Young Warriors: Stories of Strength

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WHAT MAKES A warrior? This gutsy collection of 15 original short stories compiled by bestselling author Tamora Pierce and anthologist-author Josepha Sherman answers this question with thought, heart, a lot of variety, and an occasional wink. Contributors include some of today's most-beloved fantasy and sciencefiction authors: Tamora Pierce, Holly Black, Pamela Service, Margaret Mahy, Bruce Holland Rogers, Mike Resnick, Brent Hartinger, and more.
Curriculet Details
52 Questions
53 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in sixth grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining text structure, character traits, and diction. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about figurative language, and genre. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of theme, conflict, and point of view. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension. Teachers, please be aware that this novel contains mature content of sexuality and violence. Please read this novel prior to granting student access to it.

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An anthology is a collection of stories, poems, or nonfiction pieces. All of the stories in this anthology relate to the topic of young warriors. Editors Tamora Pierce and Josepha Sherman collected these stories to examine the characteristics of a warrior. As you read each story, think about what makes each protagonist a warrior.  
Why does Mactun consider going over Rain Mountain to deliver the message? 
The point of view in a book refers to who is telling the story. The three types of point of view are described in the poster below. Which point of view do you think this story is told?  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does the scepter tempt Mactun the most? 
Explain whether the gift of peace is a good gift or a bad one? Support your thoughts with evidence from the text.  


Similes and metaphors are used to explain content, express emotion, and make writing clearer. The metaphor in the selected text compares the ship to a small piece of wood. Learn more about similes and metaphors in the following video.  (This annotation contains a video)
Every story fits into a category, or genre. As you view this video about fantasy, think about how the stories in this book fit this genre.  (This annotation contains a video)
The author uses ______ to compare the mermaid's eyes to a cat's eyes.  
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. Try it right now to look up the word quarry. 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.  
Which word from the story is an example of onomatopoeia? 
Character traits are all the elements of a person’s behavior and attitudes that make up that person’s personality. In order to figure out a person or character’s traits, we look at what they say, what they do, and what other people say about them. You can infer Fare is compassionate because he will try to save the mage. Learn more about character traits in the following video. (This annotation contains a video)
Use evidence from the story to explain how Neesha's opinion of humans changes during the course of the story from viewing them as enemies to friends.  


An allusion is a reference to a character or event in a widely known text, image or event that helps the reader to visualize or imagine more about the text. The reader must already know about the reference to a famous Bible story, myth, or famous characters or events in order to understand what it means in the current story. In this story, Eli refers to the Bible story of David and Goliath, where the small boy David kills the giant Goliath.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why doesn't Eli want to marry Leah? 
A story told in third person limited point of view allows the reader to only know the thoughts of the main character. This is different from third person omniscient narration where the reader knows the thoughts of all the characters in the story. Is this story told in third person omniscient or third person limited point of view? 
Which element in this story indicates the genre fantasy? 
Which excerpt from the text supports the inference that Eli no longer admires the Russian soldiers? 
You can figure out that the dybbuk is arrogant from her dialogue in the selected text. Learn more about text-based evidence in the video below.  (This annotation contains a video)
Theme is a main idea of a book that is repeatedly addressed as the plot progresses. In this book each of the stories center around the idea that a warrior is more than just about strength and fighting. As you continue to read the stories in this book, pay attention to the theme of what attributes make a true warrior.  
Explain how the selected text helps to develop the theme of a warrior not being only someone who uses their strength to win battles.  


Authors choose words carefully to set the mood so the reader will feel a specific emotion. The words that develop a horrified mood in the selected passage are "steaming intestines," "black with blood," and "scavenged." Learn more about tone and mood in the video below.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which word is a synonym for acquiesce? 
Good readers focus on important ideas, ask questions as they read, and predict what will happen next. Ada's mother put a spell on her and removed the part of her heart that controls emotions. Why do you think she doesn't want Ada to feel?  
Which of the statements below explains why "Heartless" is told from the third person limited point of view? 
The story "Heartless" illustrates the theme that a warrior must  


