The Wild Things

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Max is a rambunctious eight-year-old whose world is changing around him: His father is absent, his mother is increasingly distracted, and his teenage sister has outgrown him. Sad and angry, Max dons his wolf suit and makes terrible, ruinous mischief, flooding his sister’s room and driving his mother half-crazy. Convinced his family doesn’t want him anymore, Max flees home, finds a boat and sails away. Arriving on an island, he meets strange and giant creatures who rage and break things, who trample and scream. These beasts do everything Max feels inside, and so, Max appoints himself their king. Here, on a magnificent adventure with these funny and complex monsters, Max can be the wildest thing of all. In this visionary adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic work, Dave Eggers brings an imaginary world vividly to life, telling the story of a lonely boy navigating the emotional journey away from boyhood. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Curriculet Details
54 Questions
54 Annotations
3 Quizzes

In this 9th and 10th grade digital curriculum, annotations include links to images of illustrations from the original "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak that are referenced in the book and explanations of literary devices such as foreshadowing and metaphor. Interactive videos support engagement and cover subjects such as tone and character development. The Common Core aligned questions and answers address setting and narration, along with the themes of childhood, isolation, growing up, and family. Our free online unit will increase student engagement with rich media annotations while supporting reading comprehension with questions and quizzes that are imbedded directly into the book.

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Chapter I

This novel was inspired by the well-known children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. The children's book version is pictured below.  (This annotation contains an image)
Did you know that you can define words using Curriculet's "Define" feature? Simply highlight the word you want to look up and click "Define." Be sure to do this anytime you encounter a word that you do not know! 
Why doesn't Max respond to Claire's question? 
The story is written from the point of view of a young boy. How would this scene be different it was told from an adult's perspective? 
Max interprets Mrs. Mahoney's decision to run alongside him as 

Chapter II

"A chin as soft as cake" is an example of a simile. Watch the short video below to learn more about how to identify similes and why they are used.  (This annotation contains a video)
Claire looked at Max "with a look of great venom" means that she 
From the description of Max's behavior, it is clear that he  
Pay attention to the theme that is emerging around Max's feelings of being unwanted and not belonging. Watch the short video below to learn more about how to identify theme.  (This annotation contains a video)
"Little grasshopper" refers to _________. 
What does the detail about Max's mom crying all the time reveal about her mental state? Does she seem like a very happy person?  

Chapter III

What do Max's actions towards Claire's belongings reveal about Max's personality? 
Vermont is located in red on the map below.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter IV

At this point, Max's mom 
Think about why Max decides to stick to the truth with his mom. What does this reveal about his character? 
How does Max's mood change from the time he pours the water all over Claire's room to the time his mom notices the damage? 

Chapter V

Max's mom appears to 
How does someone "smile sadly"? Think about what this tells us about Max's mom. 

Chapter VI

Use details from this chapter to describe the nature of Gary and Max's relationship. 

Chapter VII

This is not the first time that other adults have disagreed with the fact that Max's mom lets him ride his bike around by himself. Do you think that their concerns are valid? 

Chapter VIII

What pattern is emerging around Max and the amount of time he spends alone? 
Pay attention to the overall mood of this chapter. What do you think it feels like to be Max right now? Watch the short video below to learn more about how to identify mood in a passage.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter IX

Mr. Beckmann and Max have a(n) ____________ relationship. 
The photograph below shows a German shepard.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter X

The image below is a photograph of a bunk bed. Why does Max see his bunk bed as the perfect structure for building an indoor fort?  (This annotation contains an image)
What have you noticed about the relationship between Max and his father so far in the book? 

Chapter XI

The drawing below is from Maurice Sendak's book that inspired this novel. How does the drawing of Max in the white wolf suit compare to the description in Egger's version?  (This annotation contains an image)
What does Max want to do with Claire? 
Max does not think that 
Think about how Max's mom must feel trying to control Max. Do you think that Max has more energy than a typical eight year old child? 

Chapter XII

What word best describes Max's emotional state at this moment? 
Can you predict the outcome of Max getting on the boat?  

Chapter XIV

Are the events that are occurring a figment of Max's imagination? How do you know? 
The details in this passage suggest that 

Chapter XV

Quiz #1 

Chapter XVI

Watch the film trailer for "Where the Wild Things Are." Then, answer the question below.  (This annotation contains a video)
Watch the trailer for the film "Where the Wild Things Are" in the annotation above. Pick an event in the trailer that is also portrayed in the novel. Compare the two portrayals. How are they the same? How are they different? 

Chapter XVII

Max is most surprised that the creatures  
The image below is an illustration from Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are." Use this image to help add to the description of the characters and the setting.  (This annotation contains an image)
How do the drawings by Eggers compare to Sendak's illustrations? Do you notice any similarties? 
Max is _______________ by the creatures. 

Chapter XVIII

Max is excited by 
A jack-in-the-box is the toy pictured below. After winding the level, the doll pops out quickly. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter XIX

Think about how Max puts himself in the creature's shoes when he is thinking about how to convince Judith to stop. What does this reveal about his character? 
The creatures appear to be  

Chapter XX

The image below is a scepter.  (This annotation contains an image)
Predict the outcome of Max's stay with the creatures based on where the creatures took the crown from. 

