The Boys Return
It's spring break and the only assignment Wally Hatford and Caroline Malloy have is to do something that they have never done before. Wally's sure that will be a cinch once he hears the great news about the mighty Benson brothers coming to stay for vacation. It will be nonstop action all the way. For starters, the nine Benson and Hatford boys plan on scaring the three Malloy sisters silly by convincing them that their house is haunted. Of course, the boys don't know that the girls are hard at work plotting their own special surprise welcome. The Bensons don't know what they're up against with the Malloy girls. But they soon will. Meanwhile, everyone in town knows there's a hungry cougar on the prowl. When the kids decide to take a break from their tricks and join forces in catching the cougar, guess who gets stuck with the scariest job? This will surely be something no one has ever done before.
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Chapter One - Big News
The Boys Return is the seventh book in Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Boy/Girl Battle series. In this book, it's spring break and the Hartford boys team up with the Benson brothers to play a prank on the Malloy sisters, who are also scheming against the boys. Have you read any other books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor? She is a Newberry Award winning American author who has written over one hundred books for children and young adults.
According to Wally, what is the best thing about March?
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?
What is Wally's homework assignment for spring vacation?
Wally is super excited about his upcoming spring vacation. Think about a time when you had exciting plans for a school vacation. What did you do on this vacation?
Chapter Two - Home Decorating
Explain why the Malloy sisters are living in the Benson brothers' home.
A china doll is a doll made out of glazed porcelain. The image below shows what china dolls look like. (This annotation contains an image)
How are the Malloy sisters planning to annoy the Benson brothers?
Chapter Three - Bill and Danny and Steve and Tony and Doug
As you read and answer questions about the text, you will be asked to include text-based evidence to support your answers. The following video will explain how to look for evidence when quoting from the text. (This annotation contains a video)
What do Wally and Bill Benson have in common?
Think about the story that Tony reads about Annabelle. Do you think it's a true story? Did you find it to be scary? Is it mysterious? Intriguing?
Describe Tony's plan to scare Caroline and explain whether or not you think the plan will work. Include quotes from the text to support your answer.
Chapter Four - Pleased to Meet You
In the highlighted passage, Mrs. Malloy and her daughters are shocked at how much food the boys are eating. As you read the story, think about the traits and behaviors of the girls compared with those of the boys. Do all of the Malloy sisters exhibit typical feminine, girly traits and behaviors, such as curtsying, dressing up, etc? Do all of the Benson and Hartford boys exhibit typical boyish traits, such as rough housing, eating a lot of food, etc?
How do the Malloy girls know that the girly bedroom decorations bother the Benson boys?
As you read the highlighted passage, think about how the Malloy sisters are reacting to Tony's story about Annabelle. Can you draw any inferences about how the girls are feeling? The following video will explain how to draw inferences from the text. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter Five - The Plan
Steve thinks the plan to scare the Malloy girls will make the boys famous, but Wally thinks the plan will ________.
Think about how Eddie got the nickname Whomper. The boys are surprised that Eddie is a good batter because she's a girl. Once again, the theme of stereotpical gender roles is evident in the story. As you read, think about other themes that are emerging in the story. The following video will explain how to identify a theme in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
Describe how Tony plans to make his ghost story more believable in the Malloy home. Include quotes from the text to support your description.
Chapter Six - March Twenty-second
As you read, pay attention to the structure of the story. Have you noticed how each chapter builds on the previous chapter? Think about the titles of each chapter and how they give a clue as to what the chapter is about.
In Chapter Six, Beth calls Eddie a spoilsport. What does it mean to be a spoilsport?
Jerry Spinelli is an American writer of children's novels that feature adolescence and young adulthood. He is best known for Maniac Magee and Wringe. Have you read any Jerry Spinelli books? His image is pictured below. (This annotation contains an image)
Caroline feels that seeing the ghost of Annabelle will help her acting skills because ___________.
Caroline and her sisters are feeling frightened as they hear ghostly tapping sounds. Think of a time when you were scared. What were you scared of? What did you do when you were scared?
Chapter Seven - In the Moonlight
Why does Wally plan on going to the Malloy house in the middle of the night when he really doesn't want to?
Pay attention to the descriptive language in the highlighted passage. Can you picture the setting in your mind? Do you notice any examples of figurative language in the passage?
