The Hound of Rowan
MAX MCDANIELS LIVES a quiet life in the suburbs of Chicago, until the day he stumbles upon a mysterious Celtic tapestry. Many strange people are interested in Max and his tapestry. His discovery leads him to Rowan Academy, a secret school where great things await him. But dark things are waiting, too. When Max learns that priceless artworks and gifted children are disappearing, he finds himself in the crossfire of an ancient struggle between good and evil. To survive, he'll have to rely on a network of agents and mystics, the genius of his roommate, and the frightening power awakening within him.
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Good readers make predictions before and during reading. What predictions can you make about what this story will be about based on the title of the chapter and the illustration above it?
What was so interesting about the man Max spotted on the train?
Paul Gauguin is a French Impressionist painter famous for his use of color in a time period where bright color was not popular. Below is an example of one of his paintings. (This annotation contains an image)
In the highlighed phrase "...silently seething..." indicates that Max is feeling
All of a sudden this story has taken an unexpected turn. Max must hide from the strange man on the train. This sounds like the start of some sort of mystery. Watch the video below to learn more about the element of mystery in a story. (This annotation contains a video)
Táin Bó Cúailnge is the title of an old story from Ireland involving an old war and an attempt to steal a bull. We will have to read on to find out how this fits into the story. (This annotation contains an image)
Summarize what happened to Max in the tapestry room and what you think it has to do with the mysterious letter he found in his pocket.
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?
How do you think Max is feeling at this moment?
This is very strange indeed! First, the tapestry comes to life and now, this older woman seems to have magical powers! Max has quite a bit to handle right now and his dad isn't even home to help him.
How is Nigel's behavior different from Mrs. Millen's?
Does this remind you of something? Remember the tapestry from the museum? Didn't the tapestry have something to do with Irish stories? Maybe one of the mysteries will be explained!
Based on everything that has happened so far, make a prediction about what this story could be about. Explain what you think will happen to Max. Be creative....a good reader will try to make images in his mind and then see how close his ideas come to the truth.
This is an example of personification. This is a literary device that helps to make writing come alive! Watch the video below to learn more about personification. (This annotation contains a video)
What is Max's last test for Nigel?
Clearly, there is a generational gap between Nigel and Max - not to mention that Nigel has some very British customs. For example, popovers are a traditional British breakfast. See below for a picture. (This annotation contains an image)
What happened to Max's mother?
This morning has been quite exciting for Max, and it is only 6:15 in the morning! First, he receives an invitation to attend Rowan Academy and move to New England and now, a pig is going to keep him company. Whew!
Summarize all the unusual things that have happened to Max since the beginning of the story. It might be quite a list!
Miss Awolowo is a very interesting character and very different from all the others that we have met so far. Please watch the video below to learn about characters. (This annotation contains a video)
What is Miss Awolowo trying to explain to Max?
Point of view is the perspective from which the story is told. Watch the video below and try and figure out which point of view is being used. (This annotation contains a video)
All of Nigel's precautions at the airport - the clones of Max and himself - help to create the mood of
There are so many unanswered questions in this story. What questions do you have about what is happening to Max?
Setting is a very important aspect of any novel. The author spends a bit of time describing the building itself. Please watch the video below to learn more about setting. How important do you think the setting will be to this story? (This annotation contains a video)
Below is a definition for "configuration." Read it and then make a prediction about what this event could be about.configuration: an arrangement of elements in a particular form, figure, or combination.
A retainer is an orthodontic appliance used to help straighten teeth. Have you ever had a retainer? Do you know anyone who has? Below is a picture of a dental retainer. (This annotation contains an image)
How does David and Max feel about their room?
Well, now we know what the "configuration" is. Wow! What an exciting event! Were you even close with your prediction? It sounds like the setting is going to VERY, VERY important to this story!
What point of view is the story being told from?
This might be what the large ship with three masts might have looked like bobbing in the water at Rowan Academy. (This annotation contains an image)
What do you think of Rowan Academy so far? Would you want to go to school here? Be sure to explain why or why not.
These characters are very interesting! Their different personalities and appearances will make it easy to keep track of. Which character, other than Max, is your favorite so far?
What kind of creature is Bob?
The highlighted sentence contains a literary device called a simile. Watch the video below on similes and then re-read the sentence to see if you figure out which phrase is the simile. (This annotation contains a video)
What do you think Bob means when he says "He's a good one, eh, Miss Awolowo?"
Can you picture what Max is describing? This is called imagery. When an author can create a vivid picture in your mind just with words, a story comes alive in the reader. Below is a picture of what Max might have seen. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Ms. Richter mean when she says each student should do their best to "kindle that spark within you"? Does she mean she wants the students to actually light a fire inside their bodies or does she mean something else?
