Ch. 1 Unearthed

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by Gordon Korman

Study Guide
Ch. 1 - Unearthed


battlement - A parapet at the top of a wall, usually of a fort or castle, that has squared openings for shooting through

toupee - a wig or section of hair worn to cover a bald spot

archrival – the most important competitor

skulking – hiding something out of cowardice or fear

scoffed – an expression of scorn, contempt, or mockery

conceded – to grant as a right or privilege

belligerence – an aggressive disposition

nape - the back of the neck

careened – to cause to heel over

prognosis – the prospect of recovery as anticipated from the usual course of the medical case

juggernaut – a massive inexorable forcer that crushes whatever is in its path

carom – a rebounding at any angle

pulverized – to reduce to very small particles

obscured – not clearly seen or easily distinguished
Study Questions

1. Why is Donovan interested in

2. To what was the narrator referring when he said, “the howl of protest that went up all around the building surprised even me”? What does this statement mean?

3. Why were the Daniels making grotesque faces at Donovan through the window?

4. What did Nussbaum mean by saying, if he’s any kind of basketball fan, you’re golden”?

5. Infer why Donovan wondered if he’d ever need enemies.

6. Who are the Hatfields and the McCoys? How would the Daniels be similar to them?

7. How would Donovan’s possible inherited survival skills come in handy after the events of chapter one?

Chapter 2 - Unidentified


alumni – a person who is a former student of a particular school

tenpin – a bottle-shaped bowling pin

knoll – a small round hill

skewered – to criticize or ridicule sharply and effectively

foundry – an establishment where founding is carried on

vandalism – willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property

chagrin – distress of mind caused by humiliation

Study Questions

1. Who is the narrator?

2. Who is Dr. Schultz? What is his one rule?

3. Why did Dr. Schultz feel satisfaction at Donovan’s worried look?

4. Why was Dr. Schultz so upset when he returned to his office?
Chapter 3 - Unexplained


deployed – to spread out, utilize, or arrange for a deliberate purpose

retorted – to pay or hurl back

buffer zone – a neutral area separating conflicting forces

melancholy – a depression of spirits

reverie - daydream

glowered – to look or stare with sullen annoyance or anger

mused – to become absorbed in thought

listless – characterized by lack of interest, energy, or spirit

mewling – to cry weakly; whimper

modus operandi – a method of procedure

crowed – to brag exultantly or blatantly

languid – drooping or flagging from or as if from exhaustion
Study Questions

1. Why does Donovan say that he probably will never die of stress?

2. Why was Katie living with her parents?

3. What did Donovan mean by calling Katie “Miss Goodyear”?

4. Why did Katie seem depressed?

5. Who did Donovan think was waiting for him in the office? Who was actually waiting for him? Why had he called Donovan to the office?

6. Why did Donovan refer to himself as Dog-Whisperer Donovan? Why was this a problem?

7. Why did Donovan’s parents receive a letter recommending their son for a gifted program?

Chapter 4 - Unarmed


chastened – to correct by punishment or suffering

jarred – to be out of harmony
Study Questions

1. Explain Chloe’s first hypothesis in your own words. Do you agree or disagree?

2. Explain the meaning of “athletic ability exists in inverse proportion to intelligence”.

3. What does the expression “you’ve been riding the gravy train longer” mean?

Chapter 5 - Unknowing


insurrection – an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government

smattering – superficial piecemeal knowledge

pang – a brief piercing spasm of pain

vector – to change the direction for steering

troglodyte – a person characterized by reclusive habits or reactionary attitudes

lapel – the part of a garment that is turned back

shoddy - inferior, imitative, or pretentious articles or matter

Study Questions

1. Why didn’t the student get in trouble for throwing an airplane out of the bus?

2. Why did Donovan feel guilty that his mother was proud of him?

3. How does Donovan justify his ability to copy answers off of Noah’s paper?

4. What does “the Youkilis factor” mean?

5. What was Donovan’s excuse for swimming in the mall fountain?

6. To what does Donovan admit in reference to attending the Academy?
Chapter 6 - Uncredited


deadpanned – marked by an impassive matter-of=fact manner, style, or expression

vaunted – highly or widely praised or boasted about

spelunking – the hobby or practice of exploring caves

convulsive – violent, sudden, frantic, or spasmodic

mirth – gladness as shown by laughter

bereft – lacking something needed, wanted, or expected

dissertation – an extended written treatment of a subject

brandished – to shake or wave menacingly

tantalized – to tease or torment as if by presenting something desirable to the view by continually keeping it out of reach

