BY 2035 THE RICH have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, and kidnapping has become a major growth industry in the United States. The children of privilege live in secure, gated communities and are escorted to and from school by armed guards. But the security around Charity Meyers has broken down. On New Year's morning, she wakes and finds herself alone, strapped to a stretcher, in an ambulance that's not moving. She is amazingly calm - kids in her neighborhood have been well trained in kidnapping protocol. If this were a normal kidnapping, Charity would be fine. But as the hours of her imprisonment tick by, Charity realizes there is nothing normal about what's going on here. No training could prepare her for what her kidnappers really want . . . and worse, for who they turn out to be.
The curriculet is being added to your library
Based on textual evidence, from which point of view is Taken told?
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, such as "euphemism," that you need to look up?
Note that this is the first indication we get of the identity of the narrator. Until this point, the first-person narrator has been fairly neutral about gender and age, but the author cleverly uses a term paper to give us more specific information about the narrator of the story.
The highlighted phrase contains an example of which literary device?
For more information about African child soldiers, see the following article about Ishmael Beah, who wrote about his experiences in his autobiography Long Way Gone. (This annotation contains a link)
“An Edwardian Christmas Celebration”
The narrator, Charity, makes it clear that the next section of the novel will be told through a flashback. See the following video for more information on flashbacks and how they are used by authors: (This annotation contains a video)
Night terrors are like nightmares, only far more dramatic. For more information on night terrors, see the following KidsHealth article: (This annotation contains a link)
Read again the author's description of a "one hundred percent employee." What would be the benefits and drawbacks of such a position? Use textual evidence for support.
Based on textual evidence, which of the following adjectives best describes the conditions in The Highlands? Use the Define feature to help you choose the best adjective:
It is interesting to note that, while the setting of the novel is the U.S., the servants are employed through the Royal Domestic Service, which would imply a connection with Great Britain. For a description of an authentic English tea, including links to recipes, see the website below: (This annotation contains a link)
This is an example of the type of Christmas card Mrs. Veck is having the class reproduce: (This annotation contains an image)
Based on the highlighted paragraph, which one of the following statements is a correct inference about the attitude of the students toward their education?
What does this exchange with Mickie show us about Sierra's character? How does the use of the simile add to Sierra's character sketch?
Charity's mother dying of skin cancer while married to a dermatologist would be considered situational irony. Watch the video below for more information on types of irony: (This annotation contains a video)
For more information on and an audio version of the Coventry Carol, see the link below: (This annotation contains a video)
Based on Patience's actions in this and the previous scene, which adjective best explains Patience's character?
Each detail that an author reveals about a character tells us something about that character. It's helpful when there are numerous characters in a novel to use a graphic organizer (such as the one below) to note these details as you read to help you understand each character better. (This annotation contains an image)
For another perspective on the Haitian Creole language, see the website below: (This annotation contains a link)
Why do you think the boy who has been watching Charity agrees to teach her Creole? Use textual evidence for support.
Note Charity's tone in this chapter. By the end of the chapter, she seems unsure whether or not her father will come to her aid. What evidence does Charity have which is causing her to doubt her father?
Rituals of Social Inversion
The author has already introduced a number of characters in the novel. See the following Slideshare to determine the types of characters which are being developed in the novel: (This annotation has embedded rich content)
Based on textual evidence, which of the following themes would be supported by Mr. Patterson's actions?
Note that each time Pauline speaks, it has been described with the verbs "snarled" or "sneered." Which of the following character descriptions best identifies Pauline?