This bathroom sounds like a fancy spa! This is another example of how the setting could be considered another character.
What does the phrase "spiff'em up" mean based on the paragraph?
So far, this story has been told chronologically. This means it is being told in order. There hasn't been any flashbacks or flash-forwards. We have been experiencing what Max has been experiencing and when he is experiencing it.
With this next ceremony in the Sanctuary, the theme of _____________ is being introduced.
These creatures are similar to the creatures in another fantasy novel - Harry Potter. Below is an image of a hippograph - half owl and half horse. (This annotation contains an image)
The Normandy fauns are speaking French. Kellen says that Max is not for him and Kyra says she prefers Connor.
What animal chose Max?
Why does Max not seem very happy with his charge of Nick, the lymrill? Give a reason to support your answer.
This scene and the highlighted sentence contains a literary device called foreshadowing. Watch the video below to learn more about why this is a very important thing to know in a story. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Max remember Miss Boon?
Most kids feel a little homesick when they are away from home - even in such a magical place such as Rowan Academy. Have you ever felt homesick before?
Based on what you know about the character of Jimmy so far, what present would you bring him and why?
So, it seems that now that the older students have arrived, Rowan Academy is more like a regular school. No amount of magic is going to stop them from yelling "Tadpoles" and forcing the First-Years to use Room 101 for their bathroom.
Why do you think Max states that "All he knew was that he wanted her to keep talking"?
Does this scene remind you of another famous book about a school of magic? Sometimes authors write what's called fan fiction. This is when they take inspiration from another writer's book and then write something based off of those ideas. Some people think it is wrong and it is copying, but others think of it as a compliment and call it "fan fiction."
"Eyes flashing" is an example of what literary device?
Ms. Richter seems like an interesting character. While she clearly leads Rowan Academy, she also shows that she is just a regular person by allowing Max to see her in her stocking feet and arranging wildflowers.
This sentence is an example of the author using imagery. A good reader makes pictures in his mind based on the words that the author gives us in her stories. Please watch the video below to learn more about imagery. (This annotation contains a video)
With this word, "thump," everything changes. What literary device is the author using?
Why is Max so tired?
Meerschaum pipes are for smoking tobacco. You would NEVER find a teacher puffing on a pipe in a regular public school today. Below is a picture of an example of a meerschaum pipe. (This annotation contains an image)
Using the context clues in the sentence and the Define function in Curriculet - what is the opposite meaning of the word "prolong" in the highlighted sentence?
Wow! Ms. Babel speaks ALL languages at the same time! The headsets will come in handy when trying to figure out what she is saying. Wouldn't it be great to have a headset translator in real life?
Why does Connor call Alex a "bloody jerk"?
It was brave of Max to stand up for Connor, but it probably wasn't a good idea to use violence. Do you think this is the end of it with Alex, or do you think it is just the beginning?
How would you describe the relationship between Jason Barre and Max?
This book belongs to a family of stories classified as fantasy. Watch the video below to learn more about this type of story. (This annotation contains a video)
What can you infer (guess) about David's Mystic ability after he ignited his logs?
Horsepower is a term used to compare the amount of power something has. Does it come from actual horses? Watch the video below to find out. (This annotation contains a video)
In the highlighted sentence, what literary device is used in the phrase "leapfrogged Mathematics as his least favorite class"?
While Max can't tell his dad about all the things that really happen at Rowan Academy, YOU the reader know everything. What is your favorite part of Rowan Academy?
When an author brings up a memory for a character, there is usually a good reason. Here Max is remembering some good times with his mother painting. Do you think this is the end of the story with Max's mother? Or do you think there will be more to the story?
It looks like we have determined who is against Max - Alex and Sasha. Authors have a special name for the character(s) who are in conflict with their main character - what is it?
This is typical New England-type food. Because Rowan Academy is located on the East Coast, the area has an abundance of seafood. Crab cakes are a East coast specialty. See a picture of them below. (This annotation contains an image)
What literary device is the author using in this sentence? You have had a question like this before, but this time you aren't told what phrase the device is in.
What literary device is the author using in this sentence? You have had a question like this before, but this time you aren't told what phrase the device is in.
What does this remind you of? Do you remember that Max had a dream that had some wolf-type creature in it? Is this a case of the author foreshadowing things to come? We can only read on to find out.
Describe Max's feelings towards math based on the highlighted section. How do you know?
Indian summer is a type of weather in New England where it is unseasonably warm - almost summer-like. As New England turns bitterly cold in the winter, Indian summer is a delightful treat in the middle of fall.
