The Ring of Rocamadour
Three friends find themselves on a spooky scavenger hunt, in this literary debut for those who love mystery, math, and a modest measure of mayhem.
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The setting of this story is the Upper East Side of Manhattan, an area of New York City. View the image below for an idea of what this setting looks like. (This annotation contains an image)
Who is the narrator, the one telling the story, of this book?
An allusion is a reference to a character or event in a widely known text, image or event that helps the reader to visualize or imagine more about the text. The reader must already know about the reference in order to understand what it means in the current story. Allusions are commonly made to the Bible, nursery rhymes, myths, famous fictional or historical characters or events, and Shakespeare. In this story, Margaret alludes to the main character in The Hunchback of Notre Dame who stays in the church because of his hideous appearance. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Margaret shout at the guard?
You will notice many references to religious objects and beliefs in this story. The words chalice, alter, Stations of the Cross, and Christ are all related to the Catholic church.
How does Margaret open the ancient lock?
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. Try it right now to look up the word catacombs.
Who is the "ghost" Sophie sees in the window of the church?
Use the Define function to look up the definitions for the words karma and fortuitous. Which sentence below uses correct synonyms to replace these words?
Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Andy Warhol are famous artists. View this painting by Picasso below. What do you think of it? (This annotation contains an image)
Genre refers to the categories of literature such as historical fiction, science fiction, and nonfiction. View the video below to learn about the characteristics of the mystery genre. (This annotation contains a video)
What do you learn about Sophie from this chapter?
Good readers use details in the story in order to fully understand the meaning. This is called making an inference. Watch the video below to learn more about making inferences. Use the details in the story to infer why Margaret smiles and shakes her head when she looks at the card. (This annotation contains a video)
Good readers ask questions as they read the text. Why do you think Ms. Harriman doesn't go look for the book in the school library herself?
Good readers think about information they already know and apply it to a new situation. This is called accessing prior knowledge. In this paragraph, Margaret uses prior knowledge about Latin and Greek words to speculate about the book mentioned in the card.
What can you infer about the reason Sophie is "overwhelmed with sadness"?
Charles Dickens lived in the early 1800s and had a hard childhood. His father went to prison because he owed a lot of money, causing Charles to go to work at the age of nine. When his father was released, he was able to go back to school and became a law clerk before publishing his first book. You probably know one of his most beloved stories, A Christmas Carol, about a stingy man who becomes generous and happy after his experience with three spirits. The girls make many references to his novel Great Expectations in this book. (This annotation contains an image)
Every story has some type of conflict, or struggle. What conflict has happened to make Rebecca think she will not be able to participate in the skit?
The name of the coffeehouse Perkatory is a pun. A pun is the humorous use of a word or phrase to emphasize different meanings; a play on words. Purgatory is the place souls go after a person dies to wait for entrance to heaven and the location of the coffeehouse below the street is where people hang out before they go to their next event. Also, perking is what happens to make coffee, so the name of the store is comical.
Which literary device is Mr. Eliot using in this description of the girl named Estella?
The girls are looking for clues to the meaning of the strange name on the card. Their first step is to find out more information about Caroline from old yearbooks at their school. What do you think their next step should be?
What can you infer about Mr. Eliot's character from this scene?
You can learn what a character is like through what they say, what they do, and what other characters say about them. How would you describe Margaret based on this scene? Learn more about character traits in the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Explain what Sophie means in the highlighted comment.
You can use clues from the text to figure out the meanings of what characters say or do. What can you figure out about Margaret by the way she opens the book? Learn more about text based evidence in the following video. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Sophie try to persuade Mr. Eliot to let them open the envelope?
You probably know rash means a red, itchy patch on the skin, but in this sentence rashness describes Sophie's character trait of being impulsive. Learn more about multiple meaning words in this video. (This annotation contains a video)
What text evidence shows that Dr. Malcolm Chance is not well liked?
What do you know about the girls that makes you believe they will be able to solve this puzzle?
The girls are solving these puzzles by looking at each part of the clues just like you should approach a math word problem. They focus on understanding the important words in the problem, plan how to solve it and then work their plan. Is that how you solve problems?
Rebecca feels _____ about sharing her sketch book.