prospect – something that is awaited or expected

incredulous – skeptical

Study Questions

1. What does Mr. Osborne mean when he says, “a mosquito couldn’t make it through the screening process”?

2. What does Donovan do during Robotics that surprises and excites most of his classmates?

3. What had Noah never seen before?

Chapter 7 - Unrepaired


evicting – to put a tenant our by legal process

unperturbed – not worried, upset, or confused

bestowing – conveying as a gift

bewildered – perplexed or confused by a multitude of considerations
Study Questions

1. What was Donovan’s recurring nightmare?

2. What was Donovan doing when Mr. Osbourne walked into his classroom?

3. How could Katie help the Academy kids?

4. What did Donovan do when Katie refused to help?

5. Why was Donovan so adamant about Katie helping?

Chapter 8 - Unsurprised


uncanny – being beyond what is normal or expected

knack – a clever way of doing something

fever pitch – a state of intense excitement and agitation

brayed – to play loudly or harshly

forlorn – sad and lonely because of isolation or desertion

conviction – the process of finding a person guilty of a crime
Study Questions

1. What does Chloe suggest is Donovan’s gift?

2. What did Noah ruin for Katie?

3. What did Chloe learn while Katie was at the Academy?

Chapter 9 - Unfailing


conundrum – a riddle whose answer is a pun

pondering – to reflect on

revelation – an act of revealing divine truth

enticingly – attracted artfully by arousing hope or desire
Study Questions

1. Explain the conundrum in Noah’s wanting out of the Academy.

2. What about public schools or “normal” kids made Noah jealous?

3. Why was Noah so fascinated with YouTube?

4. Give two reasons why Noah didn’t want to go to the school dance.
Chapter 9 - Unpasteurized


über – being a superlative example of its kind

obstetric – associated with childbirth

entourage – one’s attendants or associates

infectious – capable of causing infection
Study Questions

Why is Katie upset with Donovan?

What field trip did Donovan’s class take?

Why was Dr. Monolo excited?

Chapter 10 - Unsuccessful


phantom – something apparent to sense but with no substantial existence

Study Questions

1. What example does Dr. Shultz give for the meaning of insanity?

Chapter 11 - Unrockin’


hypercompetitive – excessively inclined to compete

anxiety – painful or uneasiness of mind

bout – an outbreak of activity

exhilaration – the act of making cheerful and excited

drab – a dull, lifeless, or faded appearance or quality

lurked – to lie in wait in a place of concealment especially for an evil purpose

brash – done in haste without regard for consequences

impale – to put in a helpless position

amid – in or into the middle of; surrounded by

gyrated – coiled around

flailing – swinging freely

furtive – expressive of slyness
Study Questions

1. Why was Chloe unsure of whether to wear the sneakers?

2. What did Noah wear to the dance?
Chapter 12 - Untrustworthy


omen – an occurrence or phenomenon believed to portend a future event

venturing – undertaking the risks and dangers of

schmoozing – to chat in a friendly and persuasive manner especially so as to gain favor

ruefully - regretfully

miffed – ill humor; quarreled

trajectory – a path, progression, or line of development

Study Questions

1. How were the Daniels trying to humiliate Abigail?

2. Why did Donovan pretend that Noah wanted to cut in and dance with Abigail?

3. What were Donovan and the Daniels arguing about in the bathroom?

4. What did Donovan say the gym smelled like?

5. What compelled Donovan to halt his escape plan?

6. Who pulled the fire alarm?
Ch. 13 - Unsorry


distraught – agitated with doubt or mental conflict or pain

heisted – stole
Study Questions

1. What was Noah’s invention idea for YouTube?

2. Why did Jacey start talking about South America butterfly migrations?

3. What was so interesting about riots to Noah?

4. How did the robotics team get a new motor for Mr. Tin Man?

5. What did Noah suggest the team do to help Donovan stay in the program? How does this support Noah’s overarching desire?