What does the highlighted phrase mean?
Do you think Max was just nervous, or is he not really ready to date any girls yet?
Why does Mum burst from the kitchen in tears?
This seems like another mysterious event at Rowan Academy! Make a prediction about what you think it is.
What does it mean to make a sacrifice? Look the work up using the Define feature in Curriculet if you need to. Please describe a sacrifice you have made in your life.
Based on this highlighted section, what can you infer about The Course? Is it easy or difficult?
What kind of teaching ideas does Rowan Academy use with their students?
What did Max's charge do to the alumni couple who was holding him?
Actually, soccer can be be quite a rough sport. Many players collide and receive concussions. Players who are too rough can receive yellow cards (warning) and red cards (ejection) for playing too rough. Below is a picture of a soccer player receiving a red card from the ref. (This annotation contains an image)
Explain how Eucleudian soccer is dfferent from regular soccer. Use examples to support your answer.
Don't you just love that the goose is heckling the ref? The author has a very interesting sense of humor!
Using your inferencing skills, what is Julie trying to tell Max in this section?
Do you think David was really "wrestling" with his tie? Do you remember what literary device this is? If you said personification - you would be correct!
What happened to David and Mum?
When Connor exclaims "...she thinks I stood her up!" means that he didn't show up for his date. This would be a very rude and unpleasant thing to do.
Do you think this figure is really there to help Max? Or do you think he is there to hurt him. Give reasons to support your answer.
This is so strange! Max is finding it hard to believe anything or anyone anymore. What if this guy is truly the enemy? What if he is a good guy? You can only read on to find out.
Which of the following best describes Mr. Vincenti?
Based on the context clues, what is Ms. Richter saying-but-not-saying in this passage? Watch the video below on context clues to help you figure out how to use this strategy with your reading. (This annotation contains a video)
How is Max's dad feeling about Max not coming home for Christmas?
Even though Mum wanted to eat all of them earlier, she is now showing that she does care for the students at Rowan Academy. It's still a little creepy, though.
What do Max and David have in common?
What a beautiful and powerful animal! Wouldn't it be amazing if we had an animal like that. Wait a minute, don't all our pets do that for us? They give us unconditional love and a sense of calm and peace. (This annotation contains an image)
What literary device is used in the highlighted sentence?
Whoa! That was a surprise. There is clearly more going on with David than Max, or us, as readers, know about. We need to keep reading to find out more.
Why does Max not want to stay near the books?
Isn't this great imagery and personification? When an author can paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind, it makes for successful imagery.
Describe a made-up animal that could be one of the "wild" charges Bob talks about. Be creative and remember that some of the charges have half of one animal and half of another. Have fun!
Pallbearers are people that carry the casket in a funeral. Usually, they are loved-ones that have cared about the person who died. Below is a picture of pallbearers carrying out a casket. (This annotation contains an image)
What secret did Mr. Morrow reveal accidently?
As a reader, when something in the story keeps coming up, you should pay attention. This "werewolf" idea keeps reappearing in the story. This tells the reader it is important and will play a role later on. (This annotation contains an image)
What literary device is being used in the highlighted phrase?
This is a good sentence to practice your inferencing skills. Why do you think Mr. Morrow reached for his photo album? Think about what happened at the beginning of the visit with the kids.
Why did David and Cynthia say yes to the light question, while Connor said no? What were each of them trying to do?
Sounds like the song is truly a LOVE song that encourages people to express their feelings. Max finally shows Julie how much he likes her. This could complicate things a little.
When Kettemouth sings a song, everyone's ______________ go away.
Uh, oh. No matter what they do, they will either have to live with scary information or get Mr. Morrow into trouble. The author is creating tension with the predicaments these children find themselves in.
Based on Mum's reaction to Connor not wanting to ask her to the dance and now wanting Bob to be fired, you can describe Mum as ______________.
So it seems Director Richter knows everything that is going on at Rowan Academy. Max and David should take not of this for the future.
How is David different from most of the students at Rowan Academy?
Misguided means to "lack proper guidance." How does this fit into the description of Peter Varga?
Boggarts in the Harry Potter books and movies are similar to the vyes in this book. Watch the video below and compare the two below.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doxxfXqpKYA
Using the five senses to describe something is what literary device? If you said imagery -- you would be correct! This highlighted paragraph is great imagery by the author.
What does Max see while helping Sarah battle the hampersprites?
Wow! Things are changing quickly! First, we have vyes entering the First-Years' scenario and now Max's dad is at Rowan Academy! What do you think is going to happen?