Foreshadowing is a hint of something that will happen later in the story. The girls notice that Winifred is listening in on their conversation about the treasure and the note. Keep reading to see if the housekeeper has something to do with this mystery.
A good reader can summarize the main points of a story. View the following video to learn more about summarizing. How would you summarize the scene with Sophie and Raf? (This annotation contains a video)
Summarize how Margaret's relationship with her grandmother has changed since she arrived to visit. Remember to include those details that affect her emotions.
What emotion is Sophie feeling when Leigh Ann and Raf meet?
Blushing, a redness in the cheeks, occurs when you have a strong emotional reaction. What emotion do you think Raf is having at this moment?
The group begins to tackle the next puzzle by brainstorming possibilities of the meaning of the first clue. What do you think the clue means?
What does Sophie mean by the phrase "hit the proverbial nail on the head"?
Which word is NOT a synonym for the word mediocre? (Remember to use the Define function if you need help.)
Quiz Chapters 1-12
Sophie's statement that seeing the mysterious man is a bad sign is an example of foreshadowing. This is a clue that something bad will probably happen later with that man.
Sophie's comment is an allusion to Julius Caesar, when his best friend Brutus betrays him. She feels like all her friends have betrayed her by having crushes on Raf.
What causes Sophie to go to Margaret's house instead of the dance?
You can use context clues in the sentences around the word enraptured to figure out its meaning. Learn more about context clues in this video. (This annotation contains a video)
The words whir and click are examples of the literary device onomatopoeia. You can hear the actual sound the word makes when you say the word. An author uses onomatopoeia to make descriptions more interesting and expressive. (This annotation contains an image)
What do you think is going on with Sophie?
Raf is Sophie's first real crush on a boy and she is embarrassed to admit it because it is such a personal feeling.
Sophie makes an allusion to _________ in this paragraph.
What treasure are the girls looking for on this quest?
Dr. Chance tries to persuade the girls to join him in the quest for the ring by highlighting all of his knowledge about Christian artifacts. Sophie is not persuaded. Would you trust Dr. Chance?
Margaret is concerned about the church renovations for all of the following reasons EXCEPT
Personification is when human qualities are given to objects or animals. Look at this sentence: My flowers were begging for water. The flowers are begging for water like people would beg if they were thirsty. Writers use personification to make what they are describing easier to understand or more interesting. The sentence in this story describes teeth that were “crying out for a bleaching.” This gives you a clearer understanding of the description of Mr. Winterbottom’s yellow teeth.
In the Catholic church, saints are people who lived a holy life following the teachings of Christ. The image below is St. Francis, the saint of animals and the environment. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Margaret find the clue hidden in the sheep?
Margaret makes an allusion to the detective story of Sherlock Holmes. He used keen observation skills to solve mysteries and his assistant was Mr. Watson. Sophie is Dr. Watson to Margaret's Sherlock Holmes. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Raf make Sophie feel embarrassed at the Perkatory?
One strategy to solve mathematical problems is to draw a figure and label the known parts. You see in this figure the outline of the church and the location of the South and West rose windows. Do you ever draw out figures to solve problems?
In order to use the Pythagorean theorem to solve a problem, you must have a _____ triangle.
Margaret is teaching Raf about exponents in this conversation. Exponents indicate repeated multiplication. Squaring means the number is multiplied by itself two times. For example, three squared means 3 X 3. The 3 is multiplied by itself. Learn more about exponents in this video. (This annotation contains a video)
Margaret uses all of these steps to solve the math problem EXCEPT
Good problem solvers go back to the original problem to see if there are any more steps to do to get the final answer. The girls realize they still have to divide 612 by 102 (the distance between the windows) to solve the first part of the clue.
Explain why Sophie thinks Raf accompanying her on the subway to her house is weird.
Sophie's statement is an example of foreshadowing. It is a clue that something will happen to keep her from watching the movie with her mom.
What does Sophie mean by the highlighted statement?
Margaret is explaining how to plot points on the coordinate plane. Learn more about the coordinate plane in the following video. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Sophie feel as Margaret is explaining the coordinate plane?
Summarize how Margaret figures out that she needs to use the coordinate plane to solve this part of the clue.
