A complete list of the
How to order-- It's
Created by Brian Thornton
Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA.
Phone: 705 672-5737
Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific
written consent of the publisher
Answer all questions in sentence form.
Who is Augie and why is he knocking on Ricky's door so early in the
Why did Augie never want to walk into Ricky's house by
Why did Ricky never meet Augie outside in front of his house?
Why did Augie wrinkle up his nose when he entered Ricky's house?
Who is telling much of the story?
List all of Ricky's pets?
What is the main difference between a caiman and an
According to Ricky what other animal kills for no reason?
Why was Augie always wearing nice new clothes?
Why was Augie not fond of running to school?
Why was Ricky surprised that Augie did not do well in school?
What did the missing hair from the dead squirrel's tail tell Ricky's
Why did Ricky have to squeeze out the door?
Vocabulary: beagle, psychic, ominously,
revolting, gestured, grouse, iguana, caiman, peered, pellets, snarling, slung
Enrichment: Create a title page for your novel study. Who has Eric
Walters dedicated the book to and why? Who would you dedicate a book
to if you were to write one?
What indication is there that Augie had been in trouble at school before?
Why did Ricky always run back home shortly after he had left for school?
Who was sitting on the mailbox?
Why was Augie able to reassure Ricky that they wouldn't be late for
Why was Ricky sounding so smug about the basketball team tryouts?
What did Ricky tell Augie that "wiped the grin off" his face?
What strategy does Augie use to convince Ricky to try out for the senior
basketball team with the other grade eights?
Why is Ricky so apprehensive about taking the shortcut home with
Why did Ricky tell Augie that he couldn't see any sweat on his face?
Vocabulary: hesitated, sprinted, heaved,
savoured, assume, exaggerating, imitations, impressions, vet, smugly, scraggly,
Enrichment: With a partner design a poster promoting your book. Create a bookmark based on "Ricky" and use it to mark your place as you continue to read the novel.
How does a snake use its tongue?
How does a Boa Constrictor kill its prey?
Who is the herd of twenty-five animals that the author is referring
to at the beginning of this chapter?
How does Mr. Johnston react when one of his students yells out that she is
being attacked by a snake?
Why does the teacher ask Ricky to help with the snake despite the fact
that other students in the class raise their hands to offer to help Julia.
What would people be surprised to discover about snakes according to
How do Boas in the jungle usually catch their prey?
Why was Mr. Johnston's science class one of Ricky's favourite places in
the whole world?
Who is Bogart?
What kind of wife did Ricky hope to marry?
Why did all of Mr. Johnston's students groan after he dismissed them?
Vocabulary: scent, wafting, undulations,
glistened, partially, essential, stealth, coils, lapsing, commotion, shed,
unblemished, pen, terrarium, fangs, fidget, din, osmosis,
Enrichment: In small groups define the
qualities of friendship. List some of the essential elements of
friendship and then prioritize them. Compare you lists to other
groups in the class and discuss the merits of your choices.
Why did Ricky hate it when his father was late?
Who knocks unexpectedly at Ricky's door?
Why didn't she take the cat to a vet?
Why was Ricky surprised to hear Augie stammer?
Why does Ricky take out a plastic bag of Epsom salts?
Who was Garfield?
Why did Ricky put on a pair of canvas gloves?
What medication did Ricky use for the cat?
How did Ricky get the Garfield to swallow the medication?
Why did Ricky think that Augie was "wasting his time" with Jessica?
Why was Augie no longer keen on going to Jessica's house in the morning to
Vocabulary: starch, landing, morsels,
infected, tense, rummaged, stammered, Epsom, antibiotics, dissolve, recoiled,
veterinarian, persistence, deflated, succumb
Enrichment: Research the medicinal history of
Epsom salts? Ask your family doctor and pharmacist about
them. Have any of the students in your class used them?
Research ordinary salt to see what effect it has on scratches and minor cuts
or even sore throats. What effect does it have on animals that spend
their entire lives in the sea? What effect does salt have on us when
we eat it in our foods? How would our health be affected if we never
Where do we get our table salt from?
Why is salt used on roads and highways in countries with colder climates?
Once you have completed your research and organized your information make a
short presentation to your classmates.
Explain Ricky's statement, "I always did really well in school--it was the
rest of life that confused me".
Why was Ricky more concerned about his shirt being ripped than his arm?
Who answered the door at Jessica's house?
