Remember a hyperbole is a deliberate exaggeration of actions and ideas for the sake of emphasis. The hyperbole is used to describe Theo's headache as being very bad. 
Why does Luke insist on getting Adam out of the guardhouse? 
Why does Callie run back to the gatehouse? 
Make Connections: Have you ever been frustrated with someone? 


What does Luke compare the layout of Camp David to? 
Do you think the microphone will last? 
Why does Callie ask this? Do you think she is being sarcastic? 
How does the author's use of third-person point of view affect the way you respond to the characters? 
Have you ever felt like Luke? Has there ever been a time when you were so focused on a rescue plan that you didn't think about being scared? 
How does Luke feel when there are no agents around him? 
Do you think Luke made a good decision? What would you have done if you were in his place? 
Quiz 2 


Chinook helicopter used for rescue missions. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is the simile in this sentence? 
Why can the kids NOT open the gate? 
Why do you think Theo wants to talk to his mom? 
"Hums" is an example of onomatopoeia. 
How does Luke know the fence is still on when he sees Callie? 
Use evidence from the text to explain a millimeter-wave system. 
Why do you think Theo continues to make drawing motions with his hands? 


What is the first step in the plan to get inside Camp David? 
Do you think it is fair for Luke to blame his father for this? Why or why not? 
The highlighted text is an example of _______________. 
What does this detail suggest about Luke? How have the events of the day changed him? Watch the video and then decide, is Luke a static or dynamic character?  (This annotation contains a video)
How does Callie's camera prove to be useful? 
A telescope is an instrument that allows you to see objects at long distances. Many people use telescopes to view the moon at night.  (This annotation contains an image)
Can you visualize the way Luke is putting the jeep doors together in an upside-down "V" formation.  
"Ow!" is an example of ______________. 
Why is Theo having trouble doing the math about the fire? Isn't he usually pretty good with math calculations? 


In your own words, describe how Luke, Theo, and Callie work together as a team to get inside Camp David? 
Do you think this is a good idea? 
Which literary device is used in this sentence? 
What do you predict will happen to Comet? 


Animals are not "taught" that fire is dangerous. They have something called instinct that lets them know what to do. 
What will happen to the small animals that live inside the fence? 
Copperhead  (This annotation contains an image)
How dangerous is a copperhead bite? 
What do you think Callie is going to try? 


What is needed to control the robot? 
Does Callie seem knowledgable about snakes? How does this information help them in this situation? 
What will happen if the controller breaks or one of the cables comes loose? 
A retinal-scan-access reader is a biometric security device. These devices are found in high security buildings. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is a retinal-scan-access-reader a good device to have in a top secret facility? 
Do you think Luke will try to get in the pit to get a drink out of the refrigerator? Why or why not? 
Do you remember why there is a pit under the pool? It used to be a bomb shelter before the new pool was built on top of it. 


Why do the kids think the door is NOT locked? 
"Earsplitting" suggests that the sound is extremely loud. 
What is the problem with gaining access into the computers? 
How does Luke feel at this point in the story? How would you feel if you were Luke? 
Why do the lights come back on? Does that mean there is a secondary power source? 


How does what Luke has been through cause him to make this his new motto? 
Theo seems to still be having problems. Do you think it is related to head trauma from the accident at the gatehouse?  
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Concussions are most common in athletes, especially football players. Read the information below to learn more about concussions.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why should they be able to get into the maintenance garage? 
Which of the following supply item does Luke NOT want in the truck? 
A superlative adjective is used to compare three or more objects, people, or places. Using the superlative form takes a comparison to the highest degree possible. Watch the mini-lesson on superlative adjectives.  (This annotation contains a video)
An example of a mechanic's creeper.  (This annotation contains an image)


Theo has many positive things to say about Callie. Why do you think he makes sure that Luke knows this. 
Why does Theo tell Luke not to talk? 
A battering ram is a device frequently used by law enforcement to get into buildings. Below is an image of a battering ram.  (This annotation contains an image)
What is the purpose for using the truck as a battering ram? 
Do you have a friend like Theo? If so, do you think there are times when a friend like Theo is helpful? 
"Crackling" and "hissing" are examples of _______________. 


Theme is defined as a main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work that may be stated directly or indirectly. It is important not to confuse a theme of a literary work with its subject. Subject is a topic which acts as a foundation for a literary work while a theme is an opinion expressed on the subject. Watch the video and then answer the question below.  (This annotation contains a video)
This is a story of survival and rescue. The kids in the story have to work together in order to survive. Think about how the need to survive causes the characters to grow and change. Write a theme statement for this story. 
Compare Luke's ability to knock a hole in the fence to Theo's ability. Which boy is stronger? How do you know? 
Try to visualize Luke trying to pull himself up the tree, branch by branch. 
How are Callie and Theo going to get the batteries across the fence? 
Do you think this is the best way to tie up the golf cart? Why or why not? 


Use the Define feature to read the definition of the word rivulet. Which of the following is a synonym (word with similar meaning) for rivulet? 
Why are the soles of Luke's sneakers melting?  
Why is this not a good time for Theo to faint? 
What does this detail reveal about Luke? 
How does Luke know they are moving away from the fire? 
Do you think Callie will drop Comet? What evidence from the text supports your answer? 
What is Theo's diagnosis? 
How does Luke sound when he is on the phone with his Dad? Why do you think he feels this way? 


The date is now August 29th. The earthquake happened on August 22nd. How much time has passed since the earthquake? 
Luke's numb feeling is compared to a cocoon. This comparison is made using a ________. 
How do you think Luke feels hearing his father say these words? Do you think he will feel better about what happened? 
Why do you think Luke decided not to say anything about Callie's outfit? How is this different from how he would have acted earlier in the story toward Callie? 
Do you think Luke, Theo, and Callie will enjoy the ice cream? Why or why not?  
Why is Callie going to school on a scholarship in seventh grade? 
How do you like your ice cream? Plain or loaded with toppings? 
Quiz 3 

About the Author

Visit www.deegarretson.com to learn more about the author. (This annotation contains a link)