The Nightmarys

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The author of "The Stone Child" returns with this chilling story about a young boy whose nightmares are staring to come true.
Curriculet Details
72 Questions
71 Annotations
4 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for seventh grade students contains interactive videos exploring genre, figurative language, tone and mood. The annotations include photographs, descriptions, and links to artwork and helpful websites that enhance student learning. Students will explore the themes of friendship, family relations, loyalty, and fears. 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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Part 1 - Invisible Things

Right from the beginning, author Dan Poblicki creates a mysterious tone in this novel. The following video will help you appreciate this literary genre.  (This annotation contains a video)
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? 
Which of the following have we not yet learned? 

Homework #8

Has the author made you curious about these jars? What kind of tone does this description of the contents help set? 
Why is Stuart upset with Timothy? 

Homework #9

Timothy is in a difficult position. He wants to honor his parents' secret, and also wants to keep his friendship with Stuart strong. Have you ever had to keep a difficult secret? 
What impressions do you have of Abigail so far? Of Timothy? Of Stuart? Jot down a few ideas and revisit your thinking later on as the characters develop. 

Homework #10

While Ben's location is unnamed, we can assume it is either Iraq or Afghanistan, where the United States has been fighting with troops since the turn of the twenty-first century. 
It is likely that ____________ is going to be a main theme of this book. 

Homework #11

Timothy's mother is very preoccupied with her concern for his older brother, Ben, and is not able to be very attentive to Timothy. How do you imagine he is feeling? 
The author uses onomatopoeia to help us 

Part 2 - Edge of Doom

"Doom" often refers to the Christian concept of Jesus Christ passing final judgement on a person before he or she enters Heaven or Hell. Below is a piece of one of the most famous paintings of this, done by Michelangelo. As you read this section of the book, consider if and how the concept of judgement is present.  (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #13

How does Stuart's description of the video game relate to the nightmare that Timothy had the night before? Can you explain the feelings that both evoke? 
Giant claws, eyeballs, and other scary things appear increasingly often in this book. To appreciate how the author uses them as a motif, watch the following video.  (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #14

Look up the word "cavernous" and choose why the author might be describing the room this way. 
What might it mean that the painting title is the same as the title for this part of the book? What might it indicate for Timothy and the others? 
Why does Stuart throw a water balloon at Timothy and Abigail? 

Homework #15

Abigail is clearly different from her classmates, and the water balloon attack is a form of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullying, check out the following resource.  (This annotation contains a link)
What do you imagine is happening in this scene? Can you think of at least two different explanations? 

Homework #16

How does this description compare to the elderly woman we met at the very beginning of the book? 
What can we infer about the relationship between Timothy and Abigail? 

Homework #17

Can you imagine why this book is important to Timothy, and to the story? 
Why does Timothy want to be invisible? 

Homework #18

Do these names give you any clues about the identity of the men named?  

Homework #19

Why is it important for Timothy to be able to talk about Ben? What do you think he is feeling about Ben now? 
What is Stuart saying to Timothy here? Do you agree or disagree? 

Homework #20

What can we infer from the highlighted text? 
At the beginning of this book, we saw a video about mysteries. How is the author creating a sense of mystery so far? 
Use the dictionary to look up the word "encroach" and choose which of the following is the best antonym for this word. 
The horseshoe, pictured below, is often considered a symbol of good luck. As you read this book and it appears again, decide what you think about this.  (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #21

Why is Timothy giving thanks? What might Stuart be thinking at this moment? 

Part 3 - The Haunting of Abigail Tremens

Have you noticed how the author introduces side stories from time to time, especially in the Interlude chapters? To appreciate this more, watch the following video about parallel plots.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why might the author have put this chapter, which is seemingly unrelated to the rest of the story, into the book at this point? 
Quiz One: Chapters 1 - 13 

Homework #23

The descriptions of Mr. Crane being different today as well as the mention of the glass jars are examples of foreshadowing. Authors use this literary technique to hint that something else is going to happen in the story. What do you imagine happening with the jars? 
Which of the following characters seems to be the least important in moving this story along? 

Homework #24

Do you think it is fair that Timothy has a detention? How does your school punish students who misbehave? 
What can we infer about the jars at this point? 
How do you imagine these jars? Do they look at all like the image below?  (This annotation contains an image)
Through foreshadowing and description, we can be pretty sure that 

Homework #25

Compare the image of the Picasso painting below to what you imagine Abigail sees when she looks at the hair dye box and thinks about her own transformation.  (This annotation contains an image)
Most of this story is told from Timothy's point of view. How does this impact our opinion of him and the other characters? 
Having secrets and being troubled by them is something that helps Timothy and Abigail grow closer. 

