Down the Rabbit Hole

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Ingrid is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or at least her shoes are. And getting them back will mean getting tangled up in a murder investigation as complicated as the mysteries solved by her idol, Sherlock Holmes. With soccer practice, schoolwork, and the lead role in her town's production of Alice in Wonderland, Ingrid is swamped. But as things in Echo Falls keep getting curiouser and curiouser, Ingrid realizes she must solve the murder on her own -- before it's too late!
Curriculet Details
73 Questions
78 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for middle school students contains interactive videos exploring irony and conflict, as well as annotations describing Alice in Wonderland, theatre, and onomatopoeia. Students will explore the themes of suspense and reality. 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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Down the Rabbit Hole is a mystery story written by Peter Abrahams. It is the first book in his Echo Falls series.  (This annotation contains an image)
This is a commentary on what the media thinks girls are interested in. Abrahams writing that the paper made an "angry" sound lets you know how he feels about this. As you read, notice if Ingrid conforms to these standards or if she is her own person. 
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective featured in novels by the Scottish author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes first appeared in 1887 and has inspired countless adaptations.  (This annotation contains an image)
How would you describe the narration in this novel? 
Ingrid is the protagonist in the novel. Watch the video below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
What do we know about Ingrid so far? 


This is a polite way of saying that Katie had a really strong, bad odor. 
How do you think Ingrid feels during this interaction with Cracked-Up Katie? Cite examples from the text in your answer. 
"Tear it wide open like a gutted water balloon" is an example of a simile. Watch the video below to learn more about similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
This sentence contains a figure of speech. "Her mouth opened up, an empty black hole" is an example of 
A spire is a conical or pyramid-shaped structure on the top of a building. (This annotation contains an image)


What does Sherlock mean by this? 
"Snap" in this context is an example of onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is when words imitate the sound they are meant to describe. Another example of this would be "drip drop went the rain." Look for more instances of onomatopoeia as you read. 
How do you think Ingrid feels about her dad? Contrast this to how she seems to feel about her mom. 
The word "problem" in this context is a homonym. A homonym is when words that have the same spelling and pronunciation have different meanings. A math problem is different than a personal problem, which Ingrid is comparing it to. 


Why is Ingrid alarmed? 
Ingrid might have a valuable clue. Remember how Katie looked scared and left abruptly during their meeting? 
What does Ingrid think of the football game? 
The revelation that she had liked Cracked-Up Katie came as quite a surprise to Ingrid. 
How does this dialogue between Ingrid's mother and father illustrate differences in the way they look at sports and competition? 
This statement is an example of hyperbole, which is another way of saying it is a gross exaggeration. Watch the video below to learn more about hyperbole.  (This annotation contains a video)


"Waving back and forth like giants whipping themselves into a frenzy" is an example of  
"The drip drip of the coffee" is another example of onomatopoeia.  
Where are Ingrid's cleats? 
A cliche is an expression that has been so overused that it has lost its effect. 
What do you think is happening here? How do you think Ingrid feels about it? 


Cocaine was still legal when Holmes' character used it in late-nineteenth century England. 
Why do you think Ingrid is afraid to tell her parents about being at Cracked-Up Katie's? 
Police legally have to let everyone know of their Miranda rights before being placed under arrest. (This annotation contains an image)
Palaver means "to talk." 
Who does Grampy think a person should rely on? 
This is an example of dramatic irony. The reader, Ingrid, and Grampy all know that Ingrid's mother did not walk into a peaceful scene. She doesn't know that they were just shooting guns! Watch the video below to learn more about dramatic irony. (This annotation contains a video)


Do you think Ingrid is taking her safety into consideration? What would you do in her situation? 
Here's a picture of a forest at night to show you how brave-- or foolhardy-- Ingrid is! (This annotation contains an image)
What is this sentence in reference to? 


"CRASH" is an example of onomatopoeia.  
Ingrid sounds as if 
Dial M for Murder was a play that was later turned into a movie starring Grace Kelly and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Watch the trailer for the 1954 classic below. (This annotation contains a video)
After watching the trailer for Dial M for Murder on the previous page, why do you think Abrahams chose this movie to become a part of the novel's plot? 
Do you remember Ingrid's revelation during soccer that playing hard is not the same as playing to win? Note which soccer metaphor Abrahams decided to use here and think about how it relates to Ingrid's situation. 
Do you think there's a connection between Kate, the Prescott Players and the murder? Cite evidence from the text in your answer. 


