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Student Edition

Deadly

by

Julie Chibbaro

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

School Street Media Street Smarts

A Classroom Resource

www.schoolstreetmedia.com

Copyright © 2009 Junior Library Guild/Media Source, Inc. 1

A School Street Media Street Smarts Classroom Resource for

Deadly

by Julie Chibbaro

Table of Contents

About the Author .....................................................................................................2

Prereading Activities ................................................................................................3

Chapter by Chapter

Section 1: From School to Work: Pages 1–43

....................................................5

Section 2: On the Job at Last: Pages 44–91

.......................................................9

Section 3: The Search for Mary Mallon: Pages 92–140

..................................12

Section 4: A New Year: Pages 141–181

...........................................................15

Section 5: For the Greater Good: Pages 182–226.

...........................................18

Section 6: Mary Fights Back: Pages 227–265

..................................................22

Section 7: New Beginnings: Pages 266–287

.....................................................25

Wrap Up .................................................................................................................27

Library Applications ..............................................................................................30

Suggestions for Further Reading ............................................................................31

Correlations to National Standards .......................................................................32

A school may reproduce copies of the pages in this book for use in its classrooms

or library. Any other reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be transmitted, stored,

or recorded in any form without written permission from the publisher. For permissions questions, contact School

Street Media at info@schoolstreetmedia.com

About the Author

Julie Chibbaro is the author of Deadly (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster 2011), a medical

mystery about the hunt for Typhoid Mary. Her first book, Redemption (Atheneum/Simon

& Schuster 2004), an epic tale of love, kidnapping, and white Indians, won the 2005

American Book Award. Redemption received excellent reviews from such noted journals

as Newsday, Kirkus Reviews, and School Library Journal. In 2006, Redemption was

nominated for an ABE Award (Illinois High School Book Award).

As an author, Ms. Chibbaro has attended and spoken at book conferences such as the

National Conference of Teachers of English (NCTE), where she participated in a panel

before 400 teachers on “The Art of Historical Fiction” for the Assembly on Literature for

Adolescents (ALAN). She teaches creative writing in New York.

Julie Chibbaro studied writing at The New School, and with Gordon Lish. She received

scholarships to study with Clark Blaise at the Prague Writers Workshop, and with Janet

Fitch, Lynn Freed and Mark Childress at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. At the

New York Writers Institute, she took a Master class with Marilynne Robinson and Ann

Beattie.

School Library Journal has called Deadly “top-notch historical fiction,” and Kirkus Reviews

says: “Fever 1793 (Laurie Halse Anderson, 2000) meets Newes from the Dead (Mary Hooper,

2008) in this absorbing diary of a fictional teen who witnesses the epidemic unleashed on

turn-of-the-20th-century New York by the infamous ‘Typhoid Mary.’”

Visit Julie at juliechibbaro.com.

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 2

Pre-reading Activities

Book Summary

In 1906 in New York City, sixteen-year-old Prudence Galewski keeps a journal of her daily

activities and thoughts in the hopes that someday her father, missing in action from the war in

Cuba, will return and be able to catch up on what he’s missed. In the meantime, Prudence

decides to leave school to take a job with the city’s health department, transcribing notes and

keeping track of evidence compiled by George Soper. He’s determined to solve a medical

mystery: why certain families are falling victim to typhoid fever, a very infectious disease. When

he discovers that a woman, Mary Mallon, is the carrier of the disease, he and his staff have to

find a way to stop her from spreading the disease while trying to understand how someone can be

a carrier without actually being ill.

Understanding Genre: Historical Fiction

After reading the summary of Deadly above, answer the following questions.

1. What are the characteristics of historical fiction?

2. Why is Deadly an example of historical fiction?

3. How can historical fiction give valuable insight into past events?

4. What are some challenges that authors face when writing believable historical fiction?

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 3

SOCIAL STUDIES CONNECTION

The main character, Prudence, is fictional; however, most of the other

characters in the story really were part of the Typhoid Mary story. As

you read, make a list of the real-life participants in the events and their

roles (see page 29). You’ll find various sources useful, including Google,

encyclopedias, books about Typhoid Mary, old newspaper articles, and

more. You can also look up the places in the book, because the streets

and areas mostly still exist.

Pre-reading Activities

Building Background and Activating Prior Knowledge

Read the following questions and think about what you already know.

1. Why do you think it was so easy to spread diseases in the early 1900s?

2. There have been many epidemics throughout history.

a.) What is an epidemic?

b.) What are some epidemics you have learned about?

a.)

b.)

3. Have you heard the phrase “Typhoid Mary” before? If so, what do you think it means to be a

“Typhoid Mary”?

4. Set a purpose for reading based on your answers above.

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 4

I think: How do you know this?

Section 1:

From School to Work

pages 1–43

Before You Read

Introducing Vocabulary

The following words or phrases can be found on the page number shown in parentheses. Use

context clues first, and then a dictionary if needed, to define each term as it is used on the page

indicated.

1. keening (page 3)

2. potato knish (page 4)

3. exuberant (page 5)

4. alchemy (page 7)

5. shivah (page 15)

6. Rosh Hashanah (page 21)

7. boychiks (page 22)

8. hurdy-gurdy (page 24)

9. shirtwaist (page 28)

10. ephemeral (page 33)

11. morbid (page 34)

12. pensively (page 34)

13. epidemiologist (page 35)

14. disorienting (page 37)

15. glass beaker (page 37)

16. biologic (page 38)

17. breech (page 40)

18. cured (page 41)

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 5

After You Read

Analyzing the Writing: Point of View

The point of view of a story is all about who the narrator is. The most common ones are:

• first-person

• third-person limited

• third-person omniscient

1. From the first sentence, even the first word, of Deadly, the point of view is clear. Which of the

three above is the point of view in this book? How do you know this?

