8 + 1
"Reprinted by arrangement with Pantheon Books"--T.p. verso.
The curriculet is being added to your library
According to his explanation, which of the following might be a "spark" for one of Robert Cormier's stories?
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?
Our main character is seventeen years old with a moustache. Of course, we knew a moustache would somehow be present in this story because of the title. We will have to see if it later takes on more importance.
This background information may or may not be important later, but it does introduce a minor conflict in the narrator's life: his girlfriend. Watch the video below on the different types of conflicts. Try to correctly identify conflicts as thy arise in these stories. (This annotation contains a video)
The narrator's guilt surrounding how he is feeling about visiting his grandmother is which type of conflict?
The writer uses a great deal of figurative language. In fact, just in this paragraph there is imagery, onomatopoeia, hyperbole and simile. Figurative language is found in all types of writing. It helps readers understand things, events, and people in unique ways. It's important to be able to recognize the different types of figurative language. Watch this video for a review and see how many you already know. (This annotation contains a video)
Ethel Barrymore was a famous actress of the early twentieth century. Her career spanned from the late 1890s through the 1950s. (This annotation contains an image)
This is a lovely and unique image. In it, the writer compares the passing of time with what in the natural world?
In this sentence, "fog" is a metaphor for
Below is a picture of a coat known as a "Chesterfield." The time period in the picture is accurate with the coat Mike's grandmother is probably remembering. Knowing that, make a prediction about what is going on. (This annotation contains an image)
Try to infer why Mike's grandmother may be angry at the attendant's appearance.Explain your answer using details from the story.
What type of figurative language does the writer use in this sentence to describe the grandmother?
Now we understand the importance of the moustache in this story. Apparently the moustache has made the grandson Mike look a great deal like his grandfather, Michael.
Think about how you would feel in the narrator's position, visiting a grandparent who mistakes you for a husband or wife who died many years ago. Would you feel uncomfortable like Mike does? Or would you allow the misconception to go on? Making connections to what you read shows that you are engaged with the text and reading critically. Watch the video on the many text connections you can make while reading. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the text, make an inference about what the "fight" was over that night Mike's grandmother is referring to. Explain what you think happened.
This is important and probably suggests the theme of this story. Mike is seeing his grandmother in a way he has never seen her before. For him now, she is a young woman, jealous but in love with her husband. She's a woman who regrets a mistake she made many years ago.
Which is the most likely reason Mike drives home at eighty mph, blaring rock music?
Mine on Thursdays
Cormier bases this story and "The Moustache" on experiences his children have had. They take place in contemporary society with realistic characters who have realistic conflicts. Although there's no magic, or fanciful creatures, no journeys into outer space or evil villains, these stories can be quite complex because they are about human beings who are quite complex. These types of stories are known as realistic fiction.
Before we read, think about the story the writer, Robert Cormier, just shared with us. Have you ever felt "betrayed" by one of your parents before?
Which type of figurative language does the writer use to convey how slowly traffic is moving?
The writer's purpose in this paragraph is best described as which of the following?
What important information can we infer from this exchange between Holly and her father?
Based on what you've read so far, which set of words best describes the father in this story?
Based on this flashback, how is Holly's father like the author's own father? Explain using details from the story.
The simile, "All the 'why nots' I had tossed her on Thursdays, like bouquets of love," shows that Holly's father reveals his love for her by
Reading this story after reading Cormier's background for it show us how closely he patterns the action of this story from his own experience. It's important to the story to reveal that Holly (like his own daughter) doesn't usually like to ride the wild rides, but would rather just walk and get on the slow rides, like the merry-go-round, or enjoy attractions like the fun house.
We can infer that the divorce between the narrator and Alison (Holly's mother) occurred for which of the following reasons?
Explain how this scene with the interview of Harrison Shanks makes us like the narrator more. Be sure to use details from the text in your answer.
What important information do we learn from this conversation between the narrator and his ex-wife, Alison?