Ingrid, like Alice, goes "down the rabbit hole," only Ingrid's rabbit hole is the grisly murder investigation which she has gotten herself involved in! Notice the Alice in Wonderland references as you read to highlight one of the main themes of the novel. (This annotation contains an image)
Ingrid's mom lecturing her about keeping track of the red cleats she had found in the laundry room that morning is an example of 
Ty is taking out his anger and frustration about the football game on Ingrid. 
Why are the woods the last place Ingrid wants to be? 
The highlighted sentence is an example of an interior monologue, a literary device where the narrator lets the reader see the inner thoughts of a character.  
Do you think these are the murderers or the harmless drunks from the alley?  


Why is Ty agreeing to this charade? 
Ingrid is having doubts that the drunks in the alley could be the murderers.  
Why do you think Ingrid is wearing makeup?  
Ingrid is almost correct here, except "jabr" means to bring subtracted terms to the other side of the equation. 
Quiz #1 


What do the Prescott Players symbolize to Ingrid?  
The green room is a room in a theatre or studio where actors wait to go on stage. 
What is Mr. Santos' tone while reading for the Mad Hatter? 
Here is the Disney version of the scene they just read through. (This annotation contains a video)
"Her voice ran up and down the scale like a flute" is an example of a simile. 
Ingrid _________________ about the conviction of the two men for Kate's murder. 


Ingrid, without realizing it, created and solved an algebraic equation on her own! 
This dialogue could best be described as 
Watch the video below to hear "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth being read.  (This annotation contains a video)
What is Ingrid's mother's tone in reciting these poems? How do you think this makes her feel? 
Ingrid is really getting into the role of Alice. This deepens the connection to the title of the novel and further reinforces the theme of being plunged into a strange new world. 


What does Ingrid's father mean by this analogy? 
The Seine is a river than runs through Paris. 
The color crimson not having enough "guts" to be red is an example of 
Ingrid forged the note from her mother. To forge something means to produce an imitation of something in order to deceive. 
Joey seems to be very _____________ his catapult. 
This is likely what Joey's catapult model looks like. (This annotation contains an image)


Abrahams always writes about how the chief is very imposing physically, but what do you think of his personality? Does his exterior seem to match up with his interior? 
Bunions are a deformity resulting from prolonged stress on the big toe joint. (This annotation contains an image)
Where else did we see a reference to Dial M for Murder? 
These are Sherlock Holmes references. 
What does Chief Strade think about the red shoes? 


Thomas Paine was a political activist who wrote famous pamphlets in favor of the American Revolution. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Ingrid's plan? Do you think it is wise or do you think she should talk to the police? 
Mr. Ferrand seems disappointed that Chloe didn't get the lead. 
This is an example of 
Ingrid is going to have Vincent take her to Morales and Singley's house instead of her home. 


Ingrid and Vincent are talking about her being good at reading people, but do you think she is good at reading people right now? What do you make of Vincent? 
Was he about to say Dial M for Murder? 
How do you think Ingrid is feeling right now? 
Ingrid is having an internal conflict. Watch the video below to learn more about conflict in literature.  (This annotation contains a video)
Who does Ingrid think is going to solve the murder of Cracked-Up Katie? 


Ingrid's priorities include solving a murder case, staying in her math class, winning a soccer championship, and being great in the play. Which one of these doesn't fit with the others? 
How is Ingrid and Ty's relationship changing now that they are both in their teens? Cite examples from the text. 
"Curiosity killed the cat" is an idiom. An idiom is a commonly used phrase that has a literal meaning that is different from its actual meaning. Another example of an idiom is the phrase "raining cats and dogs." 
Ingrid's tone could best be described as 
The Ferrands wanting to buy Grampy's land is likely a source of some of the tension Ingrid's father seems to be having at work. 
Mr. Samuels is a wealth of information on Philip Prescott. He tells Ingrid all of the following EXCEPT 
Just like the hanged man in Morales and Stringley's apartment! 


What did Ingrid go back to Packer Street for? 
Many states have laws that anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. 
Do you think that Chief Strade is beginning to suspect that Ingrid is involved?  
Corregidor and the Coral Sea were the sites of two battles from WWII. Corregidor is an island in the Philippines and the Battle of the Coral Sea was off the coast of Australia. (This annotation contains an image)


On the tape Ingrid hears 
Ingrid's mother is getting suspicious. 
What is the "missing link" that Ingrid needs to get her hands on? 
Vincent hadn't told her mother anything. Ingrid is relieved, but should she be suspicious?  


