Horses + mystery + rescuing abused animals = a triple crown of perpetually popular preteen genres! Thirteen-year-old Jasmine is found guilty of assaulting Hugh Robicheaux, the owner of the horse farm where she works. But she's still determined to prove that Robicheaux killed Whirlwind, the mare she loved. Jas is sure that Shadow Horse, a scrawny brown gelding she rescues at a horse auction, is the key to the mystery-but just how is Shadow Horse connected to Whirlwind? Deftly written by a teacher and equestrian who has authored more than sixty books, this heartwarming and inspiring Edgar Award nominee will have special appeal for mystery fans as well as young horse lovers.
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Every story is organized in a pattern called plot. The plot is the series of events that make up the story. Think of the plot as a roller coaster. Strapping yourself into the seat is the first part of the plot, the exposition. This part of the story introduces the characters, setting, and the major conflict. The author quickly introduces the conflict for this book. As you continue to read, notice the other information included in the exposition. Who are the characters? Where and when does the story take place?
Good readers focus on important ideas, ask questions as they read, and predict what will happen next. List three questions you have after reading the first three pages of the book.
From the events in Chapter One, you can infer that Jas
Below is a picture of a hoof pick. Do you see how it could be considered a weapon? (This annotation contains an image)
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. In this book, some words are unique to culture of the time and will not be defined in the dictionary. You will have to rely on the words and sentences around the unfamiliar word to figure out the meaning. Try it right now to look up the word equestrienne.
Which word is NOT a synonym for pensive?
Writers use flashbacks to add information to the current events in a story. A flashback stops the current story and changes the scene to tell the previous events as if the character is reliving the actual event. The reader can gain understanding of a character’s motivation and provide background to a current conflict. Sometimes writers add flashbacks in the form of dreams and memories. What do you learn about the cause of the attack on Mr. Robicheaux from this flashback?
The fact that Jas does not tell her side of the story, in order to help her grandfather receive quality care, shows that she is
Click the link below and read the brief explanation of bell boots for a horse. How are these boots different from the ankle bracelet Jas must wear? (This annotation contains a link)
Which statement is the best description of Second Chance Farm?
Stories are categorized by genre. This story's genre is realistic fiction. Learn about the characteristics of this genre in the following video. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Jas so determined not to like Miss Hahn?
Before the industrial age, quilts were made by hand one square at at time by several ladies who gathered together to sew. Quilts were named by the patterns created by the squares. View the image below of a wedding ring quilt. (This annotation contains an image)
Which statement predicts the knowledge that Miss Hahn knows Hugh Robicheaux?
What does the author mean by a "sour taste"?
Sarcasm is a cutting remark that is opposite what the speaker actually means in order to show bitterness. In this scene, Jas is angry that every moment of her day has to be planned out and monitored.
The time Jas spent in the detention center has left her feeling
We find out about characters by what they say, what they do, and what other characters say about them. In this chapter, you find out that Mr. Robicheaux is keeping tabs on Jas through Miss Hahn. What character traits would you use to describe them? Learn more about character from the following video. (This annotation contains a video)
Stories can be categorized in more than one genre. This story is realistic fiction, but it is also a mystery. Learn more about the genre of mystery in the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Which type of figurative language is contained in the highlighted sentence?
An allusion is a literary device that that helps the author to explain or describe and the reader to visualize or imagine. But 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. The author alludes to the Bible story about Noah's Ark, where two of each type of animal were gathered before a big flood.
Using evidence from the book, compare High Meadows Farm to Second Chance Farm. How are the names of the farms appropriate based on the descriptions?
Theme is a main idea of a book that is repeatedly addressed as the plot progresses. One theme that will reoccur in this book is the theme of belonging. Jas has no real parents and now her grandfather is ill, which leaves her with no place to go. As you read notice how the theme of belonging is developed.
Why is Jas so clumsy and embarrassed around Chase?
The words dismay and hesitantly let the reader know that Jas is probably disappointed in the appearance of the barn. Learn more about making inferences in this video. (This annotation contains a video)
A good reader can summarize main points in a story. How would you summarize the purpose of Second Chance Farm? View the following video to learn more about summarizing. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Chase call Jas a horse snob?
