Walking around New York City was what Mitty Blake did best. He loved the city, and even after 9/11, he always felt safe. Mitty was a carefree guyhe didn't worry about terrorists or blackouts or grades or anything, which is why he was late getting started on his Advanced Bio report. Mitty does feel a little pressure to hand something inif he doesn't, he'll be switched out of Advanced Bio, which would be unfortunate since Olivia's in Advanced Bio. So he considers it good luck when he finds some old medical books in his family's weekend house that focus on something he could write about. But when he discovers an old envelope with two scabs in one of the books, the report is no longer about the gradeit's about life and death. His own. This edge-of-your-seat thriller will leave you breathless. From the Hardcover edition.
The curriculet is being added to your library
Following the terrorist event of 9/11, there was an outbreak of anthrax deaths. Analyze this timeline of the events by clicking on the following link. Why is it strange that Ottilie Lundgren was one of the victims? (This annotation contains a link)
What does the information we've read so far reveal about Mitty's character?
How does this paragraph alter the way we see Mitty?
Often authors use imagery to help set the mood of the story. Imagery involves including specific details that help us picture the scene. What details in this section does the author use to create a mood of mystery in the story?
How does Mitty's mother's career help him with his school assignment?
Authorial Intrusion is an interesting literary device where the author writing the story steps away from the text and speaks out to the reader. This technique is often used to reveal some crucial elements of the story to the reader even though the protagonist, or main character, might remain mystified within the story for the time being. What are you predicting will happen to Mitty after reading this authorial intrusion?
Without changing the meaning of this sentence, which word could best be substituted for "schlepped"?
How does having a substitute help Mitty's academic situation?
Mitty is researching a disease related to smallpox called monkeypox. Watch this short video by the Centers for Disease Control to find out how monkeypox arrived in the United States. (This annotation contains a video)
On September 11, 2001 two planes ran into each of the Twin Towers (the World Trade Center) in New York City. This is what Olivia's mom might have seen out her window that day. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Mitty remembering the sneeze he had in his mother's book room, while watching his teacher's video, bring about suspense?
This is what the doctors who wrote about smallpox had seen. (This annotation contains an image)
Foreshadowing is a strategy an author uses to provide the reader with hints of something that is going to happen. The last few pages of this chapter contain several foreshadowing clues. Choose one of them and use it to describe what you think is going to happen.
In addition to telling a fictional story, it seems with this sentence, the author is giving the reader advice on how to conduct proper research on a topic. Is there an assignment you've been given recently in which these research tips might come in handy?
From this interaction we can infer that
How does Mitty finding Olivia's nickname written in the beginner virus book affect the scene?
In this final paragraph, the author is using a strategy called dramatic irony. Watch this short video to learn about what dramatic irony is. Think about what secret Mitty does not know but the author has told us. (This annotation contains a video)
Here is a picture of a gentleman who survived small pox and the scars it left behind. (This annotation contains an image)
What can we infer from Mitty's reaction to envisioning people on the street catching smallpox?
Watch this short video about the facilities that now house the last vials of the smallpox virus that Mitty is reading about. What do you think should be done with them? (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Mr. Lynch suspicious as Mitty gives him his paper?
The author is using a strategy here called a flashback. Watch this short video to learn more about it. Then think about how this particular flashback creates suspense in the story. (This annotation contains a video)
What do Mitty's sarcastic questions do to advance the plot of the story?
Look back at the information Mitty was reading about the stockpile of the vaccine "found" in Pennsylvania. Now read this article in Science magazine. What similarities and differences do you notice? (This annotation contains a link)
What three symptoms has Mitty experienced that lets us know this sentence he shouts may not be true?
Here is a picture of Roosevelt Island. You can see how small it is and how it is just off of Manhattan. (This annotation contains an image)
How do the details the author includes about the setting, set the mood in this part?
Here is a picture of the ruins of the smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island. (This annotation contains an image)
Let's Review Chapters 1-6
This is a great example of a simile. A simile is a comparison of two different things using "like" or "as". Here Mitty is comparing his facts and fears slamming into him like tennis balls.
How does Derek and Olivia's disagreement provide the reader with possibly useful information?
This is a picture of the lines of people that pass through Penn Station in New York every day. Can you imagine bioterrorism occurring here? (This annotation contains an image)
What is the reason for Mitty's strange celebration in the library?
What do you think about the author ending each chapter by reminding us how many days it's been since Mitty was exposed to the smallpox scabs? Does it create suspense and make you want to quickly turn the page?
