What’s It All About? Who Do Voodoo? by Elaine Donadio

What’s It All About?

Series: The Montgomery School Kids

Book Three –  Who Do Voodoo?

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

 

Who Do Voodoo? is a mystery intended for middle grade readers, especially 10-12 year olds.

Jesus and voodoo. Party and prayer. Love and betrayal. Twelve year old NYC boy, Phil Williams, struggles with conflicting messages when, entrusted by his grandmother in the role of Icebreaker, he visits estranged family in New Orleans as he sets out to restore the family relationship and ends up rescuing his great-aunt from the grips of death at the hands of an unforeseen evil presence. With his best friend, Nestor, in tow, Phil encounters a series of strange events. Is it Voodoo? Or scare tactics by mere mortals? And why?

Phil’s visit to the Land of Pirates results in a plan of action and determination to follow clues to solve the mystery. His investigations lead him to the source. Wanting to be viewed as a hero, Phil refuses to involve the police and unduly places everyone at the merciless hands of the culprits. Help comes from a hovering presence just in the nick of time.

Phil learns his strengths and weaknesses as he struggles to put the jumbled puzzle pieces in play. His appreciation of true friendship is apparent as his love of family and New Orleans are renewed.

He visits Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the French Quarter, Mardi Gras World, the crypt of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Jean Lafitte Louisiana, the Audubon Aquarium and Riverwalk. Phil learns about Louisiana’s history, swamps and the state’s concerns for environment and wildlife. He now understands the far-reaching effects of “fracking” and why environmentalists and public safety representatives are so strongly opposed.

If Phil had it to do all over again, what would he have done differently? Probably nothing.

My books are primarily geared to middle grade readers. They’re loaded with well-researched science facts and are appropriate for classroom study and/ or  supplemental or independent reading assignments with tie-ins for science, literacy and social studies. The secret of their success is their ability  and purpose in allowing the reader to have fun while learning—experiencing the world through the eyes of the characters—journeying with a friend, in a sense. Content area reading is what it’s all about.

Please visit my website ElaineDonadio.com  for study guides for this book. You can use the book for some of your answers, but you will have to do outside research, also.

Questions or comments? Please email me at author@elainedonadio.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

All rights reserved 2018.

 

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Study Guide 1- Who Do Voodoo? by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 1-7.

Please see my Nov. 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 Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

 

Phil Williams and Nestor Ramirez are feeling very cool right about now—traveling by themselves to New Orleans on official family business. Phil is entrusted to be the Icebreaker to mend hurt feelings between Phil’s grandmother and his great-aunt. Nestor is along for the ride. Their optimism is quickly dashed by the strange reception they receive when they arrive in New Orleans.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 1-7.

1. Compare and contrast how Phil and Nestor are the same and different. Which one would you rather have as a friend? Why? Phil is disturbed by some things he’s experiencing. What clues do we have that something is amiss?

2. Suspense is when the reader feels anxious or worried about the characters and what might happen next. Which events in Chapter 3 – Chapter 7 help build suspense?

Tell about a time when you felt afraid or worried. What caused your nervousness? What steps did you take to calm yourself down? In what ways are Phil and Nestor’s actions the same or different from how you reacted when you were in a tense situation?

3. What does Phil hope to accomplish by his trip to New Orleans? Pretend you are Phil who is now able to send a text message to his parents. What would the text message say?

4. Things are not making sense at the St. Pierre household. List the strange things that are happening. What inconsistencies appear? What do you believe is the biggest clue that Phil might be in over his head? The boys are in a tough position. Phil is embarrassed by his family’s behavior. With hospitality sadly lacking, the boys are told to spend the day sightseeing. What alternatives, if any, are open to them?

In what ways do Madame Destiny’s words tie-in with the strange events the boys are encountering?

Predict some things that might happen later in the story. Support your answer with details from the book.

5. We know Angel has beady eyes, but that’s all the description we have. Design a T-shirt with the face you imagine for Angel in the center, surrounded by five words or phrases that tell what he’s all about.