For more information on Christmas traditions during the reign of Victoria and Albert, see the following link to the BBC: (This annotation contains a link)
An important part of the El Dia de los Reyes celebration on January 6th is the serving of Three King's Bread or Rosca de Reyes. For a step-by-step recipe you can try, see the link below: (This annotation contains a link)
One of the most ornate memorials to Albert is The Albert Memorial located in Kensington Garden across from the Royal Albert Hall. (This annotation contains an image)
Taken is a work of fiction, but the reader can imagine that the homes in Mangrove might have looked something like this: (This annotation contains an image)
Choose the correct conclusion to the following Categorical Syllogism: 1) All of the students from the Highlands section of the Amsterdam Academy were required to turn in permission slips to attend the field trip, 2) Charity is attending the field trip, 3) therefore
Note that Mickie is making assumptions about all of the members of the Mangrove community. These kinds of false assumptions about entire groups of people are called stereotypes. Note also the mayor's negative reaction to Mickie's assumption that no one would want to have to live in Mangrove, that only because of God's grace was she rescued from having to live in such a place.
Note the change in adverb in the highlighted section--initially the audience applauded "obediently"; now the audience is applauding "enthusiastically." How do you account for the change in response from the students who are the audience in this section?
Which of the following themes is supported by Charity's appeal to the boy in this exchange?
Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy. For more information on this birth defect and how it can be fixed, see the link below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: (This annotation contains a link)
Clearly, "clinic doctors" in the novel are similar in some respects to unlicensed physicians today. See the following ABC News story about problems with unlicensed physicians: (This annotation contains a link)
Which of the following literary terms is synonymous with the word inversion, because it also means that what happens is the opposite of what you'd expect to happen?
For another viewpoint on social inversion and its effects on America during the late 20th century, read the following article by Nobel laureate Prof. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Then answer the question that follows: (This annotation contains a link)
In his article, Professor Szent-Gyorgyi argues that we need to "bring the country back to the principles on which it was founded." He was writing of the Vietnam War and its effects. Since the 1970s, HAS America inverted itself and gone back to the principles on which it was founded? What are the principles of which the professor was speaking? Use specific historical examples as support for your answer.
Quiz - "Kidnapped" through "Rituals of Social Inversion"
The country of Haiti, in fact, got its name from Jean Jacques Dessalines.
Charity likes to think of Victoria as one of the family. Which of the following details from the dialogue between Victoria and Albert indicates that Victoria considers herself an employee and not a family member?
The reader will note that three times in this scene, Victoria indicates that Charity should be having a "great adventure" or engaging in "thrilling activities." It's clear from this exchange with Charity that Victoria imagines that people of Charity's social status spend their free time doing exciting things. The reality of the situation is that Charity would rather spend her time in realistic, meaningful interaction with Victoria than in artificially created "adventures."
If the picture below was based on the text, which details did the photographer get right? Which details were omitted from the scene? (This annotation contains an image)
Which one of the following conclusions can be inferred from the fact that Victoria "whispered" the translations of the words "stockings" and "Christmas stockings" to Charity?
Dessi accuses the author of the Ramiro Fortunato books of social engineering. Social engineering is defined as efforts to influence popular attitudes and social behaviors on a large scale. What is another way of saying what Dessi means?
The idea of health care and whether or not the government should get involved in providing health care has been a very controversial one in the United States since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Foods, Drinks, and Games
Use the Define feature to find out where the yuan is used as currency. What economic inference is the author making by having Mr. Patterson offer to purchase Charity's house in yuan?
If you'd like to try your hand at some authentic Edwardian era parlor games, see the link below: (This annotation contains a link)
See the link below to read all of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s credo, found on the wall at the Rockefeller Library, then answer the question that follows: (This annotation contains a link)
Of all of the lines from Rockefeller's credo, why do you think Charity's father decides to quote that particular line? What point do you think he was trying to make to his ex-wife?
The Lycée Français de New York is an actual school which holds the distinction of being one of the most renowned bilingual French schools in North America. The Lycée welcomes students from more than 50 nationalities, giving them an education based on academic excellence and personal growth.
Study the elements of each level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs below to answer the following question: (This annotation contains an image)
Dessi lists a number of 'commodities' or things which make one person hand over large amounts of currency to another. On which level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs does Dessi's list of commodities fall?
Read the highlighted passage. What literary device does the author use in this section to make a comparison with Charity's kidnapping scenario?