What is the problem with Mr. Luken's niece wanting to apply for admission to Rowan Academy?
This is an example of a metaphor. He is comparing his stomach and need for food to a car's fuel tank needing gas. Good writers find creative ways to describe things. This writer is pretty creative - don't you think?
Do you think there might be another problem with taking photographs inside Rowan Academy? Maybe one that has NOTHING to do with parents' permission? Use your imagination and come up with what will actually show up on Mr. Ludken's camera. Be creative and think about all the best Rowan Academy has to offer!
Cliches are sayings that are over-used. They use several in this section: "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life" and "go for the jugular" and "you've only got that one shot to get them, so it'd better count." Writers try not to use cliches in their writing, but will use them in dialogue to create a character or a personality.
What causes Nigel such alarm?
When someone is unconscious, it means that they aren't awake for some unknown reason. It's not unlike sleeping, but it is usually for some other reason like getting hit in the head.
Why is the sniffing ritual necessary?
How is Cooper's behavior different than before the incident with Max's dad? Does he seem like a different person? This is an example of a dynamic character. Watch the video below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
What is surprising about the highlighted statement? How might this change the course of this book?
A verbal barrage is someone who is yelling at you. Have you ever experienced a verbal barrage from a parent or a brother or sister?
How would you describe the character of Alex?
What literary device is used in this highlighted phrase?
Clearly, Max's dad is not impressed with Miss Boon calling him "Scott." Is he angry that she is taking Max back to campus or is it something else?
Based on the picture above, make a prediction of what could possibly happen in this chapter.
As a reader, when some aspect of the story keeps repeating itself, you need to pay attention because it is probably important. Irish literature is now showing up again. Maybe now we will find out what this Irish story is all about!
What theme is emerging from the two stories Miss Boon shares with Max?
Now the story is showing some connections. Max's dream connects to the story Miss Boon gives to him to read. Now we just have to find out what that has to do with the enemy.
What connection does Max make after finishing the story?
A forgery is an exact copy of an original. The Enemy is replacing real paintings with copies. Some forgeries are so well done that it is almost impossible to tell the difference. Even the experts have a difficult time telling the difference.
Why is Mum screaming at the top of her lungs?
It looks like the Tests for First Years is a big deal as everyone comes out to watch. What is your prediction of who will have highest marks?
How did Max do on the Tests?
What do you think Max is going to do? What Alex says is so mean-spirited and cruel. It could be the worst thing he could have ever said to Max. Read on to find out what happens...
What does Alex have that is not supposed to be taken out of the Training rooms?
Oh no! Max is caught by the vye. This is bad - very, very bad.
What is surprising about how the vye treats Max? Give reasons for your answer.
This is horrible. While we may have been lulled into a fake sense of calm by the nurturing actions of the vyes, now Miss Millen uses violence to control Max.
Isn't this a great simile? "Then, like a stain spreading throughout the room, a presence approached." This writer makes it easy to picture what is happening in this scene. Using figurative language in writing is very effective in creating the reader's mind what the author is picturing.
This scene seems strange. This mysterious man is acting very kindly towards Max and Alex. Even calling them both "my son." What do you think are the "uses" the man talks of?
By drinking the cup of liquid, what has Alex confirmed about who he is at heart?
Could everything be backwards? Could Rowan Academy be the Enemy? If what this man says is true, we might have been tricked through this whole book! We can only read on to find out.
Clearly, this man is not on the "good" side. Astaroth is evil, and Max is in great danger. Now we know where all the Potentials have been hidden.
How would you describe the mood in the room?
The suspense in this scene is almost too much to bear. As a reader, you want Max to start utilizing the skills he learned in his training, but he is still only a First Year. Let's hope Max finds a way to escape this horrible situation!
Do you think Max can stop Augur with his spear? Why or why not?
Hmmm....a dull metal hockey puck? Any idea what that could be?
Why do you think Alex is sinking back into the tomb and Max isn't?
A safe house is a place, in a secret location, to hide someone. They have Max in a safe house to protect him from the Enemy.
How many children did Max save?
Remember that Rafflerafters was the attic space in Old Tom. The setting in this book definitely is almost another character - especially Old Tom, which makes noises and creaks.
Why do you think Max feels that he wishes he had never seen the tapestry? Give examples to support your answer.
Can you picture Miss Awolowo scooping up Max when she sees him? A good writer helps you to see what they see with great imagery.
What does the phrase lethal-looking mean?
This is good advice for life, don't you think?
Who presented Max with the award of the Gauntlet of Beowolf?
Why do you think that Julie does not want Max to read the card in front of her? Hmmm.....do you think she might actually have feelings for him too?