Why does Ricky feel awkward and uncomfortable when Jessica's mother tells
him that his mother has trained him well?
How do the two boys respond when Elyse asks them if they are ready for the
How does Ricky offer to help Elyse with her school work?
How did Ricky trick the cat into taking the pill this time?
How has Ricky accumulated such a large "collection" of animals at his
Explain the special favour Augie asks of Ricky at the very end of this
Vocabulary: gash, chuckle, sputtered,
ushered, blush, hesitant, blurted, tentatively, membrane, concentration
Enrichment: Explain the process of
osmosis. After doing some research collect the necessary materials
and conduct an experiment that demonstrates osmosis.
Why did Ricky not run in the halls even though he was in a hurry to get to
class on time?
What "strange" ability does Augie possess according to Ricky?
What are the boys surprised when finally get upstairs to their class?
What did Augie notice just as he was about to knock on the classroom door?
Who is Mr. Skully and how does he respond to Augie's joke about the
Why is Ricky surpised that Mr. Skully has asked him to step into Mr.
What does Ricky see the moment he steps into the classroom?
How does Mr. Skully respond when Ricky asks about Bogart?
What sad news causes Mr. Johnston to sigh and his whole body to shudder?
ace, corridor, emphatically, semi-permeable, wake, shuffling, scowled, numbly,
strewn, bashed, debris, nuzzled, nursing, carcasses, shuddered, glimmer
Enrichment: Some students might feel that
running in the hall is too small an infraction to deserve a
detention. Form small groups to discuss school rules for your
classroom and school. Have some groups make a list of rules for
students while other groups make rules for the teachers and
principal. Choose a group leader to present your rules to the rest of
the class. Discuss the pros and cons of the suggested rules.
Who killed Bogart?
How does Mr. Johnston react to Bogart's death and why does this shock
Why is Ricky reluctant to take a shower after the basketball
What secret did Ricky have that only his sister and father knew
How did Ricky explain his poor showing at the basketball tryout that
Why is Augie horrified when Ricky first suggests he would like to do more
to help Mr. Johnston?
Where do Augie and Ricky head after the basketball
Why is Augie so reluctant to go there?
What does Ricky finally suggest they can do to help Mr.
shudder, understatement, scrimmage, smirk, modest, cringe, scurried
Enrichment: Discuss euthanasia with your
classmates. Invite a doctor to discuss his/her thoughts on the
issue. Form a debating team to discuss the issue. Which
team would you prefer to be on and why?
Have you ever taken a bubblebath? Why do some people prefer to
take a bubble bath as opposed to a shower or ordinary bath? Is it
okay for boys or men to take bubble baths? Defend your
answer? List activities that you would consider masculine and others
that you would consider feminine. Explain your list? Are
their occupations or sporting activities that you consider masculine or
How does Ricky plan to pay for the snake?
Why does Ricky not want to use the PA system to announce his fund-raising
What convinced Augie to help Ricky with his plan?
Why was Ricky having trouble sleeping?
Why does Ricky using a sleeping bag instead of sheets?
What caused Ricky to look over his shoulder after he had climbed out of
the sleeping bag?
How did Ricky's sister and father feel about praying?
Why did Ricky contend that it was best not to ask God for anything in
Vocabulary: complicated, involve, mumbled,
untangle, plumped, corpses
Enrichment: Write a short chapter that could fit between chapter eight and nine in the novel. Remember to use the correct punctuaton when writing dialogue. Read your chapter aloud in class and take a class poll to chose the best one. Conduct a survey to see who writes in a journal every day at home. Why do some people write every day?
Why does Augie insist that they pay a visit to the
Why was Ricky impessed when the secretary spoke to Augie?
Why did Mr. Skully think the boys had come to his office?
According to Mr. Skully what is "strange" about Augie and
How do the boys intend to keep the fund-raising a secret?
How does Ricky respond to Mr. Skully's concerns about them missing two
days of classes?
Why does Augie instruct the vice-principal to look in the
How does Mr. Skully finally react to their idea about
Vocabulary: scowled, liberty, favour,
skeptical, tragedy, creased, stern, major, dispute
Enrichment: Write a brief instruction manual entitled, "How to get along with the principal or vice-principal in your school". Share the final results with your classmates and ask your teacher to display them on a bulletin board. Some of the braver students may wish to share their manual with the principal or vice-principal.