Describe Phil and Nestor’s friendship. What do you notice about the way they treat each other? What can we learn about friendship from observing their behavior?

 

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. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: Who Do Voodoo? Study Guide 2. See you on January 6, 2018!

All rights reserved 2017, 2018.

What’s It All About? The Science Project by Elaine Donadio

What’s It All About?

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

Series: The Montgomery School Kids

Book One –  The Science Project

Eleven-year old New York City boy, Nestor usually is the one causing the problems, but ask him, and you’d get a different story. Nestor exhausts the patience of his friends and classmates by his incessant teasing. During science presentations, the new kid sics his toad on Nestor’s pet and science project, little Hector, the cockroach. Is Hector history?

Nestor discovers many science facts: DNA, amber, resin and cockroaches. His classmates share facts about parakeets, snakes, hamsters and toads.

Not only will readers laugh at Nestor’s antics, but they’ll learn at the same time. 

My books are primarily geared to middle grade readers. They’re loaded with well-researched science facts and are appropriate for classroom study and/ or  supplemental or independent reading assignments with tie-ins for science, literacy and social studies. The secret of their success is their ability  and purpose in allowing the reader to have fun while learning—experiencing the world through the eyes of the characters—journeying with a friend, in a sense. Content area reading is what it’s all about.

Please visit my website ElaineDonadio.com  for study guides for this book. You can use the book for some of your answers, but you might have to do outside research also.

Questions or comments? Please email me at author@elainedonadio.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

All rights reserved 2017.


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Borrow My Books From Queens and Suffolk , NY Libraries!

Welcome to my blog!

Printed copies of my books are now available for inter-library loan at Queens Library and Suffolk County Library in New York.

The digital copies are still available in many library systems throughout the country, but the printed editions are an added feature with limited access.

My Book Titles

Middle Grade…(8-12 year olds )

The Science Project
The Ocean’s Way
Who Do Voodoo?
The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion

12 – Adult…

Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

In New York, this is where you can find my printed books:

The physical copies are available from the Queens Library system at Central Library, Jamaica; Bay Terrace Library in Bayside; Whitestone Library in Whitestone. Or, you can borrow through inter-library loan if you’re a Queens County library patron.

Also, the physical copies are located in the East Hampton Library, East Hampton. Suffolk and Nassau County library patrons can borrow through inter-library loan online.

Happy reading! If you do decide to borrow my books from the library, please remember to write a review on the library website.

Thanks,

Elaine

 

Study Guide 4- The Science Project by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 16-20.

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

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

This is the last study guide for The Science Project. Please purchase a copy of The Ocean’s Way to be ready for our next focus book for December.

Kwan Min and Jasmine’s plan has been put into action. Nestor is horrified and never saw it coming. His best friend Phil is embarrassed about Nestor’s recent behavior. Holly still does not punish Nestor, but the others are tired of his antics. All relationships go through a change.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 16-20.

1.What are the ten most popular pets in the United States? Define habitat. Design and draw a natural habitat for a parakeet, snake, hamster, toad, and cockroach. Which creatures, if any, can live together? Which creature is the most flexible in its habitat choice? Support your answers.

Kwan Min and Nestor are now both in trouble at school. Pretend you are Kwan Min. Tell your parents all about Nestor, his teasing and your plan of revenge. What do you believe their reaction would be after they hear the whole story?

2. Pretend you are Nestor’s mom and pretend Ms. Costa called to tell you about the events of the last few days. Write an email message to your husband in Alaska telling him about Nestor’s recent behavior and what happened at Nestor’s school today.

3. Research the elements of a newspaper article. Answering the questions Who? What ?Why? When? Where? How? write a newspaper article describing the scene in Ms. Costa’s classroom when the toad chased Hector, the cockroach, around the room.

Think about Phil’s recent behavior. Chart the changes in Phil’s attitude toward Nestor showing the cause-effect relationship between Nestor’s actions and Phil’s reactions. Is Phil justified in not always supporting his best friend, no matter what he does? Explain.

Match each character to the adjective that best describes their personality. Give examples to support your choices.

