One Year In Coal Harbor
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This author's note will give you a little background for the story.
What Happened to Quincehead
Polly Horvath is an award-wining novelist of books for children and young adults. She lives with her family in British Columbia, where this novel is set. One Year in Coal Harbor is the sequel to Everything on a Waffle. Both are humorous fictional novels about the life of a young girl. (This annotation contains an image)
This story is an example of what point of view?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up?
The video below shows a storm hitting a beach. Try to visualize the analogy Primrose uses comparing the storm to bed sheets. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Primrose feeling complicit?
Compare and contrast how Bert and Evie handle Quincehead's death.
At the end of each chapter in this book you will find a recipe that you can try to make on your own. Here is a picture of Salade Nicoise without the mini marshmallows (marshmallows are Evie's special touch). (This annotation contains an image)
What Happened at Dinner
A "B and B" is a Bed and Breakfast. A Bed and Breakfast is a small hotel, usually in a house, that offers people a room to rest and breakfast in the morning.
What is The Girl on the Red Swing?
The highlighted phrase is an example of an idiom that means to make someone feel less confident. An idiom is a popular phrase that's literal meaning is different from its figurative meaning. Another example of an idiom is "raining cats and dogs."
Why does mom want to help Uncle Jack and Miss Bowzer?
The story keeps mentioning that Primrose's parents were lost at sea and thought to be missing. This tale is told in the first book of this series, Everything on a Waffle. (This annotation contains an image)
Think about the comparison of Miss Honeycut to Primrose. What theme is emerging?
There are several themes in this novel. Watch this video to learn more about how to find a theme in a story and look for themes as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
Using the currency calculator you can see how the pound and the dollar compare. (This annotation contains a link)
Why is mother so concerned about what to feed Miss Bowzer?
While this story is fictious, Vancouver Island does exisit in Canada. There is also a Coal Harbor in Vancouver. (This annotation contains an image)
How would you describe Miss Bowser at dinner?
A dark horse refers to a person who succeeds even though they are a relative unknown. The phrase began as a horse racing term for a race horse that is not known to gamblers and thus is difficult to place betting odds on.
How do you think the dinner went? Use details from the chapter to support your answer.
What Happened to Miss Bowzer When She Was Young
Uncle Jack's reasoning does not seem sound. Primrose does not agree with it. There is probably more to the second restaurant idea than what Uncle Jack is alluding to.
What does Primrose mean when she says "...I can feel my thoughts expand until they feel full of viscosity themselves"?
Paris is known for their culinary schools. Miss Bowzer studying there tells you that she knows how to cook gourmet meals.
Why did Primose's plan not work?
Have you ever made a cootie catcher? If not, you can check out this video to learn how. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the difference between the parenting style of Primrose's mother and Eleanor's?
What did Primrose learn about Miss Bowzer in this chapter?
What Happened at The Girl on the Red Swing
Click the link below to learn more about foster care. Watch the two videos of foster children talking about what the system is like. (This annotation contains a link)
What is Primrose's initial impression of Ked? Cite evidence from the story to support your answer.
Use the Define feature and read the definition for sangfroid. Which of the following words is an synonym of sangfroid as it is used here?
This is a Fu Manchu mustache. (This annotation contains an image)
Who is the mystery man?
Think about the description given of the mystery man: he came in from the rain storm so he was dripping wet with a long mustache and slicked back hair. Can you see how he could be compared to an otter? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Miss Bowzer think the old fisherman tells people about what he "sees"?
People who believe in seers believe they can look into the future and tell others what will happen to them. Remember the seer's prediction for Primrose and read on to discover if he is correct.
Knowing what you do about Primrose, how do you think she would describe you if you were a character in the novel?
Section 1 Quiz
What Happened on Jackson Road
Based on Primrose's description, how can you infer the people of Coal Harbor view foster children?
Ked seems to be secretive about his past. Is this another theme emerging?
Which word below is an antonym for surreptitious?
Primrose tried to share her secret thinking spot with Eleanor and it did not work out. The fact that she is willing to share it with Ked shows that she is seeing him as a true friend.
Why is Primrose goading Uncle Jack about Dan Sneild?
Primrose has a great imagination! Below is a picture of a burlap bag. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is the author, Polly Horvath, having Primrose relate her experiences to Ked's?
An old-growth forest from Vancouver is pictured below. (This annotation contains an image)
How do the highlighted sentences contribute to the story?
What Didn’t Happen at Miss Lark’s
A form letter is a standardized letter usually sent to deal with matters that occur frequently.
Think about Primrose's Dad. Based on his conversations with Primose and his wife, what word would best describe him?
How difficult is it to replace old-growth forests?
To learn more about old-growth forests in Canada, click the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
Ked's experiences showcase the prejudice that he encounters as a foster child.
Several times on this page, Horvath uses italics, or slanted lettering, for words. Why is the author doing this?