Rebecca's comment that people think all Asians are good at math is a stereotype. A stereotype is a belief that all people with similar characteristics are the same. The Asians in North America are just a small population of Asians in the world. Many who have come to North America have families who believe working hard at school is important. Most people who work hard at math are good at it.
Margaret explains the coordinate plane so the group understands it easily. Maybe she should think about becoming a math teacher when she grows up!
When you solve systems of equations, you end up with all of these types of solutions EXCEPT
Margaret describes the figure of the coordinate plane as it would look using the church floor. Can you draw the figure with the parts of the church labeled on a coordinate plane?
Let's see if you can figure out a point on this line. The equation is x + 3y = 6If x = 6, the equation looks like this:6 + 3y = 6. What number has to be y in order to make the equation true? That number would be the y value. Which of the points below show the correct values for x and y to make the equation true? Remember the x value is written first.
What surprises Rebecca most about her visit to the gallery with Ms. Harriman?
Sophie broke a promise by telling the girls about Rebecca's mom losing her job. Do you think it was okay for her to break her promise?
A simile is a comparison of two things using the words like or as. In the highlighted sentence, Margaret compares their friendship to tattoos because both things are permanent.
Readers can tell from this scene that Leigh Ann
Catholics ask saints to pray for them or their needs. There are different saints for specific needs. St. Veronica is the saint of charity, or giving to others. View the image of St. Veronica below. (This annotation contains an image)
Explain how Margaret's grandmother embarrasses her when they are out in public.
This clue involves the subject of literature. The girls brainstorm character names and think about the structure of the words' double consonants and syllables. Do you have any idea what the solution could be?
Margaret feels _____ that her solution appears to be incorrect.
Which word is a synonym for tenacity?
Margaret is miffed because Mr. Eliot says this clue is not that hard, but she can't figure it out.
The Define function shows three definitions for the word redundant. In order to figure out the correct meaning, you must look at all the words in the sentence. In this sentence the second definition, repetitive or needlessly wordy , fits the sentence because an ox is already dumb so that word doesn't need to be repeated.
_____ takes over the skit by making it longer and acting as producer, costumer, actor, and make up artist.
What does Margaret say is the best therapy to make a person feel better?
This is the first time Sophie has had a crush on a boy and she doesn't know how to act. She hasn't communicated her feelings about Raf. What advice would you give to Sophie to improve the situation?
Quiz Chapters 13-24
Which sentence correctly uses the words there, your and its/it's?
The author uses words that show time to indicate the sequence of events. Learn more about sequence of events in this video. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Mr. Eliot grin slyly?
You can use context clues to figure out the meaning of the word intense. Margaret's forehead is creased with concentration and she is determined to find the clue, so the meaning of the word is very focused or serious.
Why doesn't Father Julian confront the girls about being in the church?
The Stations of the Cross are a series of paintings or sculptures that show the steps of Christ carrying the cross to the Crucifixion.
Margaret graphs the equation x + 3y =6 using coordinates that make the equation true. Can you find some points on the second line x – y = 2? Remember the values you choose for x and y must make the equation true.
After solving the last clue, the girls feel all of these emotions EXCEPT
Leigh Ann has all of these feelings about missing the meeting with the girls EXCEPT
Good readers focus on important ideas, ask questions as they read, and predict what will happen next. From the clues in the scene at Ms. Harriman's home, what do you predict is going on inside?
Which word is an antonym for abridged?
Ms. Harriman's relationship with Caroline was broken many years ago when she left with Malcolm. Do you think the ring will help repair their relationship?
This scene is full of suspense. Authors use suspense to keep you interested in what will happen next. Do you feel any anxiety to know if the girls will be caught in the church?
How do the girls feel when they run into Robert, the security guard?
The figurative language used in this sentence is a(n)
An idiom is an expression having a special meaning different from the usual meanings of the words. For example, “up a creek without a paddle” means a situation involving trouble without any help. In this sentence, the idiom means Father Danahey thinks it is possible they are tricking him.
Similes and metaphors are used when comparing two unlike things to explain content, express emotion, and make writing more clear. Similes use the words like or as to make the connection, but metaphors use is to compare the two things. The metaphor Mr. Winterbottom is “an ashtray with legs” is much more interesting and descriptive than just saying he smokes a lot.
