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My second life began when I was kidnapped by two complete strangers . . .

That the kidnappers are actually Aunt Sandy and Uncle Max makes no difference to thirteen-year-old Domenica Santolina Doone, better known as Dinnie--she just doesn't want to go. Dinnie's accustomed to change, with her family constantly moving for "opportunity"--but when her aunt and uncle whisk her far away to an international school in Switzerland, she's not sure she's ready to face this "opportunity" alone.

All at once she finds herself in a foreign country, surrounded by kids from different cultures speaking all sorts of languages and sharing various beliefs. Home and her first life seem so far away.

But new friendships and the awesome beauty of Switzerland begin to unlock thoughts and dreams within her. Her joys and struggles make up a rich tapestry of experiences she can find nowhere else. Switzerland begins to be more than a temporary home--it becomes a part of Dinnnie herself, the self she never knew she could be.

Switzerland is the picturesque backdrop of Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech's new novel about a young girl discovering the beauty of nature, her place in the world, the value of friendship--and that life is full of wonderful "bloomabilites."

Curriculet Details
49 Questions
50 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring point of view and characters’ conflicts, as well as annotations describing figurative language and asking questions. Students will explore the themes of change and new experiences. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

Chapter 1

Sharon Creech is a Newberry award winning author. She grew up in Ohio and now lives in Maine. Here is a link to her website. Be sure to read how she got her inpiration for this novel, "Bloomability".  (This annotation contains a link)
Which quote from the novel lets you know Grandma Fiorelli is angry? 
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? 

Chapter 2

What new thing is Dinnie experiencing?  
This world map shows where Switzerland is located.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 3

Use the Define feature and read the definition for adaptable. Which of the following is a synonym for adaptable? 
Sharon Creech places Dinnie's dreams in italics, or slanted letters, to make them stand out to you. She includes them to give you more insight into Dinnie's thoughts and feelings. 
What is Aunt Sandy's opinion of their Swiss chalet? 
Dinnie realizes that in the future she will appreciate what she has. Right now, though, she is homesick. 

Chapter 4

Think about Guthrie's story about the prisoners. If you looked out the window, would you see dirt or sky? What do you think that says about you? 
When Sharon Creech leaves a space like she does below she is telling you there is a change of setting. It could be a time change, place change, or both. 

Chapter 5

Why are some of the words on this page in italics? 
When reading a novel, determining from which point of view the story is told is an important part of comprehension. This video reviews point of view.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 6

From which point of view is this novel told? 
Dinnie thinks Lila's name sounds nice. Lila thinks Dinnie's name is funny. With which girl would you rather be friends? Putting yourself in the story and thinking how you would react helps you understand the character's decisions. 
Why does the mountain bother Dinnie? 
Did you ever have a dream where you were falling? It is very disturbing to awaken from a dream like that. The linked article explains what some dreams mean.  (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter 7

Guthrie did not tell Dinnie his real name, or that he was a prince. Was he lying to her or is there a reason he does not say his correct name? 
Why does Dinnie misinterpret Lila's comment "Oh hi, stranger"? 

Chapter 8

Guthrie is being compared to an electric cloud of whirling energy. This means he is constanting moving and trying new things. When a person or object is compared using like or as it is called a simile. Look for more similes in this novel. 
Why does Sharon Creech repeat the word 'painful'? 

Chapter 9

Why does Dinnie have to learn Italian if she is not in Italy? 

Chapter 10

Readers compare and contrast people, events, or objects to help understand them better. This video discusses how to compare and contrast when reading.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Lila not want to do community service? 
Dinnie misses her family. How do you think Lila would react if Dinnie were to share her thoughts? Would Lila be understanding or would she dismiss Dinnie's emotions?  

Chapter 11

Why does Dinnie ask if anyone wants more potatoes? 
Why does Dinnie lie? Do you think she is afraid she will lose Lila as a friend if she tells the truth or do you think she is protecting her uncle and his position by lying? Good readers ask themselves questions as they read. Asking questions will help you to understand the story and characters better. 

