Stephanie Golightly Lowden

    Author, Teacher

Reading Comprehension


Chapter 1

1. Why was Adelle afraid to tell her mother about the boys who picked on her for being German?

2. Why did Adelle and her mother spend the whole summer in Ashland instead of their usual month?

3. How did Adelle’s mother feel about Karl going to fight in World War I?

4. What did Adelle’s father mean when he said that the whole country had “jingo fever?”

5. What happened to Uncle Mike’s fishing partner?

6. How did Adelle’s mother and Uncle Mike first arrive to the United States?

7. How does Adelle feel about spending the next few months in Ashland? List two reasons why she feels that way.


Chapter 2

1. Why would Adelle wish the weather NOT to clear on the day of the ice cream social?

2. How did Agnes respond when Adelle and her mother met the Johnsons?

3. What did Adelle lie about when she first met Nora?

4. According to Adelle, what happened to the German language books at her school because of the war?

5. How does Nora react to the news about the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee?

6. Why did Adelle leave Nora alone at the ice cream social?


Chapter 3

1. Why was Adelle worried about Karl?  What did she tell Uncle Mike about it?

2. Why does Uncle Mike think that Adelle’s mother doesn’t talk about Karl?

3. What does Uncle Mike think about Mr. Billington, Howard’s father and the town grocer?


Chapter 4

1. Nora makes it clear that she likes Arthur, but what does she tell Adelle about Howard?

2. Why did the Johnsons and the Kleins leave Madeline Island early?

3. What was written on the flyers men were handing out when the Johnsons and Kleins returned to shore?

4. How does Adelle’s mother react to the men handing out flyers? How does that make Adelle feel?


Chapter 5

1. What does Adelle mean when she says people are “walking on eggshells” for Agnes and her mother?

2. Nora and Adelle believe that there are different reasons for why Nora’s mother might be less strict while her father is at war. What do they think?

3. Why does Adelle decide to “forgive and forget” that Arthur and Howard teased her?

4. Why does Howard think it is so important that his ancestors were the first immigrants to America who came over on the Mayflower?

5. What are two things that Adelle lied about with Howard? How does it make her feel?


Chapter 6

1. Paraphrase what Adelle’s mother told the Bonds salesman at the door?

2. Why is Uncle Mike worried about Emma’s behavior?

3. Why does Adelle want her and her mother to leave the grocery store early?

4. What did Adelle say to her mother after they were not served at the counter? How does her mother react?


Chapter 7

1. What makes Adelle believe that “all the fight has left” her mother?

2. How does Uncle Mike convince Emma to let Adelle spend the night at Nora’s for the Fourth of July?

3. Why does it surprise Adelle that she wonders if Howard will be at the picnic?


Chapter 8

1. Where is Adelle’s mother when she wakes up on July 4th?

2. Where does Nora want to go when they get to the picnic? Why must it be a secret?

3. What does Adelle mean when she says the phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do?”

4. Why does Adelle stop swimming?

5. What does Adelle learn about Howard that day?

6. Why did the Kleins go home early from the picnic?

7. What was Mr. Billington doing at Uncle Mike’s cabin?

8. Why did Adelle feel like she had just “hiked up a Lake Superior bluff?”


Chapter 9

1. Adelle was so excited she couldn’t concentrate enough to read her book. Why was she so excited?

2. Adelle received two notes that day, who was the second note from? What did it say?

3. Why did Adelle’s mother apologize to her?

4. How was the lake different to Adelle at the end of the book?


Discussion Questions


1. Symbols Adelle’s reaction to the presence of Lake Superior is drastically different at the beginning of the novel, than at the end. How does the author use the description of the lake to express how Adelle feels throughout the novel? How might Adelle’s experiences have had an effect on her reaction to the lake?

2. Setting Many of the characters in the novel describe what it is like to experience life away from home. Why does Adelle want to go home so badly? How might Adelle’s summer have been different had she spent hers at home, in Milwaukee, with her friends? How might it have been similar?

3. Theme How did the boys’ behavior in Chapter 1 affect Adelle’s comfort around the other children in Ashland? How might her summer have been different had they not picked on her?

