The Time Hackers

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You ever open your locker and find that some joker has left something really weird inside? Seventh-grader Dorso Clayman opens his locker door to find a dead body. Thirty seconds later it disappears. It's not the first bizarre thing that has appeared in his locker and then vanished. Something's going on. Somebody has decided to make Dorso and his buddy Frank the target of some strange techno-practical jokes. The ultimate gamesters have hacked into the time line, and things from the past are appearing in the present. Soon, the jokes aren't funny anymorethey're dangerous. Dorso and Frank have got to beat the time hackers at their own game by breaking the code, before they get lost in the past themselves. From the Hardcover edition.
Curriculet Details
19 Questions
23 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This 6th grade digital curriculum, contains interactive videos exploring internal and external conflict, indirect characterization and different forms of figurative language. Common Core questions, as well as annotations describing allusions, sentence structure, plot and rhetorical devices. Students will explore themes, such as friendship, selflessness and a great adventure. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Chapter - 1

Paulsen introduces his main character and alludes to the genre (science fiction) in an interesting way by having Dorso find a dead body hanging in his locker. 
Based on the exchange between Dorso and Frank, what can the reader infer about Frank's personality? 
Did you know that you can quickly look up the definition for any word in the text of the story, or in the questions and annotations? Select the word that you need help with using your cursor (or press on mobile devices), then select the Define option to read the definition. Give this a try with any word on this page. 

Chapter - 2

Explain why scientists were concerned when someone discovered how to bring smells forward with the image. Include details from the text in your response. 
Paulsen exaggerates the football player's stupidity by using hyperbole. See the video below for a more detailed description of this form of figurative language.  (This annotation contains a video)
Paulsen once again uses figurative language when he compares John Wilkes Booth to a drugged ferret. Watch the video below to see how to distinguish between similes and metaphors. Is Paulsen using a simile or a metaphor here? (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter - 3

Why is Frank unconcerned about Dorso's problem? 
Frank is convinced that Dorso cannot manipulate time because the scientists figured out how to prevent that from happening. The time freaks are scientists and mathematicians, so in Frank's mind, they have credibility or ethos. Ethos is one of three ways rhetoric can be used for persuasion. Take a look at the chart below and read about the differences between ethos, logos, and pathos. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter - 4

Even though this novel is science fiction, the accurate description of Beethoven lends itself to which genre? 
The characterization of Beethoven is pretty accurate. He was notorious for having a huge ego and was quick to anger. For instance, once Beethoven was eating soup at a restaurant and he was so unimpressed with the service, he poured the hot soup on his waiter!  

Chapter - 5

Why does Dorso interrupt Frank in the highlighted dialogue?  
The author uses vivid details to describe the woolly mammoth so that the reader can picture the creature. This is an example of imagery. View the video below for a more detailed explanation of this literary device.  (This annotation contains a video)
First Time Hackers Quiz 

Chapter - 6

Paulsen uses short, choppy sentences and phrases to convey Dorso's frantic anxiety about the time paradox and Frank's silence. 
Frank mentions the two things to Dorso at the end of this chapter. What is the second thing? 

Chapter - 7

It seems that Frank wants to distance himself from his friend while he gathers information from Dorso by referring to him as a subject. Dorso wants to keep his identity and be referred to by name. 
Consider the highlighted text. How does Dorso view Frank's act of bravery? 
If the laptop purposely tried to harm Dorso or Frank that would be an example of the external conflict. Watch the video below to see how to distinguish between the two main types of conflict. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter - 8

The highlighted text is evidence of which theme? 
The young man appears to be a significant character because he will probably help explain why Dorso and Frank are involved in experiencing events from the past. 

Chapter - 9

Even though Frank has a legitimate excuse for not being prepared for his math test, the reader can infer from his exchange with Dorso that Frank is ______________. 
When Frank questions Dorso, it is not clear whether he is just passionate about figuring out why Dorso's laptop is different, or whether he is jealous. 
What is Frank implying in the highlighted statement? 
Up until this point in the novel, the boys have been seeking to find answers for things that they cannot explain. This appears to be a transition point in the story where Dorso and Frank now have a goal to break the code. 

Chapter - 10

When Dorso says that he will kill Faron, which type of figurative language is he using? 
In the image below, notice the huge size discrepancy between a prehistoric crocodile and one that can be found today. (This annotation contains an image)
Second Time Hackers Quiz 

Chapter - 11

It now makes sense why Frank describes the hackers earlier in a favorable light. Based on his interaction with the security officer, it sounds like he is a hacker. 
Although the security officer has an arrow in his shirt, Dorso and Frank believe that they are the ones being attacked. Explain why. 

Chapter - 12

Below is an image of actual cave art. Upon seeing some of the cave art in France, Picasso stated, "We have invented nothing." (This annotation contains an image)
Use the define feature to derive the meaning of the highlighted word. Which of the following examples would be an antonym for, or word meaning the opposite of apparition? 
The story at this point seems to be in the rising action stage moving towards the climax or the highest point of action or suspense. Will the boys catch the gamester and get his laptop? (This annotation contains an image)
The idiom (figure of speech) "pig in a poke" originated in the Late Middle Ages when meat was in short supply. Read about this idiom at the following link: is the captured gamester similar to a pig in a poke? 

Chapter - 13

In the highlighted text, the author is using hyperbole or exaggeration to describe the smell of the slop. This device is used to help the reader picture the horrible smell that Dorso is forced to endure. 
What does Dorso discover at the end of the chapter after another blinding flash? 

Chapter - 14

The author shows indirectly how clever Dorso is when he tricks his adversary into revealing that he is a single person. Watch the video below to see the different ways author's use indirect characterization to describe their characters. (This annotation contains a video)
With Dorso and Frank apparently getting their chance to meet the time hacker or escape his grasp, where along the plot diagram is the story? 
The man's sad smile seems significant. He is not just saying goodbye because he is leaving the space. This looks like an example of foreshadowing because the author may be hinting at something important happening later in the story. See the video below for a more detailed description of foreshadowing. (This annotation contains a video)
Frank's sarcasm in the highlighted dialogue helps convey a _____________ tone. 

Chapter - 15

This is not explicitly stated in the text, but the time hacker uses the word "please" in his request, which is another reason why Dorso should not fear looking under his porch. 
Paulsen describes two very different types of hackers time hackers and gamesters. Explain what the author might be implying about hackers in the real world. 
The chips are almost characters;, they learn and change over time. This is very similar to the study of artificial intelligence where the goal is to create machines and software that can think on their own. 
How does the time hacker justify putting Dorso and Frank in trouble? 
The time hacker uses a rhetorical question (a question asked in order to make a point rather than elicit an answer) to hint at the fact that he is close to being able to see into the future. 
Final Time Hackers Quiz