"Resistance is futile" is a phrase borrowed from the Star Trek world. It was used by the Borg, a fictional alien race whose intention was to conquer all other life forms and assimilate them into the Borg: (This annotation contains a video)
Based on Mr. Patterson's response in this passage, which adjective best describes his reaction to Mickie's Victorian parlor games?
If you're interested in Stevenson's poem, the Guardian article below contains both the poem and an analysis, along with a beautiful Turner oil painting as illustration: (This annotation contains a link)
Watch the video version of the scene Mickie read from A Christmas Carol to answer the next question: (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the additional information you gained from the video version of A Christmas Carol, what is ironic about Mickie's choice of this scene to include in her Christmas video special?
Dr. M. Reyes
Which of the following best reflects Charity's Christmas wish?
What Dessi is describing here is the practice of retainer sacrifice, or the long held the belief that Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs regularly buried alive their retainers and household when they died. It’s a long standing fallacy perpetuated by blockbuster films and pseudo Egyptologists that the Pharaoh took his wives, servants and officials with him to the Afterlife.
According to Biography.com, Jesus Christ founded Christianity, one of the world’s most influential religions. According to Christians, Jesus is considered the incarnation of God and his teachings an example for living a more spiritual life. Christians believe he died for the sins of all people and rose from the dead. (This annotation contains a link)
Dessi and Charity have very different ideas of what it is possible for individuals to achieve in the U.S. With which viewpoint do you most agree? What theme or lesson about life could you create from each character's viewpoint?
What does Charity's tone in this passage suggest about Charity's emotions at this point in her ordeal?
"C'est vrai" translates from French to English as "indeed."
Charity can take comfort in the fact that she is not the first child to receive hideous pajamas for Christmas. This scene is from the holiday classic A Christmas Story: (This annotation contains an image)
This is an example of medical biohazard suits worn by doctors and nurses when an infectious disease may be present. (This annotation contains an image)
This is an example of medical personnel wearing hospital scrubs, masks and caps. (This annotation contains an image)
What details should have tipped off Victoria, Albert and the Highlands guards that there was something suspicious about the two doctors who arrived to transport Charity to the hospital?
Saint Elmo’s Fire
Remember that you can use the Define feature any time you come across any unfamiliar vocabulary.
The revelation that Albert is the actual kidnapper would be an example of which literary device?
A chess website defines a feint as "a movement made in order to deceive an adversary; an attack aimed at one place or point merely as a distraction from the real place or point of attack."
In this instance, hortatory means cautionary or something given as a warning. If you were Charity, how would you respond to Albert giving himself this nickname?
Note that, previously, Charity had counted Albert and Monnonk as two different individuals involved in the kidnapping plot. Which of the following is a theme which is supported by this new information?
It's interesting to note the constant references to chess in this section of the novel. Albert previous used the chess references of a feint and the endgame to describe parts of the kidnapping plot. Now Dessi is suggesting playing a game of chess. Why might the author be using allusions to chess in this chapter?
Speaker's Corner was established in 1872 as a place where people could freely voice their opinions. (This annotation contains an image)
Dessi is speaking of the black male achievement gap, which is a real problem not in the near future, but today.
In the highlighted sentence, the author makes an observation about Charity's father by using which literary device?
St. Elmo's fire is similar to lightning, but not quite. (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz "Dessalines" through "Saint Elmo's Fire"
On this page, we hear from three characters (Charity, Dessi, and Dr. Reyes) immediately after the accident. Based on the tone of their dialogue, how would you describe each character's reaction to the accident? Compare and contrast the reactions of these three characters using textual evidence.
Which one of the five senses does the imagery on this page most appeal to?
Note that the author uses subtle details to remind us that we are in the future. Most of the appliances and fixtures in the kitchen are ones we have in our kitchens today--but what is a boiler/freezer?
By recalling the subject of the Justice Channel program that she and Dessi were watching, what is Charity inferring will happen to Albert, Dessi, and Dr. Reyes?
According to Cancer.org, our bodies have a network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes. This network is part of the body's immune system.
If Dessi nodded "fatalistically," it means that he believes everything that has happened was
In the U.S. today, 800,000 children go missing every year. Today with social media, pictures and information get sent out quickly when a child is missing.