Which type of figurative language does the writer use in this sentence to make the ride seem scary?
The narrator just made a choice here. Think about the choice he made and what it means.
List two details from this page which illustrate that Holly really does not want to go on this ride alone.
What is ironic about the attendant's statement, "Five minutes. They get their money's worth"?
You should recognize that the narrator has got some nerve to say this. What he should have done was ride with his daughter in the first place. Not like Superman-- but like a father.
This is an allusion. An allusion is when a writer makes a reference to something well-known in culture as a comparison. The writer expects the reader to understand the connection. Here the writer makes an allusion to a famous literary character, Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray is only interested in beauty and satisfying his desires. He never visibly ages, but his portrait ages and shows all of the ugliness inside him instead. For a further explanation of allusions and how they function, watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Explain what you think the narrator means when he says, "All those why nots I had tossed her-- not bouquets of love, but bribes." How is the narrator "bribing" his daughter?
Think about what the narrator's father tells him about being a man and facing up to his failures. Which word best describes Holly's father at this point in the story, when he tells Holly about leaving Boston for Vermont?
Quiz on "The Moustache" and "Mine on Thursday"
Another of Mike's Girls
The narrator is a character in the story. Watch the video below on the different types of point of view. Then answer the question.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sck2bJPFDyw Who is the narrator in this story?
Based on what you've read so far, explain how Jane is different from the other girls Mike has dated.
This is a reference to a well known book, The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran. What is this literary device called?
We can infer that the phrase, "But. That monster of a word," means which of the following?
Using details from the text, explain how the end of this story is no longer about Mike and Jane, but about Mike's father.
President Cleveland, Where Are You?
Figurative language often allows us to experience something in a way we've never thought about before. Look at the picture below of a beautiful, ornate house. Now imagine a big white birthday cake. Do you "see" the similarities between the two that you never considered before? (This annotation contains an image)
Below is a cowboy card of Roy Rogers that came with bubble gum. (This annotation contains an image)
Look at this cake. Can you see how it compares to a big Southern mansion? (This annotation contains an image)
Here is a picture of the coveted Ken Maynard card that the narrator of this story desperately wants. (This annotation contains an image)
List at least three specific details that place this story in the past.
Below is a President card of Lincoln that came packaged with caramel. These cards came out in 1932. (This annotation contains an image)
Read the highlighted section again. Which historical event is causing a background conflict in this story?
We can infer that a "girl from the North Side" means
How did Armand get the money for new shoes and a corsage? Make a prediction.
What has the narrator in this story learned about life? What earlier event probably led to this lesson?
A Bad Time for Fathers
Here the writer uses a thought-provoking metaphor when describing how he feels when editors change his titles. In this metaphor, who or what is "my child"?
Clearly this is an exaggeration, but it's clever and adds humor. It's a great example of hyperbole, when exaggeration is used to emphasize something or make a point. Watch the video below for a further explanation of hyperbole. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is most likely the writer's purpose in this paragraph?
Think about who Sam might remind the narrator of. Why do you think the father is feeling sorry for him?
This is a great line from this story. Think about it for a minute from the perspective of a parent.
This is interesting, and it suggests one of the story's central ideas. As you know, camouflage helps keep things hidden. The father in this story is sad and a little afraid about his daughter leaving home for college. Sam is feeling the same way, but for different reasons. The father has been using Sam to try to hide his own feelings.
Which of the following quotes is the best translation of the advice the father is giving Sam?
What quality of Jane's makes this "A bad time in her life for....lover or father"?
Quiz on "President Cleveland, Where Are You?," "Another of Mike's Girls," and "A Bad Time for Fathers"
Protestants Cry, Too
Blood sausage is made by cooking blood with other fillers until it congeals. It is a fairly common dish in European and Asian countries. (This annotation contains an image)
This sentence has an ominous tone. Which type of figurative language conveys this?
