This World We Live In

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It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.
  &nsbp;The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

Curriculet Details
78 Questions
86 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for middle school students contains interactive videos exploring them and elements of plot, as well as annotations describing allusion, conflict, and figurative language. Students will explore the themes of survival and love. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1

This book is written in a diary entry structure. How will this affect the reader's experience? 
According to the previous article, could an asteroid hit the moon and knock it closer to the Earth? Use evidence from the article to support your ideas. 
Use this article to answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a link)
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? 
What can the reader infer from this information? 
Mary Queen of Scots was sentenced to death by her cousin Queen Elizabeth. She was imprisoned for 18 years before her death. (This annotation contains an image)
Howell, PA is located in Cumberland County, which is in red on the map below.  (This annotation contains an image)
Use the define feature to determine the meaning of subsist. Which of the following words is the best synonym (word with the same meaning as) for subsist? 

Chapter 2

Based on what you know so far, you can infer that Matt is _______________. 
Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County and the Howell family is currently in Cumberland County.  (This annotation contains an image)
Survival of the fittest is a 19th century phrase that was popularized by Charles Darwin and his theory on natural selection. This phrase indicates that only organisms that adapt to their environment are able to survive.  
How does the phrase survival of the fittest apply to the Evan's situation? Use evidence from the text to support your ideas. 
Shad is a type of fish that is found in the Delaware River.  (This annotation contains an image)
Tone is the attitude that comes across in an author's writing. What is the tone created by this sentence? 
This sentence reveals that Miranda has a ____________ personality.  
This is container is 150 ounces. As you can see, this is a lot of detergent and a great find by Miranda.  (This annotation contains an image)
This demonstrates that Jon, Miranda's younger brother, is a _____________ person.  
This is an example of a hyperbole, or extreme exaggeration. Miranda is using hyperbole to emphasize how excited she would be if she was leaving for five days.  

Chapter 3

Watch this video on point of view in order to answer upcoming questions.  (This annotation contains a video)
What does this comment reveal about Mom? 
Miranda saying that Horton is "the blue and green and yellow in our lives" is an example of symbolism. Those colors represent the things that Miranda misses about her life before.  
Which point of view is this story written in? 
This is an example of allusion. An allusion is when the author makes a reference to another piece of work in order to make a point. In this case, Pfeffer references The Wizard of Oz to help explain how Miranda is feeling.  
Starvation, sickness, suicide is an example of which poetic literary device? 
Death does not discriminate; everyone, no matter how intelligent or how many friends they have, will die.  
Since this story is written in 1st person from Miranda's point of view, the reader experiences the story along with her. How does this affect the reader? 

Chapter 4

Miranda and her family have been living like this for a year! Do you think you could live on so little for so long? 
This sentence is an example of _________________.  
Do you think this is why Mom was so concerned with emptying the water from the basement?  
Here is another example of a hyperbole, or extreme exaggeration. What do you learn about Miranda's character from the fact that she uses hyperbole often? Use evidence from the text to support your ideas.  
If Mom does not survive this, do you think they can manage without her? 
Miranda mentions that Mom did not die a "meaningless death." How can a death be meaningful? 

Chapter 5

Of the three children, which has appeared to be the most responsible?  
This is an example of situational irony, or when the opposite of what you expect happens. Matt has been the responsible child, yet he surprises his mother with a wife that he has only known for a few days.  
Mom's response reveals that she is obviously not happy that Matt returned with Syl. Having Syl around means another person to feed and Mom is already sacrificing for her own children.  
In this sentence, the author uses (a) _______________ to describe Mom's current demeanor.  
What does Syl's response reveal about her as a character? Use evidence from the text to support your ideas.  
Mom's acceptance of Syl and Matt's marriage is another example of her sacrificing for her children. Do you think they appreciate her sacrifices? 

Chapter 6

Matt's response reveals that he is aware of his mom's sacrifice when it comes to food.  
This sentence is an example of a(n) _________________.  
Syl's comment makes her appear _________________. 
This is the first time you are given ages for the characters. At this point, Matt is around 19, Miranda is about 17, and Jon is around 14. Are these the ages you inferred for these characters? 
In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the moon. Her Greek equivalent is Artemis. In both Roman and Greek mythology, she is the twin sister of Apollo.  (This annotation contains an image)
From this sentence, the reader can infer that Miranda is a __________________ character.  
Even though Syl's earlier comment about her hair made her appear vain, the reader can now see that she is not.  
Explain what is happening here between Syl and Mom. Why is this important? Use evidence from the book to support your ideas.  
Remember this is a diary entry that Miranda writes at the end of the day. Therefore, she is summarizing this entry by telling the reader "It was an awful day." Now the reader has to read on to find out what made it awful.  
Which character(s) should be offended by Matt's comment?  
The four of them have lived in this small space for a year and now they have a fifth member. Arguments and apologies should be expected with any family living in such close quarters and under such rough circumstances.  
Chapters 1-6 
Miranda is haunted by the image of the mound of bodies. Do you think this will ever change? 