How much do you think the setting of Prescott Hall has to do with Ingrid's journey "down the rabbit hole"? Cite evidence from the text in your answer. 
Stage fright is a phobia of performing in public. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Chloe's tone so nasty? 
The "rolling bank vault" is a metaphor for the black Mercedes.  
Quiz #2 


Ingrid's tone can best be described as 
The Visigoths were nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples. The painting below shows them invading Rome. (This annotation contains an image)
Ingrid thinks her parents have a motive for having Grampy over for dinner. What do you think it is? 
This must be where Ingrid's father's competitive nature comes from! 
Grampy's reaction to the proposal is 
Mr. Ferrand blames Ingrid's father for a bad business deal, so Ingrid's father thinks he needs Grampy's land to get back into his boss' good graces. 


Who is David Vardack? 
This joke is an example of a pun. A pun is when a word (or words) have multiple meanings or sound like other words. 
Why does Ingrid change her mind about painting her face? 
Ingrid is developing a respect for Chief Strade. While she knows that he is on to her, she acknowledges that he is a good detective and wants a positive outcome for both of them. 


Joey's tone can best be described as 
"Science was about to fall on him like a ton of bricks" is an example of a simile. 
Ingrid's relationship with Chloe has changed a great deal since they were girls. What do you predict it will be like by the end of the novel? 
Barbara Stanwyck's (1907-1990) showbiz career spanned six decades. The American Film Institute ranks her as the 11th greatest female star of all time. (This annotation contains an image)
Everyone treats Vincent with 


"No flies on me" is an expression that means the person saying it is a go-getter, quick and clever-- not like a slow-moving animal that flies tend to settle on. 
Ingrid thinks driving the tractor is 
A sinkhole is a depression in the ground caused by a collapse just below the surface. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Grampy's plan to spoil the land deal? 
"Vroom" is an example of onomatopoeia.  
The old woman's tone could best be described as  
This paragraph is a good example of foreshadowing. Watch the video below to learn more about foreshadowing. Abrahams is foreshadowing that with the similarities between Ingrid and the young Katie, Ingrid might have the same fate.  (This annotation contains a video)
What are the contents of the blue box? 


Phillip fled because he accidentally killed David Vardack! 
Grampy's joke about Ingrid driving the car is a good example of 
"Bzzz" is an example of onomatopoeia.  
What do you think the electric pulsing is? Is Ingrid picking up on the true meaning of what is going on? 


Vincent's new opening line has changed the tone from one of innocence to one of violence. As you read, think about how this reflects upon Vincent's personality. 
Vincent's new vision of Alice in the play is more 
It seems that Vincent has noticed the tension between Chloe and Ingrid and is trying to play Chloe off Ingrid to ruffle her.  
How does this paragraph go along with the theme of the novel? 
Satire is when a writer uses humor to ridicule and criticize people. 
Do you think Ingrid is being foolish to trust Vincent at this point? What would you do if you were in her position? 


Abrahams wrote this dream sequence to show that everything is spiraling out of Ingrid's control. 
Why does Ingrid ask Joey if they get The Echo at home? 
That was what Vincent had told Ingrid about Barbara Stanwyck. 


This paragraph contains a good example of 
Abrahams is showing Ingrid going down another rabbit hole in her own mind. 
Abrahams is creating a feeling of foreboding in this scene. How does he accomplish this? Cite examples from the text. 
Notice all of the ways in which Abrahams is building up suspense in this scene. 
Vincent's tone could best be described as 


The Yukon is highlighted in red on the map below. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the significance of Ingrid going trough the cat door? 
The scraping sound throughout this scene is meant to add suspense. This is very similar to Edgar Allan Poe's story The Tell-Tale Heart. 
What does Vincent mean in the last sentence? What do you think he intends to do? 
Below is a picture of a line of buoys. (This annotation contains an image)
Ingrid is likely becoming hypothermic. Hypothermia is when your body temperature becomes dangerously low. In near-freezing water such as Ingrid is in, a person can die in 15-30 minutes. 


Who ended up being the hero? 
Quiz #3 
The novel ends with a nod to Ingrid's adventure down the rabbit hole, echoing the theme one last time.