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Courage in the Face of Danger

Courage in the Face of Danger


The Terrible Wave, by Marden Dahlstedt: 

During the disastrous flood of 1889 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a spoiled teen-age girl learns to accept responsibility as she and her companions search for their families and friends.


Manning the Light, by Terry Webb:

In the summer of 1903, thirteen-year-old Louie goes with his widowed mother to help her tend a lighthouse on Two Tree Island and the adventures begin. Read all about lighthouses and those who helped to keep the lights burning. Meet Louie's friend Charlie, his male mentor, Sam Hornblower, and his feathered friend.


Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen:

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, haunted by his secret knowledge of his mother’s infidelity, is traveling by single-engine plane to visit his father for the first time since the divorce. When the plane crashes, the sole survivor is Brian. He is alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present.


At first consumed by despair and self-pity, Brian slowly learns survival skills—how to make a shelter for himself, how to hunt and fish and forage for food, how to make a fire—and even finds the courage to start over from scratch when a tornado ravages his campsite. When Brian is finally rescued after fifty-four days in the wild, he emerges from his ordeal with new patience and maturity, and a greater understanding of himself and his parents.


When faced with difficult challenges, how should we respond? Discover true courage through the brave stories of three young teenagers. Learn how to tend a lighthouse and survive the wilderness. Part of courage is being willing to change, as students will see. Evaluate character development and attributes that contribute to heroic actions. Don’t miss these stories of danger and courage!


Learning objectives:

  • Use direct quotes from texts to explain and prove ideas about the reading

  • Use details from the text to summarize it, identify the main idea or theme, and compare characters/events

  • Identify the author/narrator’s point of view and explain how this affects the content of a text

  • Use the context of a text to determine the meaning of unknown words

  • Compare multiple perspectives on the same event, idea, or theme


  • Recommended for: Ages 9+ / Grades 4-5 
  • Instructor: Eve Babb
  • Day and Time: Thursdays, 12:45-1:45 PM ET
  • Duration: 4 classes
  • Dates: April 11 - May 2
  • Required Materials
    • The Terrible Wave, by Marden Dahlstedt 
    • Manning the Light, by Terry Webb 
    • Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
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