Chapter 7

In order to answer upcoming questions, watch this video on conflict.  (This annotation contains a video)
These sentences include an example of which type of conflict?  
Since Miranda has not been eating a lot, her body does not have a lot of protection during this fall. If she was healthier, this would have hurt a lot less.  
Syl's comment is most likely said in a _____________ tone.  
Remember the idea that Miranda would enjoy new faces because it becomes important later in the book.  
This represents an example of which type of conflict?  
Do you agree with Miranda? Do you think it would be worse to bring a baby into this changed world? 
Explain an example of man vs. nature conflict from this text. Use evidence from the text to support your ideas.   

Chapter 8

Mom is hugging her ex-husband's new wife. Though it may seem strange to the reader, Mom sees Lisa as family and is happy that she is okay. 
Think back to Miranda's previous thought, fresh faces sound appealing. Now that you have read more, you can see that was an example of _________________.  
Is Miranda wrong to think this way? Or is the way she must think in order to survive? 
Reread this exchange between Alex and Julie. What inference can you draw from this? 
Remember Syl explained to Miranda that she traveled with bands of people, but they often split up. Therefore, Syl is asking this question with a tone of amazement. 
Why do you think Mom accepted all of these people into the house? Use evidence from the text to support your ideas.  
Why would Mom consider someone else's baby as the most important person in the house?  
Alex's plans for Julie reveals  
Every now and then the author underlines a word to demonstrate that the character is stressing that word.  
How could Miranda consider herself lucky? Use evidence from the text to support your ideas. 

Chapter 9

Miranda obviously is not feeling better. What do you think is bothering her? 
Why is the word "not" underlined in this sentence? 
Cliches are overly used common phrases that are not meant to be taken literally. They are similar to idioms but have lost meaning or become boring due to overuse. 
Based on Matt's previous comments about Dad, the reader can infer this comment is made in a(n)____________ tone.  
Miranda is not a very confident person. She often sees the good in others, but not herself. What do you think contributes to this low confidence? 
Alex still has not explained what happened to his other sister. Why do you think that is? 
Alex just revealed himself to Miranda and therefore, to the reader as well. What did you learn about Alex? (Hint: You may have to read between the lines of what Alex said.) 
Why is Mr. Danworth willing to give up his food for a baby that he does not know? What do you think a baby symbolizes? 
These highlighted ideas are two ________________ that Miranda struggles with.  
Who is Bob?  
It seems like Miranda is jealous of Gabriel and the attention he is receiving.  

Chapter 10

Earlier you saw that Miranda was jealous of Gabriel and now she is jealous of Alex and Julie. Why do you think Miranda is prone to jealousy? 
Miranda's reference to Cinderella is an example of a(n) _______________.  
What was Miranda's plan to get back at Alex and how did it backfire? Use evidence from the text to support your ideas.  
Remember this stands for "last living boy in America."  
Could you bring yourself to eat dog food if it meant survival?  
This is an allusion to detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson.  What does this reference say about Miranda and Alex? 
What reason would the man have for staying instead of leaving in the van? 
What does this reveal about Alex?  
Alex previously talked about how important it was that people noticed him. Therefore, he probably knows that telling this to Miranda is important.  
Miranda calls Charlie Mr. Oh, What a Beautful Mornin' to point out the ___________________ of his worries.  
Do you believe that Miranda does not like Alex? 

Chapter 11

Which of the following words is an antonym (word with opposite meaning) for supplement? 
Can you think of any "unintentionally silly" things Miranda has done? 
What would make Miranda think Alex could ever hit his sister? 
Miranda referring to Alex as "the last living boy in America" is an example of hyperbole, or extreme exaggeration.  
Here is the painting Starry Night that Miranda and Julie are referring to.  (This annotation contains an image)
Read this article in order to answer the next question.  (This annotation contains a link)
According to the article you just read, what is surprising about Miranda believing in life on other planets? Use evidence from the article and the text to support your ideas.  

Chapter 12

Based on the way it is used in this sentence, the word super means 
So Miranda was correct in thinking there are "cities" with hospitals and schools and normal living arrangements for people with money.  
What can you infer from Miranda's glimmer of hope? 
Remember that Miranda referred to Horton as the "blue and green and yellow," which meant that he represented hope. His death would be a large blow to the hope of survival for the family.  
Alex leaving most likely reminds Miranda of when _______________ left her.  
Listen to the song Unintended by Muse and pay attention to the lyrics. You will use this song to answer the following question.  (This annotation contains a video)
Apply the lyrics of the song Unintended by Muse to the relationship between Alex and Miranda. Use evidence from the song and the text to support your ideas.  
Chapters 7-12 

Chapter 13

Use this quote to answer the following question.  (This annotation contains an image)
Apply the previous quote to the situation between Miranda and Alex. Use evidence from the text to support your ideas.  
Do you agree with Miranda's comparison of Alex and Syl? Are they any different? 
If Alex's kisses could talk, which of the following quotes would they say?  
This is the first time Alex admits that he has been staying because of Miranda. Do you think she will finally convince him not to leave? 
What is Alex admitting he would do?  
This sentence reveals that Dad is not going to forbid Alex to leave. What do you think Dad is going to say? 
Matt's comment is an example of which type of conflict? 
What is the tone of Matt's comment to Dad? 
Miranda points out that Mom treats Alex the same way as her son Matt.  