Homework #26

Which word best describes the mood in the room now? 
Reading the highlighted sentence aloud helps us hear the alliteration and onomatopoeia in it. To learn more about figurative language, watch the following video.  (This annotation contains a video)
What do you imagine Abigail is going to talk about? Explain your thinking. 

Homework #27

Have you ever suffered from a nightmare? What do you do to calm yourself down? 
Which of the following do we know for sure? 

Homework #28

What do you think of Timothy's theory about Abigail being responsible for some of the bad things that are happening? 
Which of the following statements does not belong in a summary of the main events so far? 

Homework #29

What can we infer about Mrs. Kindred from this description of her? 
Which adjective best describes Zilpha? 

Homework #30

Who might this man be, and why is he appearing now? 
Are the details about Timothy's brother crucial to the main plot, or do they form a subplot in this story? 
Use the dictionary to look up the word "specter," and then choose the sentence that best captures what is taking place in the highlighted sentence. 

Homework #31

Can you think of a time when doing the right thing was difficult? How did you handle the situation? 
What kind of figurative language does the author use to describe Ben's laughter? 

Homework #32

Listen to a few of the sounds provided on the following page, and decide which one best helps you imagine Ben's laughter.  (This annotation contains a link)
The highlighted phrase suggests that Abigail feels 
As you read this email from the bookstore owner, think about how the author of Nightmarys uses this structure of a story within the story to give us details. 
What are three important pieces of information that Abigail and Timothy learn from the letter? Jot down a summary in your own words. 

Homework #33

Stuart has been suffering from nightmares. Do you think the girl haunting him looks like the image below, or do you imagine someone different?  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Timothy want Stuart to tell him about what has been happening to him? 
Even if we don't remember them, we all have good and bad dreams. Many psychologists believe that nightmares reflect our worst fears. What do you think? 
Why does Abigail reluctantly speak to Stuart? 

Homework #34

The author uses bad weather to help shape the mood of this chapter. To learn more about tone and mood, and the differences between them, watch the following video.  (This annotation contains a video)
How are Timothy's fears affecting his relationship with Abigail?  
Have you noticed how protective Abigail is of her grandmother? Why do you think she reacts so strongly to Timothy's implication that the grandmother has something to do with the mystery? 

Homework #35

The author uses _____________ to help set the mood for this chapter. 
What can we infer from Timothy's terrifying visions of Ben? 

Homework #36

Provide at least two reasons why Timothy's dad asks him to park his mom's car. Cite evidence from the text to support your response.  
Quiz Two: Chapter 14 - 27 

Part 4 - The Nightmarys

As you read this Interlude chapter, think about the author's purpose in putting it here. What effect does it have on the story? 
The man in the overcoat is probably not 

Homework #38

Abigail and Timothy, and we the readers, are receiving some important clues here. 
By thinking of the library, Timothy shows himself to be 

Homework #39

Below is an image of The Addams Family house, which is featured in the TV series as well as some films.  (This annotation contains an image)
What was Timothy's promise to Zilpha? What do you think of him breaking his promise? 
What has Timothy discovered and why is he so surprised? 

Homework #40

"...dust erupted in a torrent of motes..."What is the meaning of the highlighted text? 

Homework #41

Read the quotation by psychologist Carl Jung on the image below, and think about how it applies to this story.  (This annotation contains an image)
What is the significance of the baseball players? 

Homework #42

While Dr. Hesselius' death is part of this fictional story, preventing suicide is something we should all be aware of. Below is a link to a helpful resource. (This annotation contains a link)
Which piece of information about Dr. Hesselius helps us understand his negative decline? 
Have you ever spent time in a cave? Look at the picture below; do you find it magical, frightening, or both?  (This annotation contains an image)
In your own words, summarize the importance of the jawbone and how it works? Write 3 - 4 sentences. 

Homework #43

Do you think Timothy really believes they are doing nothing wrong, or is he trying to save them from negatvie consequences? 
Look up the word "anomaly" and choose which of the following is the best antonym  (opposite) for this word. 
Do you remember meeting Percival Ankh earlier in the story? What do you remember about him? 
Seen through Timothy's eyes, Abigail is 

Homework #44

As you probably thought, Hesselius is a very unusual and uncommon name. The author might have been inspired by the detective character in a supernatural fictional work published in the late 1800s. 
Why does Hesselius seek revenge on Zilpha? 