Mr. Winterbottom's focus on Sophie's second finger gives a hint that
Since Margaret notices something odd about the men's shoes, you can infer she
Good readers often pause during reading to reflect on the accuracy of previous predictions and clear up any confusion about the story. Were you able to predict correctly that Winifred is involved in the mystery?
The fact that Mr. Winterbottom has Sophie's bag and wants to meet her alone adds to the ________ of the book.
Sophie realizes Mr. Winterbottom is partners with Winifred. Does this make you have doubts about Malcolm's involvement?
Mysteries have several standard characters. In this book, the sleuth is the group of Red Blazer Girls and the villain is Mr. Winterbottom. Do you think there will be any more villains?
Summarize Sophie and Margaret's dilemma.
Margaret feels ______ that Sophie is in trouble with Mr. Winterbottom because she told everyone about Sophie stealing the Saint Christopher medal.
In the Catholic church nuns are women who take a vow of strict obedience to God. The Catholic schools, like St. Veronica's in this story, are usually run by the nuns of the parish.
This sentence uses a _____ to compare the girls to church mice.
Sophie is feeling a lot of pressure about the dangerous situation with Mr. Winterbottom and she has not resolved her relationship with Leigh Ann and Raf, so she yells at Leigh Ann about the skit. Have you ever lashed out at someone because of pressures you were feeling?
Explain how Sophie misjudges the relationship between Leigh Ann and Raf.
Sophie has been judging Malcolm based on his appearance and what Ms. Harriman has said about him, but now thinks she may have been wrong about him. Have you ever judged someone and then found out you were mistaken?
Originating from Buddhism, zen is the term for feeling peaceful, relaxed, and gaining a clear understanding of things from meditation. In her reference to "young grasshoppers," Sophie is alluding to the television show Kung Fu where the old Zen master calls his student "young grasshopper."
All of the following statements are true EXCEPT
What does Sophie mean when she says, "Not a wasted syllable"?
The girls would make heart-felt wishes if they find the ring. What would you wish for? Remember it must be something possible and good!
All of the misunderstandings have been resolved with communication.
Predict why Mr. Winterbottom is still a concern.
Literary mood is way the reader feels as he is reading the scene. In this passage, the words creep, dim, cold, stone, shadows, and silently create a tense, serious mood.
Why do the girls need to step off the alter to spit?
The fact that the ring was not found under the first tile adds to the _______ of the book.
A pun is the humorous use of a word or phrase to emphasize different meanings; a play on words. A golden opportunity means that there is a high chance that something will be successful and rewarding. This plays off the word gold, as in the gold ring they just found.
What does the ring symbolize for Ms. Harriman?
In a plot, the climax is the most tense, on the edge of your seat, part of the story. In this story, the climax is the scene where the girls find the ring. The events that happen after the climax are part of the falling action. What are some of the events in the falling action?
Which word is an antonym for perpetually?
Authors work hard to choose just the right word to give the reader a clear understanding of exactly what they mean. In this sentence, the words pacing, pained, and icky give you a clear picture of Mr. Winterbottom as he is waiting. You would not have the same picture if the sentence read, "Mr. Winterbottom was walking back and forth waiting for me in the foyer of the church."
Which sentence shows how the author chooses specific words to give the reader a clear picture of Mr. Winterbottom's emotions?
The author uses a simile to compare Winifred's actions to a child's tantrum.
The word steamed is a slang term for angry. Which phrase is NOT another slang term for angry?
The main conflict in the story has been resolved. Before reading the next chapters, make some predictions about the outcome of the contest and the remaining relationship issues.
From the description of Margaret in this scene, you can infer that she is
Friendship is a theme, a big idea, of this book. Margaret took Sophie to get ice cream to help her feel better when she was upset and now Sophie helps Margaret. That is what friendship is all about, enjoying the good times and being there to help each other through the bad times.
Which definition of the word monologue is correct for this sentence?
Caroline feels pleasantly surprised and also shocked to receive a gift from her grandfather who died so long ago.
You can tell by Caroline's actions that she still loves her grandfather very much and she is grateful for the ring.
Which of Raf's actions does NOT show that he is not angry at Sophie?
Quiz Chapters 25-37