Chapters 1 and 2

Chapters 3 and 4

Chapters 5 and 6

Chapters 7 and 8

Chapters 9, 10 and 11

End of Unit Test



Monica Hughes Wikipedia

CM Archive: Other books by Monica Hughes

Governor-General's Award for Children's Literature - 1981

Monica Hughes died on March 7, 2003
at age 77.

Please do NOT contact me for answers to Chapter or Test questions. Your request will not be answered.





Chapters Seven and Eight















gorge (2x)

















down (2x)












  1. Why couldn't Jody communicate with his father?
  2. What dangers faced the colonists if they would leave the valley and climb the mountains?
  3. What strategy was Jody following as he climbed up? Why?
  4. In a few words, describe the scenery Jody is travelling through.
  5. Mention the hardships Jody went through as he climbed the mountain plateau.
  6. As Jody climbed higher, the rocks which stretched above him, seemed to become taller and taller. Why was that?
  7. Why did the Guardian glow so much?
  8. What is a UVO suit?
  9. When Jody regained consciousness, the Guardian made him drink from a strange cup, and what Jody drank was invisible and tasteless. What was it?
  10. Jody had been told a lot of things down in the valley, and now the Guardian tells him that they are all lies. What had Jody been told and why? Did the colonists know any better?

Figures in the Round

Monica Hughes has the knack for creating characters that are not just one- dimensional figures. By showing more than one side of her characters' personalities, she makes them seem well rounded or realistic.

These realistic portraits are not only a challenge to the author but to the reader. As in dealing with real people, the reader must decide how to merge into one personality many different - even contradictory - traits.


Some statements about the personality of the characters in The Guardian of Isis follow. Give evidence from the book to first support the statement (pro). Then contradict the statement (con). Finally, based on that evidence, draw your own conclusions that explain the character's nature. An example has been done for you.


Jody is brave.
a. Pro: He climbs the rock wall. (p.28- 29)
b. Con: He is very much afraid when he sees the Hobbit. (p.81)
c. Your conclusion: He is brave when he is control of the situation, but he's afraid of the     unknown as a result of the stories he has been told.

1. President Mark London is uncaring and dictatorial.

2. Olwen is sure of herself.

3. The Guardian has the logic of a computer.

4. Jody is rash and impatient.

One Step Further

Rate a fictional character from a TV sitcom. First give the name of the character, then for each of the following character traits, answer with a never, seldom, sometimes, often or always and provide evidence for your answer.

1. Acts unwisely.

2. Is compassionate.

3. Shows a good sense of humour.

4. Is moral.

5. Becomes angry.

6. Is this character well rounded? Explain your answer.

Matching Causes and Effects

Match each effect (action or decision) with its cause (the reason that something occurs). Each answer may be used only once.



 1. Jody experiments with his water wheel.

 a. He knows he has to ask the Guardian for help

 2. President London wants Jody to be a bearer, but doesn't want to do that.

 b. Misleading perspective.

 3. Jody changes the light in the Sacred Cave.

 c. Lack of oxygen.

 4. President London does nothing about the rising water.

 d. The Guardian wants Jody to become the Colonists's leader.

 5. As Jody climbed, the rocks seemed to becoming taller and taller.

 e. He was curious and intelligent.

 6. As Jody climbs higher, he experiences a piercing pain in his chest.

 f. She still loved Mark London.

 7. The Guardian shines like a blinding light.

 g. He wants Jody dead.

 8. Jody gets dizzy and tired but doesn't die when he climbs out of the valley.

 h. He doesn't believe it's just a gift.

 9. "I am only surprised that these old wounds still hold so much pain," says Olwen.

 i. The younger generation is adapting to the environment of Isis.

 10. "If they knew that I helped save them, then maybe.....," says Jody, but he is interrupted by the Guardian, who tells him: "No! That must remain between you and me and Olwen."

 j. He is made of metal.

The Moral of the Story Is ....

The Guardian of Isis  is a "coming-of-age" story. By the time the book is concluded, Jody will have learned many - some painful - lessons. These morals (principles or lessons taught by a story or experience) prepare Jody to be a responsible adult. Besides showing us how Jody grows up, the author also tells us how immoral people can become as a result of jealousy and hatred. She also shows us the importance of democracy in the lives of people.


A list of morals and learning experiences in The Guardian of Isis  follow. For the first four questions, list a learning experience that helps Jody see the moral. Then for the last four questions, create a moral that expresses what Jody gains from the learning experience.


Moral: When you resist a person who is more powerful than you are, you will suffer the consequences.

Learning experience: The President Mark London sends Jody into the mountains to find the Guardian.






Learning Experiences:





One Step Further

Choose a moral from the preceding exercise. Write a fable that shows how an imaginary character learns that lesson. A fable is a story with a moral that often includes talking animals and other elements of fantasy.

Writing a Travel Diary

Imagine that you were with Jody and that together you're climbing the Rockwell and travelling further into the mountains of Isis to find the Guardian. If you had kept a travel diary during that time, what would it say?

Complete the chart below by listing some things you might have seen during that journey and how you might have felt when you saw them.