Characters: Nestor, Phil, Kwan Min, Holly, Jasmine

Adjectives: gentle, flexible, immature, straight-thinking, assertive

Analyze the five characters from the story. Design a T-shirt for each character. Include an animal and five adjectives to represent each personality.

Discuss how Kwan Min’s behavior surprised you. Why?

4. Nestor and Phil’s relationship has changed by the end of the book. In your opinion, is it for the better or worse? Compare and contrast their interactions from the beginning, middle and end. Make a judgment call: In what ways might the new terms of their relationship be a healthier outcome? Make a gratitude list for Nestor including at least five things in order of priority with the most important thing at number one.

Write a new ending for the book. Nestor and Kwan Min are in Mr. Christiano’s office. Take it from there. Be sure to include Nestor’s relationship with Kwan Min and Phil. You can include Mrs. Ramirez in the change if you like. You will probably write two chapters to cover the complete ending.

5. Think about a person who constantly teases or bullies you. What steps might you take to change the situation? Which adults and peers can you count on for help? Make a constructive plan of action to help yourself. Research. Analyze. Plan. Do.

 

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. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: The Ocean’s Way Study Guide 1. See you on Dec. 2, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.

Study Guide 3- The Science Project by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 11-15.

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

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

Nestor has devoted himself to the care and training of Hector. Things get a little out of hand, but Nestor is able to recover before it’s too late. Nestor gets in deeper with his bad attitude toward Kwan Min and Jasmine. He starts to question himself.

 

The following questions are based on Chapters 11-15.

1. Describe Nestor’s relationship with his mother, Ms. Costa, Holly and Jasmine. In your opinion, why is Nestor’s relationship with Jasmine so different from that of the other females in the story?

2. We now know Nestor’s strong feelings of insecurity. Analyze how the males in his life—his father, cousins, and Kwan Min add to these feelings of inadequacy. Think about how Phil’s relationship is the exception to this pattern. What changes to make Nestor question Phil’s loyalty? Give specific examples.

3. Pretend you are Nestor. Create a science log entry for one day showing the care and feeding of Hector.

4. Kwan Min and Jasmine have a plan of their own. Make a prediction about what it might be. Look at the book cover for clues.

5. With his eyes cast down, Nestor stares at in the science table, and for the first time notices the scratches in its surface. How does this serve as a metaphor for Nestor’s life?

 

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. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: The Science Project Study Guide 4. See you on Nov. 25, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.

Study Guide 2- The Science Project

Chapters 6-10.

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

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

We begin to get a better understanding of Nestor who, like most people, has his good points and his bad points. Nestor does some deep thinking about himself and his life.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 6-10:

1. By now we’ve learned some of Nestor’s insecurities and concerns. What advice can you give Nestor to help him feel better about himself?

2. Pretend you are Nestor. Write an email to Nestor’s father explaining how his absence is affecting the family. Be specific.

3. At this point in the story we have a better understanding of the reasons for Nestor’s resentment of Kwan Min. Tell about a time when one of your classmates treated you unfairly. How did the other kids react to this? What steps did your teacher take to make this bad behavior stop? Is Ms. Costa doing enough?

4. Think about a classmate who bothered the other kids in the class. Who were his/ her victims? Why do you think these kids were chosen as targets? How was this problem solved? What would you have done if you were in charge?

5. What do we learn about Nestor from his care and training of Hector?

Write an ACROSTIC poem to describe Hector. An acrostic poem spells out the subject vertically, one letter on each line. A word or phrase beginning with that letter is used to tell about the subject. Brainstorm appropriate words to use in your description. A thesaurus will be helpful.

Example of Acrostic Poem
D evoted
O bedient
G uardian

Now write an acrostic poem for Hector, the cockroach.

H
E
C
T
O
R

 

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. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: The Science Project Study Guide 3. See you on Nov.18, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.

Study Guide 1- The Science Project by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 1-5.

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

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or if you have a NOOK, you can visit Smashwords.com or Barnes & Noble for a digital copy.