From reading that the librarian had to help Evie (and she just learned that a website is also known as a site), you can tell Evie and Bert are not tech savvy.
Whenever Evie and Bert are together in this book, their conversations are written as a string of dialogue without using the characters' names. Why does Horvath use this writing technique?
The expression "bunch of irons in the fire" is another idiom. It means that Uncle Jack has many activities going on at once.
What plan could Uncle Jack have?
Tete-a-tete is a French word meaning private conversation. Uncle Jack probably chose a French word because Miss Bowzer (with the help of Primrose's hints) has been bringing him many French dishes lately.
What did Uncle Jack learn about Miss Bowzer?
What Happened at the Meeting
The mayor breaking "into a visible sweat" means that we can infer he is becoming extremely uncomfortable with how the meeting is progressing.
According to Primrose, who were the most vocal in town meetings?
The paragraph, while fitting in with the context of the meeting, is suggesting an event that will happen later in the story. This is called foreshadowing. Watch the video below to learn more about foreshadowing. (This annotation contains a video)
Why did Horvath include this conversation between the old lady and one of the Hacky Sack boys?
How does the song "We Shall Overcome" fit with the problems the town is facing? Cite evidence from the story and the song lyrics.
Listen to the song "We Shall Overccome," paying close attention to the lyrics. (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted phrase is an example of a simile. A simile is a figurative language device that compares two things using like or as.
Think about Primrose’s friendship with Ked. How are they alike and how are they different? Write a simile that describes their relationship.
What Happened at Uncle Jack’s Office
Primrose is comparing her friendship with Ked to her relationship with Eleanor.
How did Primrose come up with the title of her cookbook?
Do you think Eleanor really saw Ked steal the money or is Eleanor just jealous of Primrose and Ked's friendship?
Which sentence below uses inured in the same way it is used in the passage?
This statement about the scissors is referring to Eleanor's previous scissor episode with Primrose where she refused to use the pointy ones.
Do you think that this argument will do permanent damage to Primrose and Eleanor's friendship? Why or why not?
Why does Primrose lie to Ked?
Even though Miss Bowzer did not sign the petion, she is feeding the Hacky Sack kids. This shows that she does support them.
Why do the students dislike Miss Lark?
A "complete nervous breakdown" is another way of saying that Miss Connon has a psychiatric disorder brought on by stress. A person who has a nervous breakdown is typically depressed, has frequent crying episodes, and is so anxious that they cannot perform day-to-day duties.
Why did Horvac choose Ked to be the first to approach the dog?
If the dog were feral, it would be unwise to keep it. Feral animals are wild and not meant to be in a house for an extended period of time.
Section 2 Quiz
What Happened to Ked
Eleanor is in need of a new friend since she had her argument with Primrose. Maybe Miss Lark will be the perfect friend for her.
Why did Primrose’s Mom lose her job?
Primrose has decided to rename the Hacky Sack kids.
Why are the protesters clogging the road?
"On their record" refers to the prison record the townspeople now have. Anytime an adult is arrested it is marked on their record. Certain jobs are harder to get if you have been convicted of a crime and served prison time.
Why are the protesters speaking in a formal way?
A social worker is the person whose job it is to look out for children who are in foster care.
Why did Ked leave?
What Happened in the End
Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories, is shown on the map below. Coal Harbor is in the southern end of British Columbia. (This annotation contains an image)
Are Evie and Bert concerned for Ked?
Primrose is comparing Ruffian's vulnerability to Ked's.
Do you think Ruffian's death is Primrose's fault? Use examples from the story to support your answer.
Despite Primrose's serious issue and Miss Bowzer's concerns, it is humorous to visualize Uncle Jack sitting on the porch watching these two ladies yelling crazily.
How does Miss Bowzer know that Uncle Jack really wants to marry her and is not just saying it because she asked?
Uncle Jack has had a plan all along: he planned on marrying Miss Bowzer and he planned on buying the B and B. What do you think his new plan will be?
Why did Miss Honeycut's letter about Uncle Jack make everyone snicker?
Jack and his father were ice fishing. In order for the lake to be frozen enough to ice fish it has to be very cold. (This annotation contains an image)
How did Primrose handle Ked's disappearance?
Uncle Jack knew that Ked was taking the money, but he still defended him to Eleanor. This must be the justice that Uncle Jack was referring to.
Why does it take so long for Uncle Jack and Kate’s relationship to develop?
It seems that what the seer envisioned came true. Do you think he told Ked what would happen in his future?
Why is Primrose crying?
This is Evie's way of saying she is unsure what to make of the seer.
But Then Something Else Happened
Where has Ked been?
Ked's father has not seen him in over a year. The lack of greeting or acknowledgment towards Ked exemplifies his character.
Here is a picture of a cockapoo, Ked's new dog. (This annotation contains an image)
Why did Horvath include this paragraph in the last chapter of the book?
Section 3 Quiz