4. Style Examine why the author would want to have Adelle reading the classic tale Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: what is desirable about being under the sea? How is Captain Nemo’s desire to “hide” under the sea similar to Adelle’s desire to hide from her German heritage? What are the pros and cons about avoiding conflict in the real world?

5. Theme What is the difference between being patriotic and having what Adelle’s family refers to as “Jingo Fever?” Review the events that happen on the Fourth of July. Why do you think pride for one’s country might lead to fear and hatred of others? How can we prevent that from happening?

6. Theme Adelle loves her mother, but what are some of the reasons she is upset with her mother throughout the novel? Are all of her reasons justified? Why or why not?

7. Theme Why do you think it is easier for Adelle to talk to  uncle Mike about what is bothering her than it is to talk to her mother?

8. Theme What does Adelle’s conversation with Howard in Chapter 5 reveal about what Howard really knows about Germans? How might that affect his prejudices of Germans in general? How might Adelle’s friends have reacted had Adelle taught them more about her German heritage instead of hiding it from them?

9. Theme Adelle admitted that it felt like someone with courage had inhabited her body when she stood up to the mob. Define courage and explain why you think it is important to have when standing up to bullies.

10. Characters Use what the characters say, do, and think to describe both Adelle and her friend Nora. How are they alike and similar? How might the story be different if it were told from Nora’s point of view?

11. Theme This book focuses on the kind of prejudice that German-Americans experienced, but what other kinds of prejudices existed in American history? Do prejudices exist today?

12. Theme The author included in the story real-life examples of anti-German persecution from the World War I era, such as the man who set up a machine gun outside Milwaukee’s Pabst Theatre. Give two more example of persecution the author uses in the book and explain why that is not fair to anyone – German or not.


Research Topics


American emigration in early 1900s

German-American culture

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

World War I Causes and Results

World War I Home Front

World War I Propaganda




1. Encourage students to consider what actions to take when confronted with bullying and bigotry. Have them write letters to Adelle, as either her friend Clara (who is away for the summer) or her brother Karl. What advice might they be able to give her with how to respond to bullies? Could they help Adelle feel better about being away from home and her friends?


2. Have a class German language study, particularly with English words of German origin and with German-English cognates.


3. As a class, brainstorm ideas about how to implement an anti-prejudice/anti-bullying campaign in your school.


4. Use an “ice-cream social” to help students review the characters and plot in the book. To prepare, students can decorate different “scenes” from the book (e.g. Mike’s cabin, Nora’s house, Mr. Billington’s grocery store, the beach, etc.) to be posted during the ice cream social. For the activity, each student is assigned a character name and must interview other students to learn about the other characters and themes in the book. Have students complete a short essay about a character and how they contribute to a theme in the book to receive the reward of ice cream (you may choose to provide real ice cream or a paper ice cream cone with their name/picture on it to be posted somewhere in the room).


5. Creative Writing: have students choose to write either a patterned poem about water as a theme and compare the use of water as a metaphor in it to that of Jingo Fever.


Field Trip Ideas


· Old World Wisconsin, especially the German immigrant section

· WI State Historical Museum, Madison, especially the immigrant exhibit

· Monroe WI; National Cheese Museum

· Pabst Mansion, Milwaukee

· Old World Third St. in Milwaukee (Usingers Sausage and other related shops)

· Interview someone from the local German community

· Invite a speaker in from the Milwaukee German-American Heritage Center (which is in the process of being developed.)

· Holiday Folk Fair; Milwaukee (This is a popular field trip for school groups prior to Christmas)

· Milwaukee Museum, Streets of Milwaukee exhibit

· Check into Milwaukee’s German Fest and see if they have activities during the school year

· Fishing Village: Hokenson Fishery Historic Site, Apostle Islands (free)

· Rogers Street Fishing Village in Two Rivers, WI

· First Kindergarden developed by Margarethe Meyer Schurz, wife of Carl Schurz (German immigrant and reformer) on the grounds of the Octagon House in Watertown WI)

· Milwaukee Turners; Madison Turners (Gymnastics Societies.  Check for special events.)





Study Guide for Jingo Fever



Chapter 1





jingo fever






Chapter 2-4











Chapter 5-7





Liberty Bonds




Chapter 8-9