We’re meeting Nestor Ramirez, our main character and his best friend, Phil Williams. Nestor is trying hard to be popular, but he certainly doesn’t have a clue. Oh, he can be nice when he wants to be, but how often does he want to be?

These questions are based on Chapters 1-5. 

1. Create a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast Nestor and Phil. Who would you rather have as a best friend? Support your answer.

2. Find examples of how Phil and Nestor demonstrate their intelligence. Describe how the boys react to each other. What surprised you about this?

3. What do we learn about Nestor from his attitude towards his mother? Be specific. How is Nestor’s attitude the same or different from your attitude toward your parent(s)?

4. List five science facts that Nestor learned in Chapter 5. Make a list of those facts in priority order with the most important fact at number one, and the least important at number five.

What is DNA? What family traits have you inherited? Which traits are different from your siblings? What accounts for these differences?

What is amber? Origin? Uses?  How can amber become electrically charged? When amber is rubbed against wool, silk or fur, does it become positively or negatively charged? Explain.

Give examples of how other materials can become electrically charged.

Complete this sentence: Like poles……… one another, while opposite poles……… .

What if?  Let’s pretend dinosaurs are alive once again on earth. Who would dominate—dinosaurs or humans? Would humans live in peace or in fear? Would dinosaurs be protected or hunted? How might humans protect themselves and their pets? What useful functions might dinosaurs provide? How would humans guarantee a plentiful food source for the dinosaurs? What dangers would dinosaurs encounter in a typical day? What dangers would human/dinosaur coexistence present? How realistic is the idea of a human/dinosaur shared world?

Which ancestors of dinosaurs thrive in today’s world? How did they escape extinction?

By the way, did all dinosaurs live at the same time and in the same place? Research your answers.

5. We begin to see a different side of Nestor. What surprises you most about his behavior? What predictions can you make about what might happen in the story?

 

Spoiler alert: I will not be providing the answers for the questions. If you’re a serious learner, then you can discover the world on your own. The answers can be found in the book. Seek and you shall find.

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: The Science Project Study Guide 2. See you on Nov. 11, 2017!

All rights reserved.

 

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 Smashwords.com 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.

Phil:
Ms. Williams:
Phil:
Ms. Williams:
Phil:
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 author@elainedonadio.com

Next: The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion Study Guide 1. See you on September 2, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.

 

Study Guide 4: Who Do Voodoo? by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 21-25.

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 Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

 

Phil has discovered the hidden staircase to the basement. Nestor reluctantly follows Phil’s lead. Phil’s happiness in discovering his imprisoned family members is cut short by the arrival of the family of imposters. They demonstrate that they mean business causing Phil’s attitude to change from bravado to fear and regret.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 21-25.

1. Phil has found the secret passageway to the basement. Phil is acting brave and confident. Nestor goes along, but expresses doubts about their safety. Build a case for Phil’s bold actions, and Nestor’s misgivings. Use facts from the story.

What was The Underground Railroad? List each state in the route. In which states would runaway slaves and conductors most likely and least likely find help? Why? Evaluate the success of this escape system. What influence did Harriet Tubman have on the lives of slaves and on the success of the North during the American Civil War? Pretend you are Harriet Tubman. Send a secret coded message to a loyal contact in the South, describing your latest success in sequestering a slave family on their journey from New Orleans to Ohio.

 

2. What surprises you about the actions  and behaviors of the family of imposters—Mabel, Sam and Angel? Track their behavior from the beginning to this point in the story.

3. In Chapter 23, Phil and Nestor find Aunt Delphine, Uncle Antoine, and Belle being held prisoners. This chapter does not have a happy ending. Re-write this chapter with an optimistic, but realistic conclusion.

4. In what ways are Aunt Delphine and Uncle Antoine different from the people who are impersonating them? What do their speech patterns and word choices tell us about them?

5. Use your imagination, but be realistic. Predict what might happen next in the story. Who are the characters who might miraculously appear in the nick of time to save the group from a very sad ending? What role might each of them play in the rescue?

 

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 author@elainedonadio.com.

Next: Who Do Voodoo? Study Guide 5. See you on August 26, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.

 

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