1. (a) What I saw:

    (b) How I felt:

2. (a) What I saw:

    (b) How I felt:

3. etc.


Composition Workshop: Word Power

Connotation: Idea suggested by, or associated with, a word or phrase, in addition to its explicit meaning, or denotation.

World War Two:

Denotation: A war which lasted from 1939 till 1945, and which was fought between Germany, Italy, Japan, and their allies on the one side, and the United States, Russia, England, France, and their allies on the other side.


- Nouns: death, blood, slaughter, hunger, destruction, power, soldiers, tanks, bombs, ships,   Hitler, holocaust, etc.

- Verbs: kill, murder, burn, strafe, bomb, starve, conquer, lose, win, etc.

- Modifiers: gory, hostile, terrifying, long- drawn-out, tattered, global, suddenly, totally, deadly,   immensely, etc.

In his Peanuts  strip, Charles Schultz names the neighbouring cat "World War II". We never see the cat, but we sense its nature and its appearance because of the connotations of its name. List some adjectives that would describe this cat.

The proper nouns Christmas and Hanukkah, as in "It feels like Christmas" or in "a Hanukkah atmosphere" connote a wealth of meaning and saves both writer and reader much time and explanation, as long as the author is sure that his readers have experienced Christmas  and/or Hanukkah.


1. Christmas: A holiday celebrated December 25, according to the New Style calendar, and accepted by Christians adhering to the New Style calendar, as the anniversary of Christ's birth.

2. Hanukkah: A Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C.

List the nouns, verbs, and modifiers that describe the ideas, feelings, moods, etc. suggested by or associated with either Christmas or Hanukkah.

Positive and Negative Viewpoints

Positive Connotations

With cold-stiffened fingers I opened the wood stove door and released the pent-up comfort of the fire. Warmth tumbled out and brushed against me, massaging away the goose bumps from my arms. Inside the stove the fire merrily popped a bit of spruce sap as it wrapped delicate fingers around the half consumed logs. Swirling ghosts of perfumed smoke, the spirits of the logs, circled the chamber lazily before drifting into the chimney hole. They left behind them the faithful embers, deeply red, patterned with black crevices, comforting. Warmed and soothed, I lingered dreamily before the fire a long moment before reluctantly closing the stove door.

Negative Connotations

I burst into the room and ripped open the wood stove door, even though I knew from the breathless heat of the room and the low thunder coming from the stove that the fire was growing too great and hungry for its little box. I anxiously peered at the glaring orange and yellow flames for a moment, then the intensity of colour and heat drove me backward a step, and I had to turn my head sideways to catch my breath. All the air from the entire cabin seemed to be rushing past me to the stove, compelled to feed the maniacal god within. Inside, sap sizzled out of the logs. Sparks, smoke, and flames streaked for the chimney hole with thin squeals. In the spectacle I could see a flaming house, a flaming forest. Frantically I closed the door and damper, turning nature upon nature, and begged the demon fire to die.

1. Read the above paragraph about fire. Select the nouns, verbs, and modifiers which created the individual tone of each paragraph.

2. Select a simple subject word like fire and write down first its positive and then its negative connotations.

Don't use such general, vague and tired descriptions as "pretty", "big", "ugly" Instead use nouns and active verbs, as well as modifiers that precisely express the desired mood.

3. Read page 88 in The Guardian of Isis  from He looked wonderingly around....... till By the time.......

Change the paragraph by using negative connotations, in other words, Jody doesn't like what he sees when he wakes up. However, you cannot change the content of the paragraph, just the mood, and how Jody sees the same things.

From Pandemonium to Panacea

In the film lingo, to pan means "to rotate the camera to get a wide, comprehensive view." The Greek root pan means "entirely" or "completely". When pan is joined to another Greek root, demos (meaning "people"), the word pandemic is formed. Pandemic indicates something that is spread over a wide area and affects many people. We speak of a pandemic disease or a pandemic belief.

The ten words below are derived from pan and/or demos. Can you put them in the correct blanks?













  1. Young children performed a _____ during the worship of the Guardian. (dramatic performance with no dialogue)
  2. Observing the _____ of the valley from the top of the mesa was an unforgettable experience for Jody. (wide view)
  3. _____ would have broken out among the colonists if Jody would have brought back the Guardian. (chaos )
  4. Even the Guardian did not believe that technology would be a _____ for the settlers on Isis. (remedy, cure-all)
  5. The President was a _____ whose fear of losing power sent Jody into exile. (leader who makes use of popular prejudices in order to keep power)
  6. The settlers on Isis were so few that they didn't need _____ . (people who make statistical studies of populations)
  7. If the valley had flooded, disease would have reached _____ proportions. (affecting many individuals)
  8. Strong winds were _____ to Isis. (belonging to a particular region or locality)
  9. Jody was impressed by the _____ of the ceremony honouring the Guardian. (magnificent show, ceremonial dress)
  10. The President did not believe very much in _____. (government by the people)

 Introduction - Chapters 1 and 2 - Chapters 3 and 4 - Chapters 5 and 6 - Chapters 7 and 8 - Chapters 9, 10 and 11 - Test: Question Booklet