Based on the highlighted passage, you can infer that the boys are feeling _________ about the cougar they encounter in the neighborhood.
Have you ever seen a cougar in action? The following video will show you how a cougar attacks it's prey. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter Eight - A Small Suspicion
Beth and Caroline are feeling ______ that they didn't see the ghost of Annabelle.
The phrase, "the whole kit and caboodle," means everything or all of it.
Summarize how Eddie discovers that the ghost story is fake.
Chapter Nine - Trouble
Are you familiar with the meaning of the phrase "spill the beans"? This is an example of a metaphor, and the phrase means to reveal a secret. The following video will explain how to distinguish between similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
What is a skeleton key?
Have you determined who the narrator of the story is? As you read, think about how the narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described. For example, in the highlighted passage, the older boys are feeling embarrassed because Mr. Hartford thinks that they were outside hanging out with the Malloy girls because they have crushes on them.
Chapter Ten - A Ghostly Gathering
Read the highlighted passage. From the passage you can infer that __________.
Think about the ghost story that the girls have made up and compare it with the ghost story that the boys made up. Which story is more believable? Which story do you think is the scariest?
How are the boys feeling as they listen to the girls tell their ghost story?
Chapter Eleven - What Next?
Who do you suppose is knocking on the door? Make a prediction before you continue reading.
Which of the following sentences contains an example of a metaphor?
Think about how Wally is feeling in the highlighted passage. As the middle child in his family, he often gets stuck doing the dirty work when his brothers devise their plans and schemes. Are you a middle child in your family? Can you relate to Wally's feelings?
Instead of scheming against each other, the boys and girls are now working together to catch the cougar. Do you think they will make a good team if they work together? Why or why not?
Chapter Twelve - Getting Ready
As you read the highlighted passage, pay attention to the details describing the setting of the homes in Buckman. Also, think about the time period where the story takes place. Is it set in recent times? Do the kids in the story participate in the same activities that you do? Watch the following video to learn more about the importance of setting in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Wally feel about being assigned the the job of waiting and watching for the cougar?
Read the definition for the word "boisterous" and think about how this adjective helps you envision the setting of the picnic with twelve children.
Caroline would be happy to have the job of _________ when the kids try to catch the cougar.
Chapter Thirteen - In the Loft
Lions are the only cats that live in groups, which are called prides. Prides are family units that may include up to three males, a dozen females, and their young cubs. All of a pride's lionesses are related, and female cubs typically stay with the group as they grow older. The following image shows a pride of lions. (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted sentence contains an example of a __________.
Think about how Wally is feeling in the highlighted passage. Can you imagine how scary it is to be trapped in a garage with a cougar? What do you think Wally should do to protect himself?
Chapter Fourteen - 911
Summarize how Wally gets trapped in the garage with the cougar.
A tranquilizer gun is a non-lethal gun used for capture. Tranquilizer guns shoot darts filled with tranquilizer that, when injected, temporarily sedates an animal or human, so that it may be handled or captured safely. (This annotation contains an image)
Who is responsible for capturing the cougar?
Chapter Fifteen - The Great Hullabaloo
As you read the newspaper article about the kids' adventure with the cougar, can you determine the genre of the story? How does the story compare to other books in the same genre? For example, if you have read other books in the boy/girl battle series, think about how the topics and themes in the books are similar or different.
What do the Hartford boys offer to do to avoid being grounded for their dangerous cougar catching scheme?
The phrase, "delusions of grandeur" means that someone is having unreal fantasies of wealth, power or importance.
Read the definition for the word, "hullabaloo" in the chapter title. Describe the hullabaloo that takes place in Chapter 15. Include quotes from the text to support your description.
Chapter Sixteen - Goodbye
Despite the rivalry between the boys and the girls earlier in the story, working together to catch the cougar has strengthened the friendships between the Malloy sisters, Benson brothers and Hartford brothers. Think about the ways in which the theme of friendship is evident in throughout the story.
Why is Caroline feeling brave enough to investigate the ghostly sounds in the basement by herself?
Think about the highlighted passage. Why do you suppose Wally is smiling to himself? Why is he keeping his eyes on road ahead? Are you excited to read the next book in Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Boy/Girl Battle series, "The Girls Take Over?"