The setting is an important part of the story. In "Lioness" the setting is Egypt and impacts the actions of the characters based on their beliefs in the gods of their culture. Learn more about setting in the following video. (This annotation contains a video)
From the details in the selected text, you can infer that Kinidad is  
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 these short stories is chronological order. View the image below to learn about different text structures.  (This annotation contains an image)
Conflict is a cornerstone of literature, and this video will tell you more about the two different kinds of conflict: internal and external. In this story Tari's internal conflict is her self-doubt about her ability to kill in battle.  (This annotation contains a video)
Predict what Tari plans to do and how her training as a warrior may help her accomplish her task.  
View the following scene from the movie The Ten Commandments in which Moses demands the pharaoh release the slaves. Pay attention to the help he gets from his God. Then answer the question at the end of the story. (This annotation contains a video)
What elements of the story are similar to the movie clip?  
Quiz Stories 1-5 


Plot is the pattern of events as they are told in a story. Learn about the five major parts of the plot in the following video. (This annotation contains a video)
Which statement below best summarizes the exposition of the plot? 
Why does Helen view Lady Aithra unfavorably? How does the culture of Athens influence Lady Aithra's views on the purpose of women? 
The rising action of the plot includes elements which occur to develop the story. Minor conflicts may happen, and suspense is built. What events have happened since Helen was taken to Lady Aithra's room that are increasing the suspense? 
The climax is the point of highest tension. Helen, with the help of the slave, is fighting to escape. What details from the text lead you to believe her plan will work? 
Which event occurs in the resolution of the plot? 


The Hindu religion is polytheistic, they believe in many gods that control different aspects of life. Parvati is the goddess of love, fertility, and devotion.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the statements below explains why "Devil Wind" is told from the first person point of view? 
Use the Define feature to read the definition for the word lout. Which of the sentences below uses lout in the same way it is used in the text? 
Authors use foreshadowing to give an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. Foreshadowing creates suspense to keep the reader wanting to know more about what will happen. What is being foreshadowed in the selected text? 
A good reader uses clues to figure out things that are not exactly stated in the text. You can infer from the burning home that something bad has happened to the family. Learn more about how to make inferences in the following video.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which sense is the author appealing to through the use of imagery in the selected text? 
What motivates Taravati to sacrifice her life in bargain with the jadu? 
Personification is when human qualities are given to objects or animals. Writers use personification to make what they are describing easier to understand or more interesting. The author personifies rage by giving that emotion fangs. 
A good reader can summarize main points in a story. How would you summarize the advantages Taravati gains from looking like Estella? View the following video to learn more about summarizing. (This annotation contains a video)
Which statement best summarizes the qualities that make Taravati a warrior? 


In this story the narrator speaks directly to the reader to introduce and wrap up the story. As you read the story, think about whether the humor added by the author enhances or detracts from your enjoyment of the story.  
What tone about the custom of slaying dragons to become a man does the author reveal through the story? 
Read the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" in the next annotation and pay attention to the character traits of the boy. A question to compare the two boys in these stories will appear later.  
There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, "Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!" The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces. "Don't cry 'wolf', shepherd boy," said the villagers, "when there's no wolf!" They went grumbling back down the hill. Later, the boy sang out again, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!" To his naughty delight, he watched the villagers run up the hill to help him drive the wolf away. When the villagers saw no wolf they sternly said, "Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don't cry 'wolf' when there is NO wolf!" But the boy just grinned and watched them go grumbling down the hill once more. Later, he saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock. Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, "Wolf! Wolf!" But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn't come. At sunset, everyone wondered why the shepherd boy hadn't returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill to find the boy. They found him weeping. "There really was a wolf here! The flock has scattered! I cried out, "Wolf!" Why didn't you come?" An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked back to the village. "We'll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning," he said, putting his arm around the youth, "Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!" 
Compare the characters of the two boys in The Boy Who Cried "Dragon!" and The Boy Who Cried "Wolf!" What motivates each to cry out in each story?  


The video below shows an ostrich running. Is the author's description accurate?  (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the text, which of the following can most logically be inferred about the character of Kylaia? 
In this African culture, girls are viewed as weaker than boys. Do you think girls should compete against boys?  
Explain the meaning of the metaphor in the selected text.  
Good readers make connections to the text. How is this culture's system of justice similar to our court system? 
Which excerpt from the text supports the inference below?Kylaia's family and the people of her village do not believe in her ability to win a fight with a man.  
Kylaia makes note of Awochu's strengths to plan her strategy for the fight. Do you think she will win? Which animal's lesson do you think will be most important in the battle? 
Which character traits does Kylaia demonstrate as a warrior? 


