The Fourth Stall

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Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. It's what he does—he and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boys' bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming.

Or at least it was, until one particular Monday. It starts with a third grader in need of protection. And before this ordeal is over, it's going to involve a legendary high school crime boss named Staples, an intramural gambling ring, a graffiti ninja, the nine most dangerous bullies in school, and the first Chicago Cubs World Series game in almost seventy years. And that's just the beginning. Mac and Vince soon realize that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is that there's no one left to solve yours.

Curriculet Details
55 Questions
68 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 5th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining irony, baseball facts, and flashback. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about point of view and tension. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of diction, character development, and foreshadowing. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1

Christian's nickname comes from a popular old TV show. Secret agent Angus MacGyver is resourceful and solves complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
Which literary technique does the author use to tell the story about Principal Dickerson? 
This book is an homage to the books of Mario Puzo, who wrote The Godfather series. The series followed a 1940s New York Mafia family and their struggle to protect their empire from rival families. You can see even the cover of this book mimics Puzo's.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
How would you describe Mac? Use details from the text to support your response. 
This highlighted text is an example of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is when the author hints or gives clues about what is going to happen in the story. Watch this video to learn more about foreshadowing.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 2

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why are Vince and Mac saving money? 
The phrase "having a coronary" means the same thing as "having a heart attack." It is a figurative term to describe someone who is really upset. 
The protagonist is the hero of a story. Here is a short video about this literary term. Can you identify the protagonist of this story?  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Which character traits best describe Fred? 

Chapter 3

Giraffes are herbivores, meaning they eat plants and leaves. Their primary food source are acacia leaves, which they find at heights most other herbivores cannot reach.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Who is the protagonist of this story? 
Vince and Mac are in the middle of a conflict. Conflict is a problem in the story that triggers action.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
Which literary technique is used in the highlighted text? 

Chapter 4

"Harboring a fugitive" refers to the crime of knowingly hiding a wanted criminal from the authorities. This is not what Mac is doing by helping Fred. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What would you do if you had been threatened like Mac was for helping someone? 
The highlighted text is an example of a metaphor. A metaphor is used to make a comparison between two things. To learn more about metaphors (and similes) watch the video clip below. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 5

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Who threatened Mac earlier this morning and why? 
The highlighted text is an example of verbal irony. Verbal irony is when the author uses sarcasm to imply a meaning that is opposite of what is stated in the text. (This annotation contains an image)
This is another type of figurative language. The phrase " his eyes grew to the size of hubcaps" is an example of a hyperbole. Hyperbole is when the author uses great exaggeration to make a point. To learn more about this type of figurative language, watch the video clip below. (This annotation contains a video)
Wrigley Field is a baseball stadium located in Chicago, Illinois. It is the home of the Chicago Cubs. The retired numbers of important players from the past are flown on the flag poles.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
How would you describe Ears? Cite details from the text to support your response. 

Chapter 6

This is a moment where we see the theme of loyalty being discussed. PJ is talking about beating up whomever wasn't loyal to Staples. The theme of a story is the overall message that the author wants to convey to the reader. There are often more than one theme in a book.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Does Mac do the right thing by running away like this? How would you handle being chased by older students?  
People's skin turn colors when they have been hit because blood comes to the upper layers of blood vessels just under the skin as a defense mechanism. The blood carries clotting factors and white cells to start the healing process. Depending on how hard the hit is, some of the vessels can break so the redness lasts longer or turns into a bruise.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
This highlighted paragraph is an example of which literary element? 
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. The question "Is the Pope Catholic?" is an example of a rhetorical question. People sometimes ask rhetorical questions when they are being sarcastic or rude.  

Chapter 7

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Why do you think it's important that we learn about how Mac and Vince met? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
Is this section part of the present time of the story or is it part of the flashback? 
First, Mac and Vince bullied Kristoff. Then Mike and Kristoff started bullying them. Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively impose domination over others. It does not end well.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Who is Mike? 
Remember that hyperbole is a type of exaggeration that is often used in literature. Here is a short video about this literary device. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Vince's words in the highlighted text are an example of which literary device? 

Chapter 8

"Double or nothing" refers to the potential outcome in a betting situation where a winner risks what he has already won to double his potential winnings. However, if his loses, he loses everything. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
The highlighted text is an example of which literary technique? 
This entire next section is an example of characterization. This is an author's way of describing the people in the story.  
"Hacking" is when someone gains access to computer networks, other people's social media accounts, or secure websites without legal permission.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
Kitten's name is an example of which literary term? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Which of the following is a theme in The Fourth Stall?  
"Cronies" are a type of close personal friends. A "Bookie" or a bookmaker is a person that takes bets on sporting and other events at agreed upon odds. A "collector" is a person who comes to collect the debts owed from bets made that are not won. Most illegal gambling rings have bookies and collectors on their payroll.  (This annotation contains an image)
Archetypes are often used in stories. Here is a short video that explains this literary term (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 9

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Do Mac's employees have something in common?  
The ferret is the domesticated form of the European Polecat, a mammal belonging to the weasel family. They typically have brown, black, white, or mixed fur. Here is a video of two ferrets.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
From what you've read, what is Mac's strongest skill?  
The highlighted passage talks about how often people judge others by their outward appearance. Like Mac, do you think this is just something adults do? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Which literary element is reflected in the highlighted text? 