The setting of this story is very important to developing the plot and influencing the characters and what they do. As you read, consider other parts of the setting: the time period and how it adds to the meaning of the book. Learn more about setting in this video. (This annotation contains a video)
List the four goals Jas develops to work on before her court date.
Equestrians wear helmets to protect their heads from a fall just like skateboarders or bikers. (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz Chapters 1-8
During this scene, Jas is still ____ of Miss Hahn.
Oxymoron is a figure of speech used to create an effect by joining two opposite ideas. An adjective is usually preceded by a noun to create the oxymoron. Look at these examples: jumbo shrimp, seriously funny, awfully pretty. Sometimes the opposing words or phrases are not always right beside each other, as in, in order to lead, you must walk behind. What two opposing ideas are in the highlighted oxymoron?
Sometimes the dictionary lists several definitions for a word and you must figure out the correct one for the meaning of the sentence. Which dictionary definition of the word hands is correct for this sentence?
Authors use suspense to build the readers’ desire to know what happens next in the story. The chapter ends with the announcement that the horse is up for sale next. Jas has figured out what is wrong with the horse and knows he can be cured. Suspense is the feeling you get when you are on the edge of your seat wanting to know what will happen next. Will the horse be sold to the killer buyers or will Jas find Miss Hahn in time to buy him for Second Chance Farm?
The words blocked, confronted, and scared create a ____ mood.
Explain why Jas thinks liking Chase is too risky.
Every story has conflict that makes the reader invested in the outcome. This video will tell you more about the two different kinds of conflict: internal and external. What type of conflict is occurring between Jas and Chase in this scene? (This annotation contains a video)
Jas's struggle is an example of
In literature, the author uses a specific point of view to let the readers “hear” and “see” what takes place in a story. View the following video to learn the difference in the three types of narrator points of view. Which point of view do you think this story is told? (This annotation contains a video)
Good readers make connections to the text. Grandfather has suffered a stroke, which has left him paralyzed on his left side. A stroke happens when the brain cannot get enough blood causing dizziness, numbness on one side, and possible loss of speech. Sometimes the effects of a stroke are not permanent. Have you ever known anyone who has had a stroke?
Jas learns a possible motive for Mr. Robicheaux's poisoning of Whirlwind is
The word thumped is an example of
Here is a picture of a paddock. Why do you think Shadow would need to go into a paddock instead of a big pasture? (This annotation contains an image)
This memory is not an example of a flashback because the action of the story did not change to the actual scene in the past.
Explain why Jas is frustrated after her conversation with Dr. Danvers.
As a ride on a roller coaster begins, the tension builds as you are slowly taken up to the highest point. In a story, this part of the plot is called the rising action. This is usually the longest part of the story when actions occur to develop the story, minor conflicts may happen, and suspense is built. As you continue reading, notice events that move the story along and build suspense. What event so far would you include in the rising action?
The phrase cuckoo clock cuckooing is an example of
When someone experiences a strong emotion, their face might blush, or get red. Why do Chase's ears turn pink?
Which character is not helping Jas prove Hugh Robicheaux's crime?
Writers use different structures to build the ideas of story. Chronological order is used to explain how things happen in time order. Some key words that help you recognize chronological order are first, after, later, next, and finally. The structure of this story is chronological order.
Why does Phil feel ashamed?
A currycomb is a tool made of rubber or plastic with short "teeth" on one side, that slides onto the hand of the groom. The horse is rubbed or "curried" to help loosen dirt and hair, as well as to stimulate the skin to produce natural oils. The curry comb is usually used in a circular motion to work loose dirt and hair. (This annotation contains an image)
Summarize the change in Jas's feelings about Second Chance Farm.
You can tell by the way Lucy grumbles, that she is not happy about Jas's success riding Spot. This sentence is text-based evidence. Learn more about text evidence in the following video. (This annotation contains a video)
What evidence from the text proves Jas understands horses?
The external conflict between Jas and Chase is
Often referred to as a “horse ballet,” dressage is a competitive equestrian sport where horse and rider perform a series of movements: sideways and diagonally, pirouettes, and trotting in place. View the brief video of a Lippizan Stallion demonstrating the highest level of training in dressage. (This annotation contains a video)
What characteristic does Shadow show that reminds Jas about Aladdin?