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. The phrase "four days earlier" indicates the scene has changed to an earlier time.  
Which statement is the best summary of the events so far in the story? 
What is the "Great Serpent"? 
You can infer that the story is set in the Australian Outback from the mention of dingo and the "quick-leaper," or kangaroo, seen in the image below.  (This annotation contains an image)
The dingo is native to Australia and is related to the grey wolf.  (This annotation contains an image)
What can you infer about Gulpilil's character from the selected text? 
The flashback has ended and the story continues at the current time.  
The description of the selected scene adds to the  
What attribute of a warrior does Gulpilil exhibit at the end of the story? 
Quiz Stories 6-10 


The title of this short story is mysterious. As you read the story, think about what it means to be a "hidden warrior." There will be a question on this topic at the end of the story.  
What can you infer Heriot means in the selected text? 
Based on the author's description of the edge, do you agree with Heriot's assessment that everyone there is a "warrior fighting doom"? 
The selected text supports the theme that "a warrior is not just brawn." How is Cayley a warrior if she is not strong as most heroes? 
Why does the author capitalize "Death" in this passage? 
Use text evidence to explain which characters are the hidden warriors and which, if any, are not hidden.  


You can infer that Kelyn is not viewed as a strong contributor by her people. What do Kelyn's people view as her greatest weakness? 
Kelyn understands that one way to cope with her clumsiness is to pay close attention to her steps. Has she learned this lesson well? 
Which excerpt from the text supports the following inference?Kelyn's friends think that since she is clumsy, she is not intelligent.  
What can you infer about the slaver's character from the selected text? 
Kelyn's friends have changed their attitude about her value to the group. She is no longer viewed as clumsy, but as a clever leader.  
The narrator's reference to Kelyn's weakness shows she still has self-doubt about her ability to save her pack. Do you think she will give in to these thoughts or will it make her more determined to save them? 
Using textual evidence, write a summary statement about the change in Kelyn's attitude from the beginning of the story to now.  


In this culture, the people believe making sacrifices to the goddess Tar'atha will help them survive.  
Killing the bulls before the Twin Kings danced with them shows that the Lady of Saloe is  
The sky-hall is this culture's name for heaven. If one of the Twin Kings dies, then the other must be sacrificed according to their laws.  
What has changed in the Land of Saloe? 
Conflict is an important part of every story. In this part of the story Neshat has a conflict with the Lady of Saloe, but is beaten for his boldness. Based on the video we viewed earlier, would you say this is an internal or an external conflict?  
Sais stole items from the Lady of Saloe that included medicines and another "most important thing." Predict what you think the most important thing is and what Said intends on doing with it.  
A symbol is a word or object that stands for something else. The Axe of Sacrifice is a symbol for the old Law in this culture. As you read, try to recognize the symbol that represents the new Law of their culture.  
What object is the symbol of the new law of the land? 


An idiom is an expression having a special meaning different from the usual meanings of the words. The idiom "took everything her friend said with a grain of salt" means to doubt what someone says.  
Which excerpt from the text supports the inference that the setting is during World War II? 
Which of the statements below explains why the story is told in the third person omniscient point of view? 
The author uses italics to indicate the characters' thoughts. What is the difference between the thoughts in italics and the thoughts the narrator describes in regular print? 
You can infer that Miriam is _____ since she speaks Hebrew and believes in the Torah.  
Bridget makes the sign of the cross, which is a gesture to symbolize the Father, Son and Holy Ghost of the Catholic religion.  
Since many of the countries in Europe were at war, the girls want to escape to the United States. How do you think they will travel across the ocean? 
Which word is a synonym for satchel? 
Using textual evidence, explain how each of the girls may be viewed as a warrior.  


Good readers make a picture in their mind of what is happening in the text. The troll is easy to picture from the imagery the author has used to describe the troll. Would you be afraid if you encountered a creature such as this troll? 
Which of the answer choices below is NOT a synonym for the word ruse? 
You may be familiar with the word "spoils" as a verb meaning to rot or to ruin. However, in this sentence spoils means the treasure Brinn has found. Learn more about multiple meaning words in this video.  (This annotation contains a video)
Brinn's struggle with the decision to take the treasure is an example of internal conflict. What do you think he will do with the treasure? 
How has Brinn has proven himself to be a warrior? 
Quiz Stories 11-15