Homework #45

Look at the image of the house below, and compare the description of Jack's house to it.  (This annotation contains an image)
Think about how Jack has been described so far. What impression do you imagine Abigail and Timothy have of him? 
What might the author be hinting at here? 
If Jack turns out to be evil, the highlighted lines will have served as ________________. 
How does the author build an air of suspense in the highlighted passage? 
Thinking back about everything in this chapter, how does the author prepare us for this ending to it? 

Homework #46

Do you agree or disagree with the highlighted sentence? Can you think of an example from your own experience? 
Why does Abigail exclaim, "Oh, no!" when she realizes that her grandmother is arriving? 

Homework #47

Do you think Zilpha knows who Johnson really is? What informs your opinion? 
The children are shocked by 
Zilpha is not sorry at all, and this is an example of verbal irony. To learn more about the different types of irony, watch the following video.  (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #48

The highlighted sentence has an example of  
Does the book jacket, pictured below, help you envision what Timothy and Abigail are seeing?  (This annotation contains an image)
How does the author use description to set the frightening mood of this scene? Is there a part or two you find particularly effective? 

Homework #49

How does the author use figurative language to help us understand what Timothy is feeling now? 
Why does Timothy have a terrible feeling? 
Listen to the sounds of the following video. Is this how you imagine the dragon that is chasing Timothy?  (This annotation contains a video)
What is causing this dragon to appear? 
As you continue to read this chapter, pay attention to how the author builds momentum and helps us feel as if we are in the story. What are you noticing? 
Look up the word "chortle" and choose the best explanation for why the dragon chortled. 
Quiz Three: Chapters 28 - 39 

Homework #50

Even though we are cheering for Timothy, we need to remember that driving without a license is not only dangerous, but illegal! 
Why is Timothy in a hurry to see Zilpha? 
What do you think the author is foreshadowing with the description of the weather? 
The description of the sky exemplifies the author's use of  ________________ to help set the mood. 

Homework #51

Which of the following is not true? 
Imagine stairs leading down from the lighthouse in the picture below. Treacherous, no?  (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think the author ends the chapter with this description? List at least two possibilities. 

Homework #52

How do the descriptions help build the mood of this part of the story? Do you still find the mystery aspect to be engaging? 
Throughout this book, Timothy has proven himself to be _______________. 
How does the author engage our different senses to help us feel Timothy's fright?  

Homework #53

The contrast of light and darkness has been used in many literary and artistic works to symbolize good and evil. Do you think it is effective here? 
The lighter, once a source of trouble, is now going to help them. This is an example of  
How does the author pace this part of the story to influence our emotions as we read it? 
Do you think the children are glad that Zilpha has arrived or not? 

Homework #54

The circumstances in which the characters find themselves often show them to be  
"Open sesame" is an incantation from "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, an Arab folktale known around the world. Below is a poster advertising one of the film versions.  (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #55

Look up the word "nemeses" and decide which of the following it probably means in this sentence. 
Why does Zilpha say this? Is she sincere, or does she have other intentions? 
Do you think Jack deserves to die? Why or why not? 

Homework #56

Which of the following was not imaginary? 

Homework #57

Can you imagine what will happen as a consequence of the corpse being "incomplete" again? 
Which of the following is contributing most to Timothy's state of mind right now? 
Do you think this is really happening, or is it something Timothy is imagining? On what do you base your opinion? 

Homework #58

Explain the relationship between Chaos and Blame, and the role that the jawbone plays. 
Why is Abigail upset with Timothy? 
What does the appearance of the Nightmarys here suggest? 
Below is a photo of a human jawbone. Do you think it is frightening?  (This annotation contains an image)

Part 5 - Graduation Day

After reading the description of Mr. Flanders, and looking up any words you do not know, choose the word below that best describes him. 
This brings us full circle to the beginning of the book. 

Homework #60

How have Timothy's experiences changed him and set him apart from most of his classmates? 
Perhaps Timothy is afraid to see Ben because he knows that his brother will have changed in ways he cannot imagine. Many soldiers who fought in the Gulf Wars (and other wars too) have been severely wounded physically and emotionally. 
By releasing the chip, Timothy is  
Does this ending to the story work well for you? Why or why not? 
Quiz Four: Chapters 40 - 49