Chapter 12

Why is Dinnie remembering Stella's advice? 
Dinnie thinks of herself as average. She mentions her teachers' comments, which in her eyes are average comments. Dinnie has eyes whose color no one can figure out. Her teachers said she was 'very observant.' These two traits do not seem to be for an average person. You as a reader can see this, but Dinnie has to realize this herself. 
What does Dinnie like about her Swiss school? 
The drug and alcohol policy seems harsh at first, but Dinnie realizes it gives all of the students a good reason to say no if tempted by their friends. 

Chapter 13

Val Verzasca is in Switzerland. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the picture of Val Verzasca compare with the despriction of the valley in the novel? Use details from the photograph and the passage in your answer. 

Chapter 14

Dinnie keeps the letter with her so that she feels close to her mom. Even if the lettering is washed away, she knows what her mom wrote. 
Which word below is an antonym for frets? 

Chapter 15

Have you ever heard of a grown-up playground like the one Dinnie and Guthrie are exploring? Do you think you would like to try it? 
Quiz for Section 1 

Chapter 16

How are Keisuke and Guthrie different? 
Dinnie's sign reads, "Where's Dinnie?" Do you think she means where is she located on the Earth? If this is the case, Uncle Max answers her question. Or does she mean where is the Dinnie she knows is hiding inside of her? If that is the question, then Dinnie will have to look inside herself to find the answer. 

Chapter 17

What does Dinnie realize about herself? 

Chapter 18

You can see here another difference between this boarding school and a traditional school in America. The entire school takes a two-week ski stay after Christmas break! Would you like it if your whole school took a two-week stay? 
What is Guthrie's thought on Lila leaving? 
Lila does not seem interested in Dinnie's line of questions. Do you think she is pretending to be bored, but secretly is happy that Dinnie is concerned? Or do you think she really does not care about leaving? 

Chapter 19

Which word is a synonym for effusive? 
Dinnie thought hard about who should get certain photographs. Her gift will show her family that she still thinks of them and remembers things about them. 
Why does Dinnie decide to keep the skis? 

Chapter 20

When reading a novel, themes begin to emerge. Themes are underlying messages the author wants to convey. This video explains theme.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 21

What theme is emerging in this novel? 
Does Dinnie want to wait for Lila because she is concerned for her friend or because she is afraid to try skiing? Read on to find out. 
How would Dinnie best describe Guthrie? 

Chapter 22

'Boarding with students' refers to living with them. Dinnie lives with her aunt and uncle back at school. The other students 'board,' or live with each other in the dorms. 
How is Aunt Sandy different from what Dinnie expects? 
"Boom! Boom-boom-boom!" is an example literary device known as onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is the formation of a word from the sound related to what it is named.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Lila not responding to Dinnie? 

Chapter 23

In Dinnie's dream, she is successful. As soon as she is going to be praised for her success, though, she wakes up. Do you think Dinnie has a hard time with compliments? Do you have a hard time with them as well? 

Chapter 24

Which of the following is an example of a disaster? 
Dinnie is having a flashback. A flashback is when a character recalls an event from the past. Usually the author includes flashbacks so you can learn more about the main character. What do you think the author wants you to know about Dinnie?  
What have you learned about Dinnie after reading about her time in Oklahoma?  
As Dinnie has more experiences and is learning to deal with them her bubble is getting thinner. She is not feeling the need to keep herself as protected from the world. Hopefully by the end of the story she will see she does not need the 'bubble' at all. 

Chapter 25

Why are Dinnie's family taking turns talking to her? 
Dinnie is struggling with a few conflicts. Conflicts are problems that a character has. There are several types of conflicts in literature. This video explains them.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 26

Why do Aunt Grace and Aunt Tillie always write about each other's cooking? 

Chapter 27

Aunt Sandy is surprised to hear where her parents were born. Her parents must not have spoken about Italy much. 
Why is Sharon Creech telling you about Dinnie's teachers? 
This is the first serious statement Guthrie has said. Death must have touched him closely. 

