True (. . . Sort Of)

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True: Delly Pattison likes surpresents (presents that are a surprise). The day the Boyds come to town, Delly's sure a special surpresent is on its way. But lately, everything that she thinks will be good and fun turns into trouble. She's never needed a surpresent more than now.

True: Brud Kinney wants to play basketball like nothing anybody's ever seen. When the Boyds arrive, though, Brud meets someone who plays like nothing he's ever seen.

True: Ferris Boyd isn't like anyone Delly or Brud have ever met. Ferris is a real mysturiosity (an extremely curious mystery).

True: Katherine Hannigan's first novel since her acclaimed Ida B is a compelling look at the ways friendships and truths are discovered.

It's all true ( . . . sort of).

Curriculet Details
78 Questions
99 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring bullying prevention and making good choices, as well as annotations describing figurative language, foreshadowing, and author's word choice. Students will explore the themes of friendship and family. 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

As you read, you are going to see many words that may look familiar, but are a little different (they are marked with a little *). Please note that at the end of the book there is a dictionary for Delly's words (called a Dellyictionary). 
By saying that "Delly's trouble wasn't mean," the author is telling us that  
All of these names are either states or cities. 

Chapter 2

A canoe is a small narrow boat, usually powered by paddling, although it can sometimes be powered by sails or small motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both the bow (front) and stern (back) and are normally open on top. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Delly have "soap for dessert?" 

Chapter 3

Look at the picture below to understand the map on the school's basketball court. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Alaska the "State of Solitary Confinement?" 
In this chapter, describe how Delly has changed. Give two details from the story in your answer. 

Chapter 4

Delly is filled with excitement, so much so that she feels like her hair is jumping with happiness (see picture below). Can you think of a time you've been really excited? (This annotation contains an image)
Why doesn't Delly fight with Galveston? 
Delly's dialogue (her words) show how excited she is, but the author also includes a physical description. Delly's eyes getting big shows us that you can see the excitement on her face. This is called characterization (how an author reveals the personality of a character). 

Chapter 5

"Whap" is an example of onomatopoeia (sounds like the noise it describes). As you read, see if you can discover any other examples of onomatopoeia. 
Describe Delly and RB's relationship. Give two details from the story in your response. 

Chapter 6

Delly is a ____________ character because she walks all over town looking for her surpresent. 
The IGA is a grocery story (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
What do you think it could be? Make a quick prediction and keep reading to see if you're right. 

Chapter 7

This is an example of a simile (a comparison between two unlike things using like or as). What is being compared to what in this simile? 
Watch the video below to learn more about similes and metaphors.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 8

Watch the video below. As you read, what do you see? (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 9

Why does Delly attack Galveston at the dinner table? 
Delly's mom's mood changes instantly when she realizes WHY Delly is acting like this. It still doesn't excuse her behavior at dinner (and Delly will still be punished), but Clarice calms down and speaks to Delly sympathetically. 

Chapter 10

Describe Brud Kinney. Give two details from the story in your description. 

Chapter 11

Notice the words in italics. These are more examples of onomatopoeia. This helps the reader not only see what Brud is imagining, but hear it too. 
Why is Brud angry at his mouth? 
This is another example of a simile. Brud's teeth are being compared to stars twinkling in the sky. As you read on, see if you can find any other examples of simile. 

Chapter 12

The ... marks are called ellipsis marks (many people call them dot, dot, dot). They tell the reader to take a pause. The author includes Delly's words and this special punctuation to show that time is going by as she waits for her surpresent. (This annotation contains an image)
Why doesn't Delly tell her mom "good night" like she said the night before? 

Chapter 13

RB knows that Delly is up to something and the result won't be good. 

Chapter 14

All of the following are reasons Delly is convinced that Ferris Boyd is a boy EXCEPT: 
You can tell from Mr. Terwilliger's words and actions that he believes there is good in Delly. He is very patient with her and gives her the benefit of the doubt. How would this "misunderstanding" be different if the teacher didn't really know Delly (or thought she was all bad)? 

Chapter 15

Why is Danny Novello especially mean to Delly? 

Chapter 16

Pay close attention to the description of Delly's parents. What does their body language tell us about how they're feeling? 
Why is Clarice crying such a big deal to Delly? What does it mean? 

Chapter 17

Watch the video below. Then complete the compare response. (This annotation contains a video)
Give three examples explaining how Delly and Tommy (from the clip) are similar. 
Do you believe Delly? 
What strategy does RB give Delly to help her calm down? 
Clarice (Delly's mom) is the last person Delly wants to upset. The thought of Clarice giving up on her is the worst thought for Delly. So for her mom's sake, Delly is going to try and change. 

