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.

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Chapters Nine, Ten, and Eleven








vanity (2x)

















shuttle (2x)


In the last three chapters many things are explained as Jody meets and talks to Olwen and the Guardian.

  1. What was the relationship between Mark London and Olwen when the settlers first landed on Isis? What happened that made Olwen leave the valley?
  2. Why did Mark London decide to tell the colonists all the lies?
  3. Why did Olwen and the Guardian decide not to interfere with the existing situation in the valley, with the exception of fixing the river?
  4. Why did they order Jody not to tell anything about what happened to him?
  5. Why did Jody accept that decision so readily?
  6. What did the Guardian mean when he said: "I understand. I compute you as fulfilled. Grown...."?
  7. What is meant with the reference to the "lion killer"?
  8. Many novels have a message, and so does The Guardian of Isis. Actually there are a number of messages? List them.
  9. What is you opinion of The Guardian of Isis as a novel? Did you like it? Why or why not? Explain yourself clearly and backup your arguments with examples from the book.

Battle Lines

Growing up for Jody means meeting a number of challenges and facing some painful realities. His life on Isis, and particularly his relationship with the President Mark London is filled with conflict.

Conflict, or the clash of opposing forces, is a vital part of most plots. Five types of conflict are defined below:

  1. character vs. character - the character faces a problem with one or more other characters in the story
  2. character vs. self - the character faces a physical or emotional problem or struggle
  3. character vs. society - the character faces a problem with a part of society (government, school, tradition, authority, etc.)
  4. character vs. nature - the character faces a problem with some force of nature (cold, storm, etc.)
  5. character vs. fate - the character faces a problem with a force such as fate or luck.



List one conflict that arises in each of the following situations. Though some passages may have more than one type of conflict, you need list only one. (A chapter reference is given in parenthesis after each situation if you need to refer to the book.)

After you list the conflict, explain specifically who or what is involved. See the example below.


Jody is not allowed to experiment with the water wheel.

a. Conflict: Character versus Society

b. This is one of the rules set by Mark London

One Step Further

Think back through the book. Decide which type of conflict has occurred most often in the novel. Write down five examples of this conflict from previous chapters. Then explain why this type of conflict is so prominent in the story.

Links in the Chain

One way of tying a story together is through the use of motifs. Motifs are incidents, Images, or ideas which appear again and again in a novel. Like links in a chain, they serve to unite a story.


Some motifs in The Guardian of Isis  are listed below. In your notebook, list four examples of these motifs from the book. Then answer the questions that follow.


1. Death

2. Lack of freedom

3. Cruelty

4. Punishment

5. Humiliation

6. Weather conditions

7. Kindness and compassion

8. Jealousy

9. Superstition


10. Mention one way in which motif 3 is linked to motif 5 in the book?

11. Mention one way in which motif 2 is linked to motif 8 in the book?

12. Mention one way in which motif 2 is linked to motif 9 in the book?

13. Mention one way in which motif 4 is linked to motif 7 in the book?

14. Mention one way in which motif 1 is linked to motif 2 in the book?

One Step Further

Review your study motifs. Then write an essay explaining how three of the motifs below are in some way presents at or connected to the climax of the novel.

1. Death

2. Intolerance

3. Punishment

4. Weather conditions

5. Kindness and compassion

Devote a paragraph apiece to the discussion of each motif.

Pyramid of Action

The plot of The Guardian of Isis  is made up of a number of episodes or separate incidents. These incidents are connected in some way so that the plot is tied together.

The Guardian of Isis  breaks down into a traditional five-part plot structure. These parts are as follows:

  • exposition - an introduction to the main characters, settings, and situations of the plot
  • rising action - the events and complications that lead to an important and dramatic point in the plot
  • climax - the point of greatest interest and emotional involvement in the plot
  • falling action - the events that develop from the climax and lead to the conclusion
  • resolution or denouement - the final outcome which ties up any loose ends left in the story

This structure can be depicted as a pyramid, with two base lines.




Below is a list of major episodes in The Guardian of Isis. Copy these episodes on a chart in your notebook (similar to the chart found on the next page) in the order in which they occur.

After you finish putting the events in proper order, turn the diagram sideways and draw the pyramid diagram (right over your answers in a different colour ink) to reflect where the five elements of the plot occur. Then label the parts of the pyramid.

Note: Your pyramid may look lopsides (one side longer than the other).

Major Episodes:

  • Jody changes the light in the Sacred Cave.
  • Jody climbs the Rock Wall.
  • Mark London declares that Jody will be one of the Bearers.
  • Jody designs the water wheel.
  • Tannis betrayes Joddy.
  • Jody meets the Hobbit.
  • Jody and the Guardian fix the river flow.
  • Jody is sent by Mark London to find the Guardian.
  • Jody gives a speech in front of the Council.
  • Jody promises the Guardian that he won't tell anybody.

Book Report

A Review Of The Book You Read

Criticism is concerned with the exposition, analysis, comparison, and evaluation of works of literature.

To be able to do so, you have to establish first by what criteria or "standards" you will judge the book you have read to be "good" or "bad".

You will also have to establish what you will judge. For instance, you may want to analyse plot and character, and/or language. You may also want to deal with the "message" the book has for the reader, but, under all circumstances, you will have to present evidence to back up your criticism. In this way, you have to behave like a real judge, weighing the evidence brought before him. Wild charges written down in your book report will be just as unacceptable as they would in a court.

Having stated that, let's look at what you have to do to get a good mark for your book report.