Chapter 28

What are the italic sentences indicating on this page? 
Dinnie's teacher gives the class many questions to think about and discuss. Do any of the questions spark an idea that you want to discuss? Ask your friends one of the questions and see what they are think. 

Chapter 29

What type of conflict is Dinnie dealing with on the mountain? 
Why does a tear run down Lila's face? Is it because of the fight or is she just trying to get attention again? 

Chapter 30

Why is Signora Palermo not mad at Guthrie? 
Quiz for Section 2 

Chapter 32

Why is Switzerland not listed in Dinnie's blue notebook? 
Dinnie keeps mentioning fishing because it is what she does with her dad. It is her connection to him and she does not want to forget it. 
Dinnie states "...the wall of my bubble was so thin, that the outside was coming in and the inside was going out." What conflict is she struggling with? 
Mt. San Salvatore is the moutain that Dinnie keeps looking at and thinking of her family. Here is a photograph of it. Do you think she will make it to the top of the mountain? (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 34

Here is a poem about skiing written by an eleven year old, Anne Cox.  (This annotation contains a link)
How does the poet's attitude towards skiing differ from Dinnie's attitude? Use details from the poem and the novel in your answer. 

Chapter 35

Why does Dinnie change her mind about getting off the ski lift? 
As you are reading, it is important to make connections to the text. Have you ever been skiing? Have you ever felt frightened of something? If you can relate to Dinnie's actions or feelings you are making a text-to-self connections. This video will explain the different types of connections readers make.  (This annotation contains a video)
This video will show you an avalanche and how difficult it would be for Lila and Guthrie to out ski it. At the end of the video you will see that the video skier has a piece of equipment with him called an airbag that saves his life. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 36

Imagine that a student in your class says that when he was at the beach over the summer, a swimmer went missing. The lifeguards had to search for the swimmer before it was too late. The beach incident reminds him of the rescuers looking for Lila and Guthrie in the snow. What type of connection is the student making to the events on these pages? 

Chapter 37

What is the biggest problem with getting buried by an avalanche? 
Keisuke is calling the avalanche 'stew-pod' because he cannot think of another word to describe it. He also frequently calls things 'stew-pod.' 

Chapter 39

How do Guthrie and Lila get rescued? 
Lila is recovering from a very serious accident and her father is not coming to see her. Does this surprise you? 
Why is Dinnie finally feeling free? 

Chapter 40

Many of the characters in this story have grown and changed. This video explains characters and their traits. (This annotation contains a video)
Lila's mother is acting just like Lila would in a similar situation. Lila and her mother share some of the same character traits: bossiness and rudeness.  
Which character trait is Lila displaying? 

Chapter 42

Dinnie compares the funicolare to a red lizard. What form of figurative language is this? 
Here is a picture of the funicular (English spelling of 'funicolare'). Woud you ever want to ride in it?  (This annotation contains an image)
Guthrie calls Dinnie interesting! She has wanted to be interesting the whole novel, but never realized she was all along. 

Chapter 43

Uncle Max and Aunt Sandy give Dinnie a choice. What decision do you think she will make? 
Dinnie is seeing different sides of her friends, even on this last day of school. They are all interesting people. 
What is Dinnie realizing as she hears Guthrie speak? 

Chapter 44

Did you make the same connection Dinnie makes? Her father looks for 'opportunities' each time the family moves. Guthrie sees all of his travels through a positive perspective. Uncle Max has remained upbeat through the whole school year, even when he was dealing with tough situations. All three males look at travel and adventure through similar viewpoints. 
Why has Aunt Sandy not shared Lila's story? 

Chapter 45

Do you agree with Dinnie that graduation sounds like the end and commencement sounds like the beginning? Dinnie is coming to an end and a beginning in her life as well. Her school life is ending, maybe just for the summer or maybe for good. Her new life with her parents will begin in the states. 
Why does Guthrie give Dinnie a book of drawings? 
Dinnie is feeling pitiful because she did not get on the train. She realizes, though, that it would have be drawing out the good-bye that the friends already had. Do you think she should have gone? 

Chapter 46

What is the most important event in this novel? Why is it most important? 
Quiz for Section 3