2. Many well-known novels have been written using a diary as the format. Some of these include

The Color Purple by Alice Walker; Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman; Monster by Walter

Dean Myers; and even the classic Dracula by Bram Stoker. Why do you think a writer might

choose to tell his or her story by using a diary?

3. What are some limitations to using a diary format to tell a story?

4. Who is the narrator of this story? What did you learn about her from the first diary entry?

Analyzing the Writing: Setting and Mood

The setting of a story tells when and where the story is taking place. The writer often uses

sensory details to help readers see and feel the setting.

1. When does this story take place? How do you know this?

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 6

2. Where does it take place? Use some of the details found on page 2 to describe the

neighborhood.

Figurative Language: Simile and Metaphor

Both simile and metaphor are types of figurative language that writers use to evoke images in

readers’ minds. Both similes and metaphors compare two unalike things that are alike in a

specific way. Similes always include the word like or as. Metaphors compare two things as if they

are the same.

Complete the chart below by telling whether each example of figurative language is a simile

or metaphor. Then find the example on the page indicated and use context clues to tell what two

things the figurative language compares and what the figurative language means.

Figurative Language Simile or

Metaphor?

Comparison and

Meaning

“I write here, trying to explain, each

word a stepping stone.” (p. 1)

“I see sickness like a violent weed

growing everywhere...” (p. 7)

“Time passes in a steady march,

nothing ever gets in its way...” (p. 14)

“A quiet has grown over us like a

heavy fungus, every year another

inch of thick white matter, covering

us.” (p. 16)

“Its color is the opposite of the rest

of my hair..., like wire nestled in a

bed of silk threads.” (p. 18)

“...I may burst into a constellation of

infinite points...” (p. 19)

“It’s like opening a lock, making a

new friend; the key must fit exactly

right.” (p. 27)

Responding to the Story

1. What losses has Prudence experienced before starting the diary? How have they affected her?

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 7

2. Why do you think Prudence longs for “a job that’s meaningful”?

3. Look up the words sympathize and empathize. Which word do you think best fits Prudence as

she’s working with her mother to deliver babies? Why?

4. The Spanish-American War took place in 1898. How long has her father been missing? Do

you think it’s realistic for her and her mother to still expect him to return? Why or why not?

5. Prudence has two characteristics in particular that will make her a good scientist. Explain how

her keen observations and curiosity are strengths for that profession.

6. Why do Prudence and her mother want to think of themselves only as American and nothing

else? Was this true of most immigrants at this time in history? Why or why not?

7. Contrast Prudence and Anushka’s lives by describing their differences.

8. How did Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives help improve life for people in the city?

9. How is Mr. Soper’s work different from that of a doctor?

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 8

Section 2:

On the Job at Last

pages 44–91

Before You Read

Making Predictions

There is no doubt that Prudence wants the job with the city’s Department of Health. Predict

how she will fit in and succeed or fail in her position.

As You Read

Building Your Vocabulary

Make a list of unfamiliar words you find as you read. Try to figure out their meanings using

context clues or by taking the words apart to analyze their meanings based on word parts

(prefixes, suffixes, base words). If you still don’t understand the word, look it up in a dictionary.

Word/Pg. Definition

After You Read

Checking Predictions

After reading, assess your prediction above.

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 9

Getting to Know the Characters: Relationships

1. Describe Prudence’s relationship with her mother, Marm.

2. Describe Prudence’s relationship with Anushka.

3. Describe Prudence’s relationship with Mr. Soper.

4. Describe Prudence’s relationship with Jonathan.

Responding to the Story

1. How are the duties of the job different from what Prudence expected? What is her reaction?

2. What outbreak had Mr. Soper just returned from investigating? What was its cause?

3. Who was Mr. Thompson, and why did he need Mr. Soper’s help?

4. What kinds of details must Prudence record as she assists Mr. Soper at the Thompson home?

How does she organize all the information?

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 10

5. What are the symptoms of typhoid fever? (You will need to research this.)

6. How does the work help Prudence personally?

7. What does Prudence discover as she cross-references all the meals at the Thompsons’?

8. What does that discovery lead to?

What Do You Think?

1. Prudence is leaving the girls’ school to work full-time with Mr. Soper. Do you think this was a

good idea or not? Explain your position.

2. The book includes many illustrations that are supposed to have been drawn by Prudence. Do

you find them helpful? Why do you think they are included?

3. Why do you think Prudence isn’t “boy crazy” like so many of the girls her age in the story?

SCIENCE CONNECTION

On page 48, Marm insists, “There’s no work for girls in the sciences.”

While that may have been true at the turn of the 20th century, it didn’t

stay true for long. Do some research on famous women scientists of the

first half of the 20th century. Choose one and create a visual

presentation to share with your class.

Copyright © 2011 School Street Media. All rights reserved. 11

Section 3:

The Search for Mary Mallon

pages 92–140

Before You Read

Building Background

Between 1820 and 1920, more than 5 million Irish immigrants arrived in the U.S. Read about

their struggles at www.america.gov and use the search words, Irish immigration. This will help

you as you learn more about Mary Mallon in the story.
  1   2   3

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