Chu Ju's House

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One girl too many . . .

When a girl is born to Chu Ju's family, it is quickly determined that the baby must be sent away. After all, the law states that a family may have only two children, and tradition dictates that every family should have a boy. To make room for one, this girl will have to go.

Fourteen-year-old Chu Ju knows she cannot allow this to happen to her sister. Understanding that one girl must leave, she sets out in the middle of the night, vowing not to return.

With luminescent detail, National Book Award-winning author Gloria Whelan transports readers to China, where law conspires with tradition, tearing a young woman from her family, sending her on a remarkable journey to find a home of her own.

Curriculet Details
28 Questions
30 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in sixth grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations that discuss characters' actions, metaphors, and difficult parts of the story. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos similes, personification, and Chinese customs relating to the novel. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of theme, summaries, and characters. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

Chapter One

Imagery is the author's use of vivid and descriptive language in a text. Notice how imagery is used here to describe the day. 
According to the text, who is Ye Ye? 
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? 
Why is the narrator upset on her walk home? 
Here is a clue that life in this village is different than where you live: notice how the doctor and dentist are practicing in "stalls" outside instead of in offices. 

Chapter Two

Which of the following best describes the tone of this section? 
Watch the short video below that explains similes. Do you notice any similes in the text? (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is the best summary of the highlighted section? 
Because of the law in China that families could have only two children if they lived in the country, Chu Ju's family is selling the baby girl so that they will be able to have another child, hopefully a boy. What do you think about this practice? 
Reread the highlighted paragraph. Which of the following does not describe Chu Ju? 

Chapter Three

Yuan is a form of currency, or money, in China. Below is a picture showing some of the yuan. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following lines from the text contains a simile? 
It seems sad that simply because she is a girl instead of a boy, Chu Ju has always felt unwanted, and that it takes a stranger to make her feel wanted for the first time in her life. 
Chu Ju tells the people on the boat that she had cleaned many fish before, even though she never really has. When Wu gives her fish to clean, Yi Yi tries to show her how to do it. What can we infer about Yi Yi? 
Although Chu Ju seems to be a quick learner and is earning her keep, Wu is concerned about someone finding out that they have a third child with them. Yi Yi continues to fight for Chu Ju to be able to stay. 
Below is the Chinese symbol for fish. (This annotation contains an image)
Chu Ju tells Yi Yi the truth about her family, and Yi Yi demands that Chu Ju be taken back to her family because she fears her mother will miss her. Do you think Chu Ju made the right decision? Why or why not? 

Chapter Four

In the text, the girl asks Chu Ju about her shoulder pole. Below is a picture of a shoulder pole similar to what the girls are talking about. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is not achieved by the author's use of the word "hissed" when describing the woman? 
Below is a short video that explains the life cycle of a silk worm. (This annotation contains a link)
What can you infer about the lives of many of the girls in China? 
No matter where she has gone, Chu Ju has found a sort of "family," but she still misses her true family and her home. Do you think she will return to her home eventually? 
What can the reader infer about Biting Dog? 
Chu Ju has helped make a difference in the lives of the girls in the orphanage. Do you think children in homes are treated poorly in other places, or do you think it was just this one? 
Quiz #1 

Chapter Five

Which of the following clues does not help support the inference that working in the rice paddies was hard work? 
After working in the standing water of the rice paddy, Chu Ju and the others had to remove the leeches that lived in the water. Leeches attach to humans and make a small slit in the skin with their mouths, and then drink the blood. (This annotation contains an image)
Chu Ju's pencil box has been mentioned in each of the three places she has stayed (the fishing boat, the silk worm farm, and now Han Na's home). Why is the pencil box important to the story? What does it represent? Use details from the novel to support your answer. 

Chapter Six

Below is a short video explaining personification. After watching the video, notice the personification highlighted in the text. (This annotation contains a video)
What can you infer about the life that Quan has found in the city? 
Like a simile, a metaphor compares two objects, only without the use of "like" or "as." Notice how the author compares the noodles to worms in the highlighted text. 
Based on things that Han Na says to Ling, what can you infer about her? 
Remember that Chu Ju's father would not allow her to have blue jeans, so when she buys them, it's a sign that she's becoming more independent from her family. 

Chapter Seven

Han Na could not be content until she had repaid the gift from the Zhangs, for she didn't want charity from anyone. Which of the following character traits best describe Han Na? 
The book mentioned in the text is an actual book. It is one of China's oldest stories, and it tells of a wealthy family and their struggles. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following does not seem to describe Chu Ju? 
There are many dangers that Chu Ju will face by going to Shanghai. She is brave to consider going alone. 
What does Han Na believe is the reason that Chu Ju wants to visit her parents? 

Chapter Eight

Chu Ju has likely learned an important lesson after sitting next to the greedy man. 
The highlighted sentence an example of 
China is ruled by Communism. Under this type of rule, people often do not have the freedoms that so many others enjoy, including freedom of speech. In countries ruled by Communism, people are often punished for speaking out against the government or its leaders. 
What inference can you make about Quan? 
Below is a picture of the Huangpu River at night. (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #2 

Chapter Nine

Once again, doing a good deed has caused Chu Ju misfortune. She has lost her home and Han Na's trust because she refuses to tell Quan's secret. 
Ling understands the situation and knows that Han Na must know the truth. Which of the following does not seem to be true of Ling? 
After everything that Chu Ju has been through trying to help Quan, she still defends his decisions. She is a very loyal friend. 
Why is Han Na so insistent that Chu Ju should visit her family? 

Chapter Ten

The video below shows how fish can be raised in the rice paddies, just like what Ling is trying to convnice Chu Ju to do with their fields. There is also a man with a water buffalo plowing the field in the beginning of the video. (This annotation contains a video)
Consider what Chu Ju was like in the beginning of the novel. How has her character changed as the novel has progressed? Use details from the story to support your answer. 
Chu Ju remembers what happened to the man in the city who was placed in a reeducation center for telling the truth. She fears for what will happen to Ling if he is caught by the police. 
Which of the following themes is not developed in this novel? 

Chapter Eleven

Think about what Ling is saying to Chu Ju. He is comparing the two of them to the herons. 
Why does Han Na want to leave her land to Chu Ju? 
As you read, notice some of the traditions that are carried out for Han Na's funeral. How do they compare to traditions followed in your family or community? 
Which of the following is not true about Quan? 

Chapter Twelve

Even though she is not sure how her family will treat her when she returns, she still wishes to respect her father by not wearing blue jeans. 
Think about how each of the family members react to seeing Chu Ju. Do their reactions surprise you? Defend your answer with examples from the text. 
It seems that Chu Ju's mother has gotten stronger and is now willing to stand up to Nai Nai. 
How have others' reactions to Chu Ju changed since the beginning of the novel? 
Quiz #3