What Armand's father is saying is that a Canadian, Irish, or Italian girl would all probably be Catholic. That is the issue here: Armand's family is Catholic and his parents do NOT want their son to marry a Protestant.
According to the father's prejudices, Protestants are
The tone of the narrator here is created by which type of figurative language?
Here this term refers to the davenport style sofa, as seen in the picture below. (This annotation contains an image)
What can you infer the father means when he claims, "Protestants have no juices"?
What Sunday is the narrator referring to?
What in the father has emerged stronger than his prejudice against Protestants?
Explain the father's change in this story. How do this change and the title of the story both suggest the theme?
Guess What? I Almost Kissed My Father Goodnight
It seems odd, reading this in 2015, doesn't it?
Even though the narrator just admitted to telling harmless lies and "half-truths to keep everybody happy," it makes him panic to catch his father in a lie. Immediately the narrator thinks his father must be doing something terribly wrong.
Do you have a prediction? What might be going on?
A roll top desk usually has many compartment and small drawers beneath the roll-top. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following sentences does not contain a simile?
Novocain is what dentists use to numb your mouth before having a cavity filled. It's interesting the way the writer uses it here.
A Streetcar Named Desire is a classic play by Tennessee Williams. (This annotation contains an image)
This is really what this story is all about. The narrator is seeing his father for the first time as a man, and as a grown version of himself.
Explain how the narrator discovers a connection with his father here.
My First Negro
The three stories he mentions here are historical fiction because the historical setting plays a part in the story.
Haile Selassie was the leader of Ethiopia. In 1936 he addressed the League of Nations, condemning Italy for their use of chemical weapons against his country. (This annotation contains an image)
What historical conflict is behind "the long layoff at the comb shop and my father's deep silence" in this story?
This newfound purpose makes the Midnight Raiders like what legendary figure?
What can we infer would bother the narrator's father about going on "relief"?
The conflict here could best be described as
List five words from this paragraph that help create an impression of poverty in this neighborhood.
Explain why Jefferson would never meet the narrator at the library or why the narrator would never suggest they meet anywhere other than Alphabet Soup. Think in terms of the time period of this story.
The narrator understands the inherent racism in Jean-Paul's remark.
How is the boys' delivery of vegetables now going to be interpreted?
Did you know this was going to happen?
Pretend you are the narrator. If you had five minutes to talk to Jefferson, what would you say?
The writer suggests that Jefferson Johnson Stone had a special quality about him the narrator admired. What did Jefferson "wear like a suit of armor"?
Bunny Berigan—Wasn't He a Musician or Something?
The writer has mentioned the "second level" in stories before. What does second level mean as it applies here?
The narrator feels safe because all of his thoughts and actions at this point in his life revolve around his wife and kids, his family.
We can infer all of the following about the narrator and Walt except which of the following?
Walt is probably feeling a lot of guilt. He may also feel ridiculous and cliche, especially when Jerry likens his situation to the movies.
What is the best word to denote what "quality" the narrator is referring to here?
We get the feeling that Jerry would never be able to do to his children what Walt is willing to do to his.
What emotion do you think the narrator is feeling?
We know Bunny Berigan must be important to this story because of the title. Bunny Berigan was a trumpet player in the 1920s and '30s. Listen to a few minutes of this recording of "I Can't Get Started" then answer the following question. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u7x-Q3oTjQExplain what you think Buddy Berigan may bring out in the plot of this story?
All of these people and things Jerry is questioning Jennifer about represent
Think about the narrator's thoughts: "What will you do, Walt, when the bloom leaves Jennifer, as it left Ellen and leaves everybody?" What do you think Walt really sees in Jennifer? A chance to regain his youth, perhaps?
Quiz on "Protestants Cry, Too," "Guess What, I Almost Kissed My Father Goodnight," "My First Negro," and "Bunny Berigan--Wasn't He a Musician or Something?"
How is Walt "breaking the rules"?