Your book report is going to be an appraisal, and a good appraisal should tell the reader your evaluation of the book in such a way that the reader can then make his own estimation of the book. To do this you must meet three requirements:

  1. you must report what the book does
  2. you must judge how well it does it
  3. you must provide enough evidence from the book itself to support or illustrate your judgement

Each of these obligations is important. The more you slip up on them, the more the value of your book report decreases, and with it, of course, your mark!

  1. If you do not report what the book does, then your reader, who has not read the book, will have difficulty following your analysis.
  2. If, however, you only report what the book does, but do not tell how well it does it, then you are only writing a synopsis (retelling the story), not a critical review.
  3. Finally, if you fail to support your judgements, you give the reader no oppor tunity to form his own judgement. You do not have the right to think that your unsupported opinions should be accepted as facts. If you say that the book is "boring", "disorganized", "slow", or that it "doesn't make sense", you should present evidence for these statements.
  4. A fourth obligation is taken for granted. You must be fair to the book you are judging. You must not allow your prejudices on a subject to influence your appraisal unduly.

If you hate "science fiction", then don't read such a book, but do not condemn such a book because you dislike such fiction.

The preparation of a good review requires careful reading as well as careful writing. Lazy or uncritical reading, for instance of a teener romance, will always result in a poor review. You should read the book with the intention of reviewing it. Keeping this in mind will make you read the book more purposefully. Don't make up your mind after reading thirty pages of the book. If you want to be an honest reviewer, you should not than will not make a final judgement until you have read the whole book. If you read carefully, you will begin to make tentative judgements as you go along.

You could begin your book report with an introduction of the author, telling the reader who he/she is, what other books he/she has written, or how he/she came to write this one.

If you can't, or don't want to do that, you may start with a paragraph on the problem the book deals with, for instance, juvenile delinquency, divorce, alcoholism, love, and with an example from the book, introduce the author's attitude toward the subject.

You can also start your report with a quotation from the book that sums up the purpose of the book.

Or you may start by giving a description of the book in general to give the reader a brief, but complete, picture of it.

Avoid the following mistakes

  • Write too much about the content of the book, so that the book report is nothing but "a retelling of the story".
  • Picking out parts instead of dealing with the whole book. The reader will be confused.
  • Drifting into your own personal biases instead of dealing with the book.
  • To exaggerate one characteristic of the book instead of dealing with the whole book.
  • Keeping your report general and vague by failing to provide specific examples to support your statements.

Judge the following reviews

The book I read is The Keeper of the Isis Light  and it was written by Monica Hughes. This book is really dumb. It deals with science fiction and the main character is a girl. Would you believe that, that is weird, man! I don't like science fiction because it is all technology and that is boring. The book is nothing but facts about machines and such stuff, and the author gives the characters funny names, such as Olwen and the whole story doesn't make sense. If the author would of put in one real thing that really could have happened, may be it could have been better, but now it is really dumb, with nothing happening very much between the first page and the last, just one boring thing after another. There is also some Guardian in the story. How can a girl like a Guardian who just looks after her, that is dumb too. I can understand that that guy Mark London was mad when he found out that the girl had lizard skin. How gross. The author also wrote Earthdark, which we had to read in class and which was even more boring. I found this book not every interesting because it was science fiction and I don't like that kind of books.

I liked the book, even though the main character is a girl, because I enjoy science fiction. The technology is good in the book and the rocket ship is exciting. I didn't like what the author did with Mark London, because he is mean and hurts the girl. The fact that the girl has a lizard skin is real cool. It wasn't her fault that her skin was like that. It had to be. Mark London should not have judged the book by its cover. That is message of the book. But the best parts of the book are the parts about technology, all the machines they have and what they can do with them. Gliders and stuff like that. Very exciting and the author describes them well. I could believe I was sitting in them. Eight out of ten for this one.

When a group of settlers from Earth land on the beautiful planet of Isis, they arrive to a world completely unpeopled, except by Olwen, Keeper of the Isis Light, and her protector, Guardian. Olwen is nervous about what the newcomers will think of her and frustrated when Guardian insists that she put on a germ-free suit before she descends to the valley where the Earth people are camped. Down there Mark London quickly befriends the masked Olwen and she learns how much pleasure there is in human friendship, though there are also bitter disappointments. She is ultimately to find out that she and this alien planet are uniquely linked. This is a very good book.

The title of the book I reviewed is Don't Give Up Melissa  and was written by Geraldine Humperdinck. This is a high school romance and I just love romances. The story is about that girl Melissa who is turned down by all the good looking boys at Brainless High because she has a birth mark on the lobe of her left ear. Poor Melissa really suffers, but with the support of her loving parents and her devoted dog Snarls she wins the big Florida dog sled race, thus proving that when you set your goals clearly and if you persevere, you can win. From a distance Eugene, the quarterback of the high school football team, has always admired that ear lobe, but although he is tough and big, he is too shy to tell Melissa. When, on the way back from the dog sled celebrations, Melissa runs him over with her car, he has just enough time to whisper in that wonderful ear that he always loved her, then he dies. The ending is so sad, that I cried. What a fantastic book and the author uses real language and real situations that could off happened anywhere. The message of the book: never judge a book by its cover!

Checklist: Did I do the following?

  1. Give title of book
  2. Give name of author
  3. Give a synopsis of the book
  4. Tell what the book does, for instance, is the book a love, a detective, or an adventure story, or does it perhaps talk about relationships between people, etc.
  5. Is there a special "message" for the reader?
  6. In your opinion, how well did the author do the above mentioned things. Discuss them in order of their importance.
  7. Give support for your opinions, for instance, with quotations from the book.
  8. Sum up your arguments in a few sentences at the end of the book report.


 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