Why is Charity so angry about Albert's comment regarding Hopewell? What is ironic about the idea that Hopewell should trust a kidnapper not to hurt him? Use textual evidence for support.
Charity is definitely experiencing different types of conflict in the novel. Watch the following video which explains the two major types of conflict: (This annotation contains a video)
In addition to dividing conflict into external and internal conflict, external conflict can be subdivided into three categories: Man vs. Man (one person against another person), Man vs. Nature (trying to survive a flood or storm, for example), and Man vs. Society (one character fighting against the government is an example). Internal conflict is sometimes described as Man vs. Himself.
What type of conflict is being depicted here which is adding to the tension of the scene?
Why does Victoria, a servant of Dr. and Mrs. Meyers, react with such emotion to Dr. Reyes' refusal to let her see Charity? Use textual evidence for support.
Note this change in Dessi's character. Think about the details the author has been using to hint that Dessi may not agree with the actions taken by Albert and Dr. Reyes. Why do you think Dessi decides to help Charity?
The fact that Dessi can ask Albert about trusting him after he just helped Charity escape would be an example of which type of literary device?
This line is taken from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, where Scrooge's nephew Fred is describing Christmas: "the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys." We've heard this line quoted before--do you remember who said it? (This annotation contains an image)
Quick--make a prediction! Who could Dr. Reyes be that would elicit this kind of response from Charity?
If you were Charity, what would you be thinking about the latest turn of events? Write a diary entry as Charity, trying to make sense of what you just learned. Use textual evidence for support.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
If Charity's anger is "surging like molten lava," which of the following words best describes this type of anger?
Note that the author uses yet another chess reference. In this analogy, Charity was a pawn in the kidnapping plot, but she's not the only one. Who else was in the "row of pawns" in this kidnapping scheme? Make a list of the other characters who played an unwitting role in this game.
Why was "Reyes" a fitting pseudonym for Dr. Meyers? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
The Three Kings are also known as the Wise Men or the Magi in Christian tradition. "Reyes" in Spanish translates into "king" in English. See the link below for more information on the Magi before you answer the next question: (This annotation contains a link)
Here Charity is using what is called deductive reasoning. The following video has more information on the differences between inductive and deductive reasoning. Watch the video before you answer the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is NOT used by Charity to support her deductive hypothesis that Albert was Dr. Lanyon?
What do you think Charity's decision will be--north or south? Use textual evidence to give three reasons for your prediction about Charity's choice.
El Día de los Reyes
"Nueve" in Spanish means "nine." Why do you think Dr. Meyers chose this as his new name for his new life? Also, Charity describes the use of her new name "Caridad" as hortatory. In this instance, hortatory means encouraging. For Charity, it is encouraging to be reminded that the new name her father chose for her is the Spanish translation of the name her mother gave her originally.
This may be what Mangrove looks like in front of the church for the celebration: (This annotation contains an image)
I Love Lucy was a 1950's sitcom about Lucy Ricardo (played by Lucille Ball) and her bandleader husband Ricky Ricardo, played by Lucille Ball's husband Desi Arnaz. (This annotation contains an image)
If you were a member of the audience who didn't know the real story, which theme would you say is best supported by the sequence of events as Dessi is reporting them here?
It's interesting to note the conversation here between Mickie and Dessi. What is the difference between their definitions of a "doctor"? Think about this information as you answer the next question.
What observation can we make about Mickie through this information? What other details from the novel can be used to support this observation?
While Charity's speech to Sierra, Maureen and Pauline is not appropriate, what she says to Victoria is "Do you want an orange?"
What is one detail that Charity does NOT learn from her discussion with Victoria?
Why does Charity ask Victoria this question? And why does Victoria think it is funny?
Note this last message Charity receives from Victoria. Throughout the course of the novel, Victoria has been encouraging Charity to go out and have grand adventures. In the end, she reminds her again--live life!
Quiz "Albert" through "El Dia de los Reyes"