Chapter 10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
The highlighted text is an example of which literary device? 
RBI stands for "runs batted in." Runs batted in is a statistic used in baseball and softball to credit a batter when the outcome of his or her time at bat results in a run being scored.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Why does Mac say that Vince knows the finances best? 
The phrase "Make them an offer they can't refuse" is the most popular phrase from the movie version of The Godfather. Quoting the phrase from The Godfather in this book is called an allusion. An allusion is a reference to a well-known person, place, thing, event, film, or work of literature.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
The highlighted text is an example of which literary element? 
A roundhouse kick is a kick in which the attacker swings his or her leg around in a semicircular motion, striking with the front of the leg or foot.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz 1 

Chapter 11

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Why did Staples beat up Mac and Vince's muscle crew?  
The highlighted portion is another example of foreshadowing. The text is giving us clues about what is going to happen later in the story. 

Chapter 12

A master key operates a set of several locks. Usually, there is nothing special about the key itself, but rather the locks into which it will fit. These master-keyed locks operate with two, or more, different keys.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
The highlighted text means that the following scenes are an example of  ________. 
A ninja was a covert agent in feudal Japan. The functions of the ninja included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, assassination, and open combat in certain situations. The word "ninja" is often used now to describe anyone who is able to go undetected for quite some time.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
Which literary technique is used in this part of the story? 
Vince's grandmother is talking about a war strategy with this comment. Yakutsk is the capital city of the Sakha Republic, Russia, located about 450 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle. it is a major port on the Lena River and was the closest town to several forced labor camps during World War II.  (This annotation contains an image)
At this point, the flashback story is finished and we are back to the present time of the main plot.  

Chapter 13

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why is Mac so upset with Brady? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. 
Bribery is the act of giving money or gifts in the hopes that the gift alters the behavior of the recipient. (This annotation contains an image)
The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983. The ambitious initiative was widely criticized as being unrealistic, even unscientific. SDI was derided, largely in the mainstream media, as "Star Wars," after the popular 1977 film by George Lucas.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Do you think Mac is right about being close to ending the conflict now? Why or Why not? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
How would you respond to having a car chasing you like Mac did? 

Chapter 14

The Cabinet is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. Below is a picture of President Obama's Cabinet members.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why is Mac worried about the red sports car? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
The highlighted sentence describes a feeling Mac has had with Vince for a while. What is this feeling? 
In United States history, a carpetbagger was a Northerner (Yankee) who moved to the South after the U.S. Civil War, in order to profit from the instability that existed at this time. The term carpetbagger was a term of contempt referring to the carpet bags (a fashionable form of luggage at the time) which many of these newcomers carried. The term came to be associated with opportunism and exploitation by outsiders.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Which literary device is used in the highlighted text? 
Vince is describing the plot line of several novels in a funny way. Often, when there is a mystery in novels such as those written by Charles Dickens, the mysterious characters end up being someone connected to the main character.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Who do you think messed up Mac's house? How did they know it was his house? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. 

Chapter 15

The highlighted sentence is another example of developing the theme of loyalty. Mac doesn't want to let his customers down. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Which of the following is not a theme in this book? 

Chapter 16

A tutu is a skirt worn as a costume in a ballet performance, often with an attached bodice. It consists of a basque and the skirt itself might be a single layer hanging down, or multiple layers starched and jutting out.  (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted sentence and most of this section is another example of foreshadowing. What do you think is going to happen next based on this meeting? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Based on what you've read so far, who would you rather have as a boss, Staples or Mac? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. 
"Balancing the books" means closing up accounts at the end of a work day by bringing the totals of debts and credit sides into agreement. This is how you determine the amount of profit or loss.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Is there another explanation for why there is missing money? What is it? 