How does this information relate to the author's last sentence of the previous chapter?
"Cold air leaped in..." is a great example of an author using personification to create a powerful image. Watch this short video to learn more about personification. (This annotation contains a video)
What do you think about Mitty's decision to let several agencies know he has smallpox scab samples? Did he make the correct decision? Why or why not?
A "lesion" is an infected or diseased part of the skin. Smallpox lesions look like this: (This annotation contains an image)
What decision does Mitty make after having the email conversation with the collector?
A SEM is a scanning electron microscope. Here is a picture of one below. Is it bigger or smaller than the microscopes you've seen in school? (This annotation contains an image)
From Mitty's point of view, which email is the most believable?
Watch this footage of Bill Buckner making the game-changing error in the 1986 World Series. Then think about Mitty comparing himself to Mr. Buckner. Whose error do you think will be more serious? (This annotation contains a video)
Mitty is definitely struggling with internal conflict. He is not sure what to do. Watch this short video about conflict. Think about a time when you've struggled to make an important decision. (This annotation contains a video)
How has Mitty's internal conflict changed the course of the story events?
This highlighted sentence is a good example of
What a powerful letter to his parents! Do you think Mitty is making the right decision? What would you do if you were Mitty right now?
How does Mitty's opinion about suicide affect the internal conflict he is having?
What does this paragraph reveal about Olivia's character?
After reading the carefree paragraph where Olivia is petting all the dogs, this paragraph abruptly shifts the mood. What kind of mood do phrases like "leafless trees" and "stone tower" create?
Although Derek thinks Mitty and Olivia are off spending the day together, we, as readers, know that is probably not the case. What detail do we know, that Derek does not?
"FBI" stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation. The purpose of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, and to enforce criminal laws. Can you imagine if the FBI came looking for your best friend?
Why is Derek's opinion about Olivia changing?
"Infinitesimally" means too small to even calculate. How would Mitty feel if he was in the room at this moment?
Before continuing with the story, read this short article to learn more about Mad Cow Disease. Think about why Olivia would have used it as an example. (This annotation contains a link)
Let's Review Chapters 7-12
These two sentences are a good indication that the author is getting ready to include a
Although MItty says the car was too covered with salty snow debris to see the color, this is a picture of a Lincoln Town Car. What does it make you think about? (This annotation contains an image)
According to Mitty, why does he decide to go back to the woman dressed in brown?
A famous writer named Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Trust instinct to the end, even though you can give no reason.” How did Mitty giving up on his first instinct to run and flee fail him?
"...tried to turn the knob about a hundred times..." is a good example of hyperbole. Hyperbole is when an author uses exaggeration to make a strong point. Obviously, Mitty didn't really turn the knob that many times, but he did try it more than once or twice.
The details of this setting, and the author including this blunt sentence creates a mood of
Wall Street is the home of the New York Stock Exchange where many business people work in the financial market. (This annotation contains an image)
What evidence most strongly supports the inference that Mitty will NOT attack the people who have kidnapped him?
New York City is composed of five boroughs. Take a few minutes to explore this website to learn more about them. In which borough do you think they will find Mitty? (This annotation contains a link)
How is Olivia's reaction to Mitty's disappearance different than Derek's?
The highlighted section is a great example of
An analogy is a comparison between two things that are not alike. Authors use analogies to help explain or clarify ideas for the reader. In this case Mitty is comparing his earlier life to the calmness of a pond, however his life now seems more like murky dangerous water. This analogy helps us understand Mitty's circumstances more clearly.
Which quote from the text helps us infer that Mitty's plan for the future is changing?
Mitty is referring to one of the planes that was highjacked on 9/11. Watch this short video of an interview with a 911 operator to learn more about the courage of the passengers on that flight. (This annotation contains a video)
What can we infer at this point in the story?
The red pole in this picture is a lolly column. Most basements have them to hold up the rafters and floor for the first level of the house. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the reader find out at the climax of the story?
"Orthodonture" refers to having braces. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Mitty's decision to push his t-shirt into the furnace flue (vent) change the course of the story plot?
This scene of the couple in the park is a stark contrast to the mood of the story at this point. Why do you think the author included this paragraph?
What can we infer about the announcement the authorities made concerning the deaths of the illegal aliens?
Which details about the events of the last few days do you think Mitty did not want to share with his parents, especially his mom?
Let's Review Chapters 13-19