Chapter 18

Delly has to count a lot higher than RB to calm down (she's already in the 500's). 
Who or what distracts Delly from getting in trouble during recess? 

Chapter 19

Watch the video below. How is Delly changing and why? (This annotation contains a video)
Describe two ways in which Delly and Ferris act similarly at school. If you're having trouble finding an example, skim back through this chapter. 

Chapter 20

Why doesn't Delly ever talk about Brud Kinney? 
Notice that Brud's head says one thing (go home) and his hand writes the exact opposite (want to play?). 
H-O-R-S-E is a fun basketball game. Watch the first 1:30 of the video below to see how a game of H-O-R-S-E is played. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 21

Why does Galveston start trouble with Delly? 
This is a common saying that means Galveston may have won in the short-term, but Delly will win in the long-term (there will be more disagreements between these two). 
Notice how Delly's mood changes from exhaustion to excitement because of Clarice's compliment. Has someone ever given you a compliment and it made you feel a lot better? 

Chapter 22

What is Delly's new motivation to help her stay out of trouble? 
The author includes the title as Delly talks to RB about her "project." Is there such a thing as a "sort of truth?" 

Chapter 23

This description is similar to many Disney princesses and their friendships with animals (see image below of Sleeping Beauty). Can you think of any other examples of characters that have friendships with animals?  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Delly enjoy following Ferris? 

Chapter 24

Here's another example of Delly's "sort of truth." Does she lie to Clarice? 

Chapter 25

From Delly's reaction to Ferris playing basketball, we can tell that 
The author is building suspense making the reader really wonder "What is Ferris up to?" 
Quiz Chapters 1-25 

Chapter 26

How can you tell that Delly's behavior has changed at school? Give two details in your response. 
Delly selects Ferris because she knows how good she is at basketball (since she's been spying on her as she practices in her driveway). 
Why doesn't Ferris shoot? 

Chapter 27

Delly is afraid she'll me made fun and called names for losing the game. This is bullying. For information about bullying, visit the website below. The website has facts, videos, and games to help you learn more about what to do if you're being bullied or seeing others being bullied. Most importantly, tell an adult and don't join in. (This annotation contains a link)
Why does Ms. Gerwitz tell Delly she did "good" today in gym class? 
Mr. Terwilliger always tries to recognize when Delly's done something good. Her concern for Ferris is a step in the right direction. 

Chapter 28

What is the Dellymergency? 
Each time that Dells tells a "truth," the curtain opens more (meaning Ferris is listening). 
Have you ever felt like this? 
What does Delly learn is the cause behind all the times she gets in trouble? 

Chapter 29

Delly remembers that she didn't ASK Ferris not to tell the adults at school about Delly touching her. Delly wakes up in a panic and rushes to get to school. 
Watch the video below. As you continue to read, see how the theme of friendship develops in the story. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 30

What is "pinching" Delly? 
Delly and Ferris are a great pair because Delly can talk out her troubles and Ferris just listens and plays ball. 

Chapter 31

Does this remind you of any other stories you've read where characters hang out in the woods? See picture below from Bridge to Terabithia. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Ferris' "hideawaysis?" 

Chapter 32

Delly is so excited about Ferris' tree house and she is thinking about all of the ways she can help improve it. 

Chapter 33

At the beginning of the chapter, which of the following traits best fits Delly's personality? 
Gal and Delly have a heart to heart here. Even though they argue all of the time, they are still sisters and they love each other. Can you think of any other books or movies where siblings argue, but you know deep down they really love each other? 

Chapter 34

This is another simile giving us the image of how high in the sky Brud's ball goes (see picture below of an actual satellite in space). (This annotation contains an image)
In order to play basketball with Ferris Boyd, what does Brud buy? 

Chapter 35

Delly is so busy planning for the hideawaysis that she doesn't need to count as much (except when other kids are around). Do you think the hideawaysis is a good distraction for Delly? 
Contrast how the "fight" in this chapter with Danny Novello is different than earlier fights Delly has with Danny at school. Give specific details from the book in your response. 

Chapter 36

Here is another example of a "sort of" truth. Ferris is very thin and Delly is trying to get her to eat more. So Delly tells Ferris Delly will get in trouble if she doesn't finish her sandwich because Clarice wants her to grow. 
Without saying a word, Ferris gives Delly her approval for all of the improvements Delly has made to the hideawaysis. (The cat gives its approval as well by curling up against Delly.) 

