Study Guide 3: Who Do Voodoo? by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 14-20.

Please see my June 2, 2017 blog post for the updated study guide schedule.

You can preview and purchase Who Do Voodoo? at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit for a digital copy.


Phil and Nestor visit Barataria Bay, a historical stronghold of famous pirates. Phil is inspired by this visit, and begins to devise a plan of action. Colette offers invaluable help. Phil’s investigation leads him to what he believes is the underlying motive behind the hoax that is being perpetrated. The puzzle pieces are coming together.

These questions are based on Chapters 14-20.

1. Explain the difference between a swamp and a bayou. Define wetlands, and give examples with definitions. What important roles do cypress and tupelo gum trees play in maintaining the wetlands ecosystem? What is an ecosystem?

Where does chewing gum come from, anyway? (Hint: not the store)

Why are wetlands important? How would the destruction of the wetlands affect the environment? Which creatures are capable of destroying the balance of nature in the wetlands of Louisiana? Explain.

In what ways does urban expansion impact wetlands and coastal regions?


2. Barataria Bay is an area rich in natural resources. Why would unscrupulous people have a special interest in acquiring rights in this location?

In many respects, Pirates Jean and Pierre Lafitte were shrewd businessmen, despite their mostly illegal practices. In what ways did they demonstrate their strategic thinking? Use details from the story and your own research to support your answer.

Phil envisions an action plan based on his findings about Jean and Pierre Lafitte’s tactical maneuvering. Predict some different ways Phil might implement the pirates’ behavior into a plan of his own.

The War of 1812—Which groups were involved in the conflict? Causes? Effects? Famous generals? Four men who later became US presidents? Why was the Battle of New Orleans fought after the peace treaty was being discussed? Britain and America both claim to have won the conflict known in America as the War of 1812. Defend or refute the claims of one of the sides of the conflict.


3. What is your opinion of Colette’s plan for the boys? What do you foresee going wrong?

What qualities are necessary to be a good detective? How do Colette, Phil, and Nestor measure up to this standard?

In your opinion, is the police officer’s presence at Daisy Dukes a coincidence or part of a plan? Support your answer.

Defend or refute Phil’s decision not to involve any adults in his investigation. Support your answer.


4. What is fracking? How is it harmful to the environment? What obstacles would opponents of fracking have to overcome in order to prevent corporations from overtaking land for their own purposes?


5. Jennifer, the waitress, appears as a hovering presence during Phil and Nestor’s visits to Daisy Dukes. What might her role in the story be? Is she a force for good, or for evil? Support your answer.


Spoiler alert: I will not be providing the answers for the questions. If you’re a serious adventurer, then you will discover the world on your own. Support all your answers with facts found in the book or your own research where required. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at

Next: Who Do Voodoo? Study Guide 4. See you on August 19, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.



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