Chapter 14

Alex acts like he has no choice in the manner, but he is the one making the decision to take Julie. Why do you think he acts like the decision is out of his hands? 
Which of the following words best describes Miranda's feelings at this point? 
Why did it matter that Dad was turned around to talk to Julie?  
Why do you think Alex and Julie hide their feelings for each other?  
What would cause the person to ask "Who is it?" querulously? (Hint: Use the define feature to determine the meaning of querulously). 
It is June 27, so Easter was about two months ago.  
The highlighted example represents which literary device? 
This explains why Alex is so determined to follow through with his plan. His stubbornness is due to dedication to his faith.  
The reader can infer that Alex and Julie are whispering about 
Here is another example of Miranda's witty, sarcastic personality.  
Miranda is no longer denying her feelings for Alex. Do you think that is a good thing? 
Why is Horton's death so upsetting to Miranda? (Hint: think about symbolism.) Use evidence from the text to support your answer.  

Chapter 15

Use the previous article to defend or prosecute Syl for her decision to let Horton go outside. Use evidence from the article and the text to support your ideas.  
Use this article to answer the following question.  (This annotation contains a link)
Which character would agree with Alex's comment? 
MIranda was so caught up in her own feelings for Alex, that she was oblivious to the fact that Jon and Julie also had feelings for each other.  
Why is the location of safe towns such a guarded secret? 
Do you believe Miranda is lucky to have met Alex? Or would her life have been better if he had never shown up? 
Remember Miranda still blames Syl for letting Horton die alone in the woods. Whatever she wants from Syl must be quite important for her to forget that and talk to her.  
In this case, the Define feature does not provide an accurate definition for glaring. Which of the following definitions makes sense for the context in which glaring is used? 
This is an important comment by Miranda. Previously, she accused Syl of being a mooch, but here she tells her she is family.  
This was Syl's response to Miranda saying, "You have family now". What does her response reveal? 
What does the phrase "try to break me" mean in this context? 
This phrase means sometimes it is better not to know. Miranda thinks if she doesn't find out what she needs to know, she can keep Alex.  
Watch this video in order to review the literary term theme.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 16

Why doesn't Miranda have a choice? 
Do you believe Miranda is making the correct decision? Will she regret leaving her family behind? 
Based on what you know about Mom, predict her response to Miranda's news. Use evidence from the text to support your prediction.  
Why is this comment by Miranda important? 
Was your prediction about Mom's reaction correct? Or were you surprised by her reaction? 

Chapter 17

Before you begin the last three chapters of the book, watch this video in order to review the elements of plot. (This annotation contains a video)
Hail. Greenish tinted sky. Do you know what is about to happen? (This annotation contains an image)
This is an example of a(n) _____________ that Miranda needs to solve quickly.  
If Mom, Syl, Matt, or Dad die, Miranda will feel guilty that she chose to listen to Alex instead of warning her family.  
Why does the author most likely choose to use the word "daddy" here instead of "dad"? 
How is the envelope proof of her love? 
Miranda is lucky to be alive. Do you think that will change her future plans? 
The time between the lightening flashes and sound of thunder indicates that the thunderstorm is far away. However, they are still working in the rain, which makes this difficult task even harder.  
This is Mom's way of saying that  
Mom has not left the house in months and now she leaves as soon as she has the chance. Why do you think being there with Julie is difficult for Mom? 

Chapter 18

Miranda introduces this diary entry by foreshadowing something bad she did. Based on what you know about the situation, write a prediction about what Miranda did. Use evidence from the text to support your ideas.  
What would you want in Julie's position? To live paralyzed and suffering? Or to die quickly to end the suffering? 
What is the author foreshadowing with this comment? 
The reference to the princess and the pea is an example of a(n) ______________. 
Was your prediction correct? What do you think will happen if Alex returns? Will Miranda admit what she did? Would he forgive her? 
What is revealed by this conversation between Miranda and Syl?  

Chapter 19

The author uses a metaphorical situation to explain how Alex is feeling. Explain the meaning of this sentence.  
What would you do if you were Miranda? Would you tell Alex? 
What does Miranda mean when she says "...I'll have made sure he's free to seek solace in his Church?" 
Miranda wraps up her diaries with the lessons she has learned. These lessons learned represent _______________ of the book.  
Chapters 13-19