Downloadable Literature Guides

You can purchase the Kids Wings 78-page literature guide and Jeopardy-type game for The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier for immediate download! Only $19.95!
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The Night Gardener
by Jonathan Auxier
TLA BluebonnetSM Nominee
Kids Wings Award Book
Junior Library Guild Selection
DIsney Selection for a Live-Action Movie

"Funny thing, wishes. You can't hold 'em in your hand, and yet just one could unmake the world." Hester Kettle in The Night Gardener

Before you make a wish, do you pause to consider the consequences of the wish, if granted? Aesop, the father of fables, said, "We would often be sorry if our wishes were granted." In exploring the depths where wishes might lead, The Night Gardener introduces you to the magical power of storytelling that will tingle your spine as the roots of a frightening fable becomes woven around two young Irish siblings in an ancient curse that would threaten their lives.

Molly, the older of two Irish orphans, seeking work for herself and her brother Kip, paused from farm to farm to find the Windsor estate. Lured by the promise of jobs and the hope of finding food and a place to sleep the two children moved on. Ignoring warnings of ghosts and doom they heard at each stop, the two rode forward in a broken-down fishcart, behind a rather unpleasant horse, deeper and deeper into the sourwoods. After all, what could be worse than the constant pinch of hunger in their bellies? Molly filled the distance with stories to mask her worry and protect her little brother who had grown sick with fever.

On the way, they made the acquaintance of an old, manikin woman playing a hurdy-gurdy. Was she a witch? Kip wanted to know and came right out to ask. The cackling witchlike response seemed to contradict her answer. Hester Kettle introduced herself as the storyteller of the area. She reinforced the warnings about Windsor house but invited the children to bring her back a story to tell.

Molly and Kip continued their journey that led them across a bridge to an old, creepy, manor house hidden on an overgrown island. The decrepit mansion seemed to have become one with an ancient, enormous, menacing tree whose branches crept in and out of the walls in all directions. It was not a tree that invited one to climb in its branches. That was for certain.

And what do you think they found inside the house? Not ordinary people, you can be sure, but they put the two children to work immediately as their servants. Molly was to cook and clean inside the mansion. Cheery, confident, and courageous Kip was to tend the garden, a challenging job for a youngster with a frail, bent leg even with the help of his crutch made by his Pa who named it "Courage."

Creepy elements began to grow into terror around them ...
Muddy footprints on the floor every morning,
A frightening man (the Night Gardener) who roams the house at night,
The family of the house growing pale and sick,
Two children with only the rolling mounds of lawn on which to play,
A mean, bully of a boy named Alister who endlessly torments Kip and his little sister Penny,
The green room at the top of the stairs,
The wishes that become deadly are granted in exchange for ... can you guess?

Storytelling becomes the foundation of this tale of horror with a profound lesson about greed, needs, and the destructive nature of addiction. Molly herself is a storyteller who uses her stories to help muffle the screams. Hester Kettle, the resident storyteller of the area, tells her stories for favors and gathers them from events around her. It is she who reveals the story of the Night Gardener to Molly and Kip. She offers wisdom to help Molly (and the reader) understand the difference between stories and lies. The frightening themes of Good vs. Evil, cowardice vs. courage, and desires vs. wants resound in its pages.

Too scary for kids? What would C. S. Lewis say if he had read The Night Gardener? Here are his thoughts about frightening stories:
"And I think it possible that by confining your child to blameless stories of child life in which nothing alarming ever happens, you would fail to banish the terrors, and would succeed in banishing all that can ennoble them or make them endurable. For, in the fairy tales, side by side with the terrible figures, we find the immemorial comforters and protectors, the radiant ones; and the terrible figures are not merely terrible, but sublime."

The Night Gardener is going to be one of our class's favorite literature studies! We hope it becomes yours as well. Please order your class sets through our Kids Wings title links and save 20%.

Research Links for
The Night Gardener
by Jonathan Auxier

The Scop
Jonathan Auxier's Website with songs that inspired him, a one-minute talk about his favorite book, and MORE like "What's a Scop?"

Ghost Stories with Kids Wings Literature Guides

Splendors and Glooms

Aesop's Fables
Stories of Washington Irving

You can purchase the Kids Wings 78-page literature guide and Jeopardy-type game for The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier for immediate download! Only $19.95!
Click Here to Purchase and Download

The78-page Kids Wings literature guide PLUS interactive Jeopardy-type game is perfect for lesson plans, handouts, or projection on your SmartBoard for The Night Gardener!

This Kids Wings Activity Guide Contains:
Teacher Page: Fairy Tale Elements

Pre-Reading Discussion Cards
Anticipation Guide
Setting Up a Dialectical Journal
Map Study: Where in the World Are England and Ireland?

Character Studies
3-Page Readers Theater Introduction
Chart the Story's Progress
Figures of Speech! Get the Picture!
Complete Vocabulary List and Tic-Tac-Toe

8 Grouped Chapter Vocabulary and Questions in Predict-Read-Confirm Format
Multiple Choice Chapter Check-ups
Listening for Point of View or Voice in the Story
Illustrating Chapters 33 and 34
Diagnosing Dr. Crouch
Illustrating Chapters 36-39
Creating Mood in The Story
Creating a Model of Ma and Pa's Ship

Plotting the Plot

Visualizing the Text
Crossword Puzzle
A Magical Mysterious Literary Form, A Logic Puzzle
Three Research Projects
A Truth to Be Celebrated, Puzzle

Visualize and Label the Fairy Tale Elements
Writing Prompts
5-in-a-Row Vocabulary Games for Parts 1 and 2
Character Poems
Answer Pages
and MORE!
Plus, a BONUS Interactive Jeopardy-type Game

y The Night Gardener NOW!

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