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Kids' Activities

Jane Lind presents ...


Patrick and the Actors

Written by Margaret Keith
Illustrated by Glenn Priestly



Theme: Social Relationships, Young Adult


Patrick and the Actors

One day as Patrick was sitting in his favourite maple tree pretending something special was going to appear, a brightly painted yellow van with "Caravan" painted under a picture came over the hill. This was the beginning of an adventure in acting.

The van was home for a troupe of actors who travelled all over the North performing plays in schools. Since Patrick's dad was working up North until spring and a sitter was in charge of him, he decided to take off with the Caravan Theatre Company to learn to be an actor.

There was one problem--legally, he was to be in school. A former actor with the company now had a job as truant officer, and when he discovered that he was replaced by a young kid, the theatre company had no peace. For a while they were able to keep Patrick disguised, but every now and then Madman McMann caught up with them, and they had to work out schemes to elude his grasp. But meanwhile, Patrick became a very good actor, and none of the troupe wanted to lose him.

But McMann would not be shaken off their trail and the height of the suspense came when he showed up at a school where the actors had performed and barged into the room they were using as a dressing room. Patrick was in disguise, and by putting on an act for McMann, the actors fooled him into thinking that Patrick was a dummy, and he left empty handed.

After that for a while, McMann seemed to have let up on his pursuit, but when he reappeared, the famous playwright, David Hailey convinces McMann to lay off. McMann confesses to having taken on the truant officer job as a way of keeping track of the troupe and also to frighten Patrick because he had taken McMann's place. With the help of Hailey, they work out an agreement. Patrick will go back to school the next year when his dad comes home, and McMann will return to his acting job in the fall.



Questions

These questions apply to four books:
Jeremy Gates and the Magic Key
You Don't Mess with Mozart
Patrick and the Actors
Patrick and the Actors

1. In these four books, which two characters, or groupings of characters, have the most genuine friendship? Explain your choice.

2. Write a paragraph or two to describe the relationship between Corrie and Crystal in Patrick and the Actors.

3. In what way was Corrie important to Meg's accomplishments?

4. What technique did the author use in Patrick and the Actors to create suspense?

5. In Mozart, Bronwyn and Megan had very different families. How did that affect their friendship? Do you think it is easier to be friends with someone who is similar or different from you?

6. Explain how conflict in the relationships of the characters affects the development of the story plots in each of these books.

7. Choose one of these four books and write a different ending.




from the
Theme Catalogue and Teaching Guide for Children's Books
written for Penumbra Press by Jane Lind
© Jane Lind


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