Chapter XXI

Use the "Define" feature to look up the word aghast. Then, pick the synonym for aghast from the list below.  
As you read, consider what role Max has in leading the creatures. Why do you think the creatures are so accepting of Max? 
The tone of Max and Carol's interaction can be described as __________. 
"Pate" is blended duck liver. It is considered a delicacy by many people.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #2 

Chapter XXII

Another way to say "rumpusing" is 
When someone is "claustrophobic" they feel anxious about being in tight spaces.  
Explain why Max feels "at home" in this moment. 

Chapter XXIII

Think about why Carol may have put Max's crown under the fire. Does this seem like an appropriate place for the crown? 
Why is Max surprised by the fact that the enormous animal was called a dog? 
Since Max is "heaving" from the climb, it is clear that he has exerted a lot of energy in climbing. How does the author convey a sense of Max's excitement for about what he is about to see despite feeling exhausted.  

Chapter XXIV

It appears that Max is talking about his own family in this passage. Why do you think he describes his family as having "huge mouths but no ears." 
Max is able to  

Chapter XXV

"The void" sounds most like the feeling of ____________. 

Chapter XXVI

Velvet is a type of fabric that is very deep and rich. The image below shows a close- up of velvet. Think about the impact that this diction has on the overall imagery in the text.  (This annotation contains an image)
How has Max's relationship with the creatures changed from the beginning of his time on the island to this moment? 
Do you think Max should leave his parade? Why or why not? 

Chapter XXVII

Katherine takes time to ________________ Max. 
This image shows a lagoon. A lagoon is secluded area that is protected from the waves and strong currents.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter XXVIII

Watch the short video about tension below. Then, answer the question that follows.  (This annotation contains a video)
How is tension beginning to increase between Max and Carol? 

Chapter XXIX

What do Max and the beasts run from? 
As you read, think about why Carol would deny that Douglass was with the group. What is his motivation for lying about this fact? 
Can Max really hear the chatter in the earth? How do you know? 
How has the overall tone shifted from the beginning of the time that Max was on the island? 

Chapter XXXI

Max smells badly because 
Is Max is in charge of Carol, or is Carol is in charge of Max. How do you know? 

Chapter XXXII

Predict what will happen if Ira is hungry during the war. Will this impact Ira's relationship with Max? 
Max believes that a war will 

Chapter XXXIII

The photograph below shows a buffalo.  (This annotation contains an image)
Max is disturbed by the other side's use of ____________ in the war.  
Pay attention to the shift in Max's feelings. What is causing him to feel differently? What do you think the outcome of these feelings will be? 
Explain the significance of waving a white flag during battle. 
Carol appears to be much more violent than Max. Do you think Max should be worried about his own safety? 
What did Max mean when he said, "Let's kill them"? 

Chapter XXXIV

Max is  
Judith's tone is mocking and mean. What does this reveal about her feelings towards Max?  
What has led to the creatures feeling differently about Max? 
As you read, consider the conflict that Max is having with some of the creatures. Pay attention to how this impacts him throughout the next several chapters. Review internal and external conflict by watching the short video below.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter XXXV

This is the first time that Max thinks about going home. What led to these feelings? 
Why does Max think that his sister and mother are happy that he is gone? 

Chapter XXXVII

Max is sure to emphasize that the fort won't sail because 
Recall that Judith suffers from feeling a "void" at times. Notice how Max is trying to convince each of the creatures to join him on making a fort.  


What attitude does Judith typically have? 
Pause and think about why Max wants to build a fort. What is his motivation?  

Chapter XXXIX

The image below is a seal. How does Max feel about the creatures eating seals?  (This annotation contains an image)
We can infer from Max's reaction that he feels _____________ when he sees Katherine throw rocks at the owls.  

Chapter XL

How does Max rely on Carol for safety? 
Talons are claws that are found on birds. The image below shows talons.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter XLII

As you read the exchange between Max and Judith, think about if you agree with Judith's accusations against Max. Do you agree that Max is manipulative? 
Why does Judith call Max "manipulative"? 

Chapter XLIII

Do you think Carol is telling the truth or manipulating the others? Why? 
Ira equates "the void" to 

Chapter XLV

What about Alexander does Max relate to? 
What did Max do to Alexander? 

Chapter XLVI

Watch the video explaining the difference between protagonists and antagonists. Then, consider if Carol is an antagonist as you read this chapter.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Carol call Max a failure?  
Why does Carol want to find Max? Is Max in danger? 

Chapter XLVII

Max is located  

Chapter XLVIII

When Max looks at Carol, he sees __________. 
Make a prediction about where Max is going at this time. 

Chapter XLIX

Think about all the ways that Max has changed because of his experience on the island. Predict how his family will react when they see him in the morning. 
Quiz #3 
How do you think Max's experience will change his relationship with his family?