Chapter 37

Why does Brud come up with a different animal each Sunday? 
Why do you think the author switches the perspective from Delly to Brud in these chapters? 

Chapter 38

Watch the video below about point of view. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the point of view of the novel? 
Delly introduces RB to Ferris and gives her an explanation because she's afraid Ferris will run away from her. She knows how shy Ferris is and doesn't want to lose her friend. 
RB purses his lips like he had something sour (see picture below) because he doesn't want to have to listen to EVERYTHING Delly says. He does want to tag along though so he agrees. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 39

How does the cat communicate in a similar way to Ferris? Give one example from the text for each character. 
This is a compliment (remember that Delly has a real skill when it comes to spitting, just like Ferris is a talented basketball player). 
What is Ferris' reaction to RB's first Tubatale? 

Chapter 40

At first, RB is scared of the woods and then the height. But when he reaches the top of the hideawaysis, he is in awe. 
Why does Ferris Boyd most likely allow RB to get so close to her? 

Chapter 41

RB is sneaky and smart. He knows enough to tell Clarice he's working on the project with Delly (when he was really following her). He also knows the Delly is going to tell him he can't come anymore, so he says, "I love you" and she can't say no. 

Chapter 42

What does this act reveal about RB's personality? 
Some people enjoy fluff on their sandwiches (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Delly collect rocks and sticks? 

Chapter 43

Ferris is teaching RB how to shoot a basketball underhand (see short video clip below). (This annotation contains a video)
Finish the following statement with the correct answer. Since RB started coming to the hideawaysis, ___________________. 

Chapter 44

RB and Delly enjoy telling stories about their old dog, Tuba. Watch the clip below to see some "famous" dogs, and in particular one dog's funny story. (This annotation contains a video)
All of the following are ways that Delly and RB can tell that something is wrong with Ferris EXCEPT:  
Delly does the right thing by talking to her mom. Delly's suspicions of Ferris' situation are serious and she's being a great friend by helping to protect her. 

Chapter 45

What does Delly mean when she says a shadow followed them? 

Chapter 46

A toast is a way to honor or recognize someone for something good he or she has done. Clarice is toasting Delly's accomplishment of staying trouble free for a whole month. Typically, people toast with glasses (see picture below), but they're toasting with doughnuts (Delly's favorite). (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 47

How does Ferris reassure Brud? 

Chapter 48

Delly realizes that in order to see her friend over the summer, she has to make a deal with Gal. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Galveston suspicious of Delly's request? 

Chapter 49

This is a picture of a s'more. (This annotation contains an image)
So far, Delly's been "trouble free" for how many months? 
Notice the quick shift in perspective from Delly to Brud. This shows us that the novel's point of view is third person omniscient (the narrator knows what all of the characters are thinking and feeling). 
Watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 50

All of the following are feelings Delly has after seeing Brud Kinney at the old Hennepin place EXCEPT: 
Clarice tries to explain to Delly that just because you have more people in your life, doesn't mean you like them any less. Do you think that Ferris thinks of Delly as a good friend? How do you know? 
Quiz Chapters 26 - 50 

Chapter 51

Why does Delly ask RB to get her bag? 

Chapter 52

Notice how Delly and Brud are almost having two separate conversations because of the misunderstanding that Ferris is a girl. Delly is worried about competing over her best friend and Brud can't believe Ferris is a girl! 
Why is Brud upset that Ferris is a girl? 

Chapter 53

Who is Boomer? 
Delly does a quick compare and contrast in her head between her and her dad. She now knows just how similar they are. 

Chapter 54

Why is Ferris different? 
How does the author describe the hot weather? Pick two of your favorite descriptions and include them in your answer. 
Delly has taken Ferris' suggestion to heart. She asks Norma permission and Norma is so surprised she actually agrees! 
The Three Musketeers is a novel about three inseparable friends (see picture below). This book is where the phrase "all for one and one for all" comes from. (This annotation contains an image)
What do you predict will happen at the basketball court? 

Chapter 55

This is a reference to a character from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Tiny Tim is a young boy who is very ill and he walks with a crutch (see image below from Disney's version of A Christmas Carol). (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Delly conflicted? 
Why does Ferris challenge Danny to a game of basketball? Who do you think will win? 

Chapter 56

All of the kids are in awe of Ferris' talent, except Danny. 
Watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
What kind of archetype is Danny Novello? 