Jas's thoughts relate to the theme of
Horses wear shoes to protect their hooves just like humans wear shoes to protect their feet. The following video shows the process for removing horseshoes. Compare the parts of a horse hoof to the toes and nails of a human. (This annotation contains a video)
What details does Jas use to make the inference about why Shadow's owner dumped him?
Quiz Chapters 9-16
Jas realizes that her life has changed and both she and her grandfather will have to figure out how to make a new life for themselves.
How does Phil disappoint Jas?
Another theme in the book is trust. Jas's experience with her mother and Mr. Robicheaux causes her to be very careful of opening up to people and trusting them. Do you think her time at Second Chance Farm will help her overcome this internal conflict?
Which sentence changes the simile in the selected sentence to a metaphor?
This sentence is an allusion. Jesse James was a bank robber in the old west.
Jas has feelings of _____ as she walks through the barn and sees the horses she used to take care of.
Good readers adjust the pace of their reading to match the emotion of the text. The suspense created by the possibility of getting caught makes you want to read faster to find out what happens.
Write a summary of the events in this chapter.
Good readers often pause and reflect during reading to reflect on the accuracy of previous predictions and clear up any confusion about the story. Jas thinks Shadow and Aladdin could be the same horse. Would that prove Mr. Robicheaux killed Whirlwind?
Why doesn't Jas want to tell Miss Hahn about Sam?
Click the link below to watch a clip from National Velvet where the riders are training their horse to jump. Then answer the question below. (This annotation contains a link)
How is the training in the movie clip similar to the training Jas and Chase are doing?
Which of the dictionary definitions is appropriate for the word chafed as used in this sentence?
Using the photo album, Grandfather has figured out what happened to Aladdin. What do you think that means for the murder of Whirlwind?
The top of the roller coaster is the point where you can’t go up any higher. In a plot, this is the climax. As this point, the character knows he must make a major decision to resolve the conflict. The action then starts to move in a different direction. In this book, Jas has solved the mystery of Aladdin's death. Now Jas must figure out how to prove Mr. Robicheaux has committed a crime. The events moving forward are part of the falling action of the book.
From whom does Jas plan to get information about Aladdin?
Jas has opened herself up to trust Chase and now she will confide in Dr. Danvers. Do you think he will help her?
Which word is an antonym for unfounded?
Authors work hard to choose just the right word to give the reader a clear understanding of exactly what they mean. In this scene, there is an urgent need for Chase to get Miss Hahn away from the farm, so the author chose the word bounded to reflect that meaning. If he had used walked or sauntered, the feeling of urgency would have been lost.
Summarize how Jas and Dr. Danvers will determine if Shadow is Aladdin.
Jas has a heightened feeling of ____ as she waits for the call from Dr. Danvers.
This paragraph is an example of foreshadowing. The author hints that by figuring out the mystery of Aladdin, they will find out something about Whirlwind. What do you think it could be?
What news about Shadow does Miss Hahn tell Jas?
Jas's feelings about Second Chance Farm have changed from the beginning of the book. How does she feel about the farm now?
Irony is when something happens different than you expect. Learn more about irony in this video. How is the change of Jas's feelings about Second Chance Farm ironic? (This annotation contains a video)
The description of the tack room adds to the _____ mood of the scene.
Explain the meaning of the highlighted sentence.
Jas resolves her conflict with Miss Hahn when she realizes she could have trusted her all along. This scene is part of the falling action in the plot.
The highlighted sentences relate to the theme of
Here is a video on how to tack up a horse. (This annotation contains a video)
Diamond In The Ruff by Shannah M. Helman You lived a life that no one should have to live I gave to you all that I had to give I showed you how to love and set you free And I could see in your eyes how much you cared for me. You were my diamond in the ruff You were strong, you were brave, you were tough And there was nothing that could come between the two of us And I will always care, I will always love My diamond in the ruff.Compare the speaker in the poem to Jas. How are their experiences and feelings alike?
Once the roller coaster ride is over, the cart pulls back into the station. In a plot, this is the resolution. The main character may have changed over the course of the story, any conflicts are completely solved, and the story ends. This last chapter is the resolution of the plot. Notice how the last problem is solved, how characters have changed, and how the story ends.
Quiz Chapters 17-24
The author has left the story of Whirlwind open for a sequel to this story. Do you think they will find Whirlwind in the next book? Will Hugh Robicheaux pay for his crimes?