Study Guide 5: Who Do Voodoo? by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 26-31.

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.

You might want to purchase a copy of The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion to be ready for our next focus book on September 2, 2017.


Phil pulls his best friend Nestor into a real mess. His desire to play the role of hero endangers all involved. It’s touch and go for a while, with the future looking bleak. The force for good arrives just in time to save the group from a questionable fate. Phil avows that he has learned his lesson, but has he really?


These questions are based on Chapters 26-31.


1. Propose an alternative ending. Go as far back in the story as necessary to prepare a reader for the new ending. Use dialogue and narrative.

2. Elements of Mystery

Characters     – the detective, the culprit, and minor
characters who provide clues
Suspects         – the characters who are possibly  guilty
Setting             – a place that lends itself to a feeling of
uneasiness and concern
Problem         – a crime or puzzle is presented
Plot                   – the clear beginning, middle, and end of the story; clues and false clues (distractions) are presented
Distractions  – lead the detective away from the truth; also called red herrings
Suspense        – events that make the reader worry about the main character(s)
Solution          – all necessary clues must be included in the story so the detective   and the reader can participate in a satisfactory unriddling


 Analyze and apply the elements of mystery with details found in the book. See how the story follows the genre requirements. Be sure to re-write the list of elements and assign specific events from the story next to the element that it exemplifies.


3. Now, create your own mystery story. First, make a story outline by using the elements of mystery as listed in Question 2 and fill in your own ideas. Write at least 500 words. Be sure to use dialogue and narrative.


4. You can imagine Phil’s parents’ reactions to hearing the story of their son’s imprisonment at the hands of such unscrupulous people. Create a dialogue between Phil and his mother after Phil returns to New York City.

Ms. Williams:
Ms. Williams:
Ms. Williams

Now keep the conversation going.


5. Let’s take a good look at the story. Which characters are essential to the plot? Why? Think of two characters whose presence does not change the story in any way. What roles do these characters play in the story?

Take a look at Phil’s poem about New Orleans found in the last pages of Chapter 31. Use another modality to express Phil’s perceptions of this beloved city. Compose a song, draw a picture, design an outfit, construct a model or write a play to capture Phil’s memories  of his experience.

True or false? If Phil were to be in the same set of circumstances in the future, he would act exactly the same as he does in the story. 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: The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion Study Guide 1. See you on September 2, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.



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