Ch. 14 - Untested


beseeching – begging for urgently or anxiously

brutalized – made harsh or cruel
Study Questions

1. What did the Daniels make Noah out to be in front on Dierdre and Heather?

2. Donovan admits that his friends are the same old Daniels. How has Donovan changed over the course of being at the Academy?

3. What happens to Donovan that makes him think about his friendships? How are his friendships different from those at the Academy and the Daniels?

Ch. 15 - Unforgivable


bastion – a fortified area or stronghold

Study Questions

1. Why was most of the faculty not worried about Donovan’s failing grades?

2. What does Ms. Bevelaqua say Donovan is entitled to?
Ch. 16 - Unreal


mongrel – a cross between types

anvil – a heavy usually steel-faced iron block on which metal is shaped
Study Questions

1. What had been wrong with Beatrice all along?

2. How is Katie feeling about Human Growth and Development? What has it become for her?

3. What did Donovan tell his sister in the bathroom?

Ch. 17 - Unmasked


irate – arising from anger

squander – to spend extravagantly or foolishly

taunting – sarcastically challenging or insulting

Study Questions

1. How did Dr. Shultz find Donovan?

Ch. 18 - Unwelcome


contender – a competitor for a championship or high honor

microfiche – a sheet of microfilm containing rows of images of printed pages

hefted - influenced

consolation – the state of being comforted

pacifist – strongly and actively opposed to conflict

Study Questions

1. What was Donovan’s consequence for the Atlas fiasco?

2. What was Donovan’s homecoming at school given by the Daniels?
Ch. 19 - Unbelievable


truancy – an act of staying out of school without permission

jounce – to move in an up-and-down manner

indignant - feeling or showing anger because of something unjust or unworthy

snide – false; unworthy of esteem
Study Questions

1. What did Chloe do that was so unbelievable?

2. Why did Chloe go looking for Donovan?
Ch. 20 - Unschooled


wary – marked by keen watchfulness

vast – very great in size, amount, degree, or intensity

blazoned – published widely

Study Questions

1. How did the Daniels try to cheer up Donovan at school?

2. What did the Daniels do to cheer up Donovan off of school campus?

3. Why didn’t Donovan make it all the way down to see the team?

Ch. 21 - Unseen


atrocious – extremely wicked

pretenses – a claim made or implied

affably – pleasantly; friendly

nimble – quick and light in motion

coax – to persuade by means of gentle urging or flattery

garnered – acquired by effort
Study Questions

1. What happened to Noah in the bathroom? What did Mr. Osborne say about “the intimidators”?

2. Donovan couldn’t have made Tin Man go any faster, but what did he have that the others didn’t?
Ch. 22 - Uncontrolled


expounded – defended with argument

apex – the uppermost point

pandemonium – a wild uproar

Study Questions

1. At what point and for what purpose did Donovan finally go down to see the team?

2. Why did Katie come for Donnie?
Ch. 23 - Unexpected


cowed – destroyed the courage of; intimidated

immaculate – having no stain or blemish

fiasco – a complete failure

Study Questions

1. What happened to the Academy at the robotics competition?

2. How does Chloe hypothesize that Donovan has a different type of giftedness than the rest of the team?

3. What was the greatest moment of Noah’s life?

Ch. 24 - Unburdened


unbecoming – not appropriate to one’s position

Study Questions

1. Who was Abigail jealous of?

2. Who hacked into the library computer and helped Donovan cheat on the retest?
Ch. 25 - Unchallenged


distraught – agitated with doubt or mental conflict or pain

Study Questions

1. Noah says that surprise doesn’t come from Youtube anymore. How does he define it?

2 How did Noah get kicked out of the Academy?

3. Where does challenge come from, according to Noah?

Ch. 26 - Unlittered


infamy – evil reputation brought about by something grossly criminal, shocking, or brutal

Study Questions

1. How was Noah able to Skype with Brad?

2. What quality of Donovan’s was always getting him in trouble as well as saving his life while he was hiding out at the Academy?
Final Thoughts

Please answer the following questions in complete sentences.

1. Did you like the book? Why or why not?

2. Would you recommend this book to someone else to read?

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