Chapter 17

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why did Mac and Vince call their money the "Tom Petty cash"? 
Seafood goes bad quickly when it's in the heat. Eating such food would make you sick. This is called food poisoning. Symptoms vary depending on the cause, and often include vomiting, fever, aches, and may include diarrhea.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 18

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
The highlighted passage is an example of which literary element? 
The highlighted text is another example of hyperbole. The idea that a car could fly because of its spoiler is a great exaggeration. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
The highlighted sentence has an example of which literary device? 
Tone and mood are important parts of a story. It is important to understand that tone and mood describe different aspects of a story. Here is a short video explaining these terms. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 19

This section is discussing another theme in the book. The consequences of lying or being honest shows up often in this story. What message is the author trying to convey? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Which of the following characters have been truthful throughout the book so far? 
Benedict Arnold was a general during the American Revolutionary War who originally fought for the American Continental Army but defected to the British Army. Because of the way he changed sides, his name quickly became a byword in the United States for treason or betrayal.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What does the word "ambush" mean in the context of the sentence it is used? 
Mac is the narrator and the protagonist of the book. That means he's the hero of the story. You can tell this because we hear the story with Mac's opinions and ideas.  

Chapter 20

The Uzi is a family of Israeli open-bolt, submachine guns. The Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design which allows the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter weapon. (This annotation contains an image)
This section discusses the lack of trust between Mac and his crew. Trust is another theme in the book. It is connected to the other themes of honesty and loyalty. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Based on what you've read, who do you think is the rat? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
How has Vince and Mac's relationship changed since the first section of the book? 
Writers use symbols to give meaning to things that are different from their literal meanings. Here is a short video about symbolism. (This annotation contains a video)
This highlighted section is another example of foreshadowing. The author is building suspense before he exposes the information Tyrell has gathered about the mole.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
How do you think Mac feels after watching this video? 
Quiz 2 

Chapter 21

Arson is the crime of intentionally setting fire to buildings, wilderness areas, vehicles, or other property with the intent to cause damage. An arsonist is the person who commits this crime.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What does the word "cred" mean in this highlighted instance? 
Here we see Mac confronting Vince about what Tyrell caught on tape earlier in the day. Mac's plan to spy on his crew was how he decided to respond to the challenge of finding the mole. These final chapters of the book will show if this plan was successful.  

Chapter 22

With this highlighted passage, we discover Mac's response to the challenge of losing his business. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What sort of favor do you think Mac will ask of Robert? Will it help? 
In baseball, the "squeeze play" (aka squeeze bunt) is a maneuver consisting of a sacrifice bunt with a runner on third base. A "Hail Mary" pass or Hail Mary route is a very long forward pass in American football, made in desperation with only a small chance of success, especially at or near the end of a half. Below is a video of famous "hail mary" passes.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 23

This highlighted section shows examples of both hyperbole and characterization. The exaggerated camouflaging of the house and Tyrell's suit show the reader more about Tyrell and his family.  
A collection agency is a business that pursues payments of debts owed by individuals or businesses. Most collection agencies operate as agents of creditors and collect debts for a fee or percentage of the total amount owed.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Do you agree with what Mac says in the highlighted passage? Why or why not? 
The word "rabid" has two meanings that make sense in this sentence. The first instance means an animal infected with rabies: the second instance means overzealous.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 24

Remember that we have already seen an example of foreshadowing (when authors give clues about what will happen later) at the beginning of this book. Here is another example of foreshadowing: Mac feels nervous, even though he doesn't know why. This is a clue that something bad might happen soon.  
Camouflage is the use of a combination of materials or colors for concealment. It works by making animals or objects hard to see or by disguising them as something else. Pink camouflage is rarely used as actual camouflage, but has become a popular fashion choice.  (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted text is an example of a summary. It also furthers the themes of loyalty and honesty. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
The highlighted text is an example of which literary technique? 

Chapter 25

The highlighted line is an example of a cliche. A cliche is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Do you agree with what Mac has said about the difference between Barry's business and his own? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. 
Mongooses look a bit like foxes, having long faces and bodies, small, rounded ears, short legs, and long tails. Their claws are used primarily for digging. Mongooses, much like goats, have narrow pupils.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Which character traits best describe Staples?  

Chapter 27

A flamethrower is a mechanical incendiary device designed to project a long, controllable stream of fire. They were first used during World War I, and widely used in World War II. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Why does Mac call what Kitten did crazy? 
The fact that only Vince and his friends know where the money is allows them to have power over Barry right now. If they told Barry where it was, they would lose that power. This is what Mac means by the word "leverage." 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
Which of the following is important to the way this book has been written? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
The phrase "like best friends who hold hands and sing pop songs together while prancing through the meadow" is an example of __________. 
Quid is British slang for £1 in English currency (one pound sterling).  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 28

Ronald Santo was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1960 to 1974, all but the last year with the Chicago Cubs. A nine-time National League (NL) All-Star, he led the league in walks four times, in on-base percentage twice and in triples once.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Do you think Vince and Mac should buy World Series tickets or do something else with the money? Why? 

Chapter 29

Prophecy is when messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others. An example is the prophecy about Harry Potter in the Harry Potter book series.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz 3