Chapter 57

You may have heard of the nursery rhyme that says, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Unfortunately, we know this isn't true. Some words can hurt forever. Danny Novello is a bully for calling Ferris "it." It is so important that when we talk to people, especially when we're angry or upset, that we're careful with our words and the names we use. 
RB tries to use healing words, instead of hurting words. He tells Ferris all of the goods things about her (instead of repeating the bad). 
How are hummin bins even better than people? Give two details from the text in your answer. 
Look at the front cover of the novel. What two pictures tell you it's the hideawaysis? Give specific details in your response. 

Chapter 58

Delly is trying to be a peacemaker between Ferris and Brud. Would she have done something like this in the beginning of the novel? 
Why does Delly think Brud and Ferris are alike? 
Why does Delly tell Brud the story about when she first saw Ferris? 

Chapter 59

Brud is embarrassed about the way he acted towards Ferris at the park. He is ashamed that it took him so long to stand up to Danny Novello, instead of going along with Danny's bullying (nodding in agreement). Remember: if you see bullying occur, don't join in and tell an adult. 
Why do Delly and RB leave? 

Chapter 60

Delly is long overdue for an adventure. 

Chapter 61

They are so excited to leave for their adventure that the clock seems to be moving slowly. You may feel this way on the last day of school (see video below). (This annotation contains a video)
How does Delly convince Ferris to go on her adventure? 

Chapter 62

When the weather is hot, rivers and creeks begin to dry up (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
Delly is getting annoyed with RB's complaining. 
You can tell Delly's proud of her hideawaysis through her words and actions. She is happy to share this with her friend and her brother. 
Can you make a text-to-text (connection to another story) or text-to-self (personal connection) connection about someone's first time swimming? Describe the experience by comparing or contrasting it to Ferris' experience. 
You can tell RB enjoyed the treat because he's covered in it (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 63

All of the following are aquatic creatures the author uses in this chapter EXCEPT: 
Delly's earlier fears come true when she sees the marks on Ferris' back. Delly does not know what to do. What she should do is tell an adult so Ferris can get help and protection from her father. 
Ferris enjoys Delly's hideawaysis so much that she wants to take a piece of it with her. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 64

This shows how unselfish Delly has become. She quickly shifts from thinking about how her day has changed from good to bad to feeling sympathetic about Ferris' bad situation every day. 
Why doesn't Delly tell RB about Ferris' secret? 
How does Delly decide to help Ferris? 

Chapter 65

Clarice is so overjoyed with Delly's good behavior that she actually cries. 
Delly is thrilled that her favorite teacher and best friend are in her class. 
Danny doesn't tell Ms. Neiderbaum the truth because 
Delly and RB have learned that the best way to help Ferris calm down is to be patient with her and let her be. 
Explain how Ferris is a surpresent to Delly. Give two examples in your response. 

Chapter 66

Why does the author most likely describe Ferris as a ghost in the window? 
What's happening to Ferris is too horrible to talk about so Delly and RB find comfort in each other. 

Chapter 67

These gifts can only mean one thing: ________________________. 
Right now, finding Ferris Boyd is more important than Delly being kicked out of school. She is making an ultimate sacrifice for her friend. 
Why does Delly lie to Ferris' dad? 
Who do you think she's going to see? 

Chapter 68

Delly finally tells an adult about Ferris' marks. She should have done this from the start, but she was scared and didn't know what to do. 
Delly is a smart girl and a quick thinker. She uses her troubled past to her advantage. 
After their conversation, why is Officer Tibbetts suspicious of Mr. Boyd? 

Chapter 69

Delly puts aside her past with Officer Tibbetts and realizes she wants to help Ferris. 
Why would Ferris run away to Delaferbia? 
Officer Tibbetts (Verena) gives excellent advice to Delly in this chapter. Carefully think about her words. 

Chapter 70

How are these truths similar to the ones Delly tells Ferris at the start of their friendship? Give specific examples in your response. 
The birds are a clue that Ferris is in that hole because the animals always flock to her. 
As you listen to the song (see video below), think about the strong friendship between Delly and Ferris. They truly are best friends who help each other. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 71

In this book, so much is "said" without talking. Is this ever true in your life? Can you think of any examples? 
Why does Verena tell this "sort of" truth? 

Chapter 72

Notice how this chapter goes back in time to show Brud's perspective of the events that just happened. Instead of Delly's point of view, this time the reader gets an outsider's point of view since Brud is observing all of the action. 
What first causes Brud to skip school? 

Chapter 73

When Clarice blows up in anger, why is she really upset? 
In Delly's mind, Ferris' safety is worth being grounded for life. 

Chapter 74

Listen to this author interview (see video below). Does this change your mind or help you understand anyone/anything better in the book? (This annotation contains a video)
Quiz Chapters 51 - 74