What evidence is there that Ricky had done well in
Do you think skipping a grade is beneficial? Why? Explain how Ricky
What did Ricky mean when he said that Augie, "had been left
Give proof that Mr. Yeoman was a generous man who cared about the
predicament of his colleague.
How did Augie and Ricky intend to keep the special fund a secret from Mr.
Explain why more of the students at Ricky's school were now talking to
Vocabulary: confident, percentage, contributions, piped
Enrichment: When Augie first talks to the students he asks them if they like Mr. Johnston. Is it important that we like our teachers? Explain.
Form into small groups and make a list of the qualities that make a good teacher? Compare with the other groups.
Take your list home and discuss it with your parents. Do you think they will agree with your list? Explain.
Explain why many of the students had begun talking to Ricky.
Explain why Augie was so pleased when he discovered that Ricky was his partner for the assignment in English class.
How did Augie respond to Ricky when he expressed concern they might not be able to collect enough money in donations?
Why is Augie convinced that some girl in the school will ask Ricky to an upcoming dance?
Why was Ricky apprehensive when Frankie implied that there might be problems if anything happened to the money he and Augie were collecting?
Why does Ricky become tongue-tied when Mr. Johnston wants to contribute?
How does Augie respond to Mr. Johnston's request?
Why is Mr. Johnston feeling disillusioned about the break-in?
What comment does Mr. Johnston make that causes Augie some angst?
Vocabulary: mumbled, assigned, curse, convince, psychology, overflowing, clank, clatter, jumble, capable, generous, donate, occupied, protested, deposited, disillusioned
Enrichment: Ricky uses the term "reverse psychology. Explain this term in your own words. Have you or your parents ever used reverse psychology. With what type of person is reverse psychology most successful?
How much had they collected to date?
Where did Ricky suggest they place the money for safe-keeping?
What was Ricky concerned about as he scooped away sand in the alligator pen?
Explain Ricky's anxiety as he waits for his father to come home?
Explain why setting the table for three was a waste of time according to Ricky.
Why did Ricky step back so quickly from the window when his father pulled into the driveway?
Vocabulary: anxiously, assumed, shrugged, biology, hint, bellowed, muttered, ballistic, breed, punctured, simmering, battered
Enrichment: Discuss some of the fund-raising activities in which you have participated. Suggest ways to the teacher that your class could raise money. List them on the board or chart paper. What are the pros and cons of fund-raising?
What did Ricky do when he had trouble sleeping?
Why did Ricky avoid the eleventh and eighth step as he crept down the stairs?
What was Ricky's father doing as he watched television?
Why was Ricky surprised when his father invited him to sit on the couch?
How do we know that Ricky's father does not like his job?
Vocabulary: strained, rodents, craning, interim, scholarship
Enrichment: Write a short biography on the
author, Eric Walters. List the books that he has
written. Invite the author to your school.
Explain why the boys must take a two hour bus ride halfway across town.
Why was Augie suddenly feeling more relaxed about carrying the large sum of money around?
Describe the funny signs in the store.
Why were rats and mice the only mammals in "Reptile World"?
What information does Ricky tell Augie about rattlesnakes?
How does the store salesperson react when he realizes the boys want the larger boa but don't have sufficient funds to pay for it.
Vocabulary: exotic, tokens, wobbled, reptile, mammals, rodent, chow, wimp, musty, pit, terrariums, species, suspended, coiled, glided, gesturing, ignorant, foliage, retail
Enrichment: Arrange yourself in small groups and make some of your own signs for either a pet store or your own classroom.
Do some research on constrictors and discover how different types of snakes kill their prey.
Why did Ricky decide to take up an extra seat on the bus?
How was this boa different from Bogart?
How did Augie react to the woman who scolded Ricky on the bus?
Why does Ricky ask Augie to help him build a pen for the snake?
Why was Augie unable to stay to help?
Why did Augie laugh when Ricky informed him he was Presbyterian?
What safety concerns did Ricky express about having the boa in his house?
Vocabulary: annoyed, react, burlap, pleaded, scowling, flair, relieving, synagogue, churning, chesterfield, rutted, buckling
Enrichment: Pretend you are the chairman of the public transit in your community. Along with your committee develop a new set of rules for proper behaviour and etiquette while riding on a bus or other form of public transit. Also outline the consequences for not following the rules.
Why did Ricky become concerned after shaking the burlap bag?
What thought made Ricky shudder?
Why is Ricky's sister Janice so concerned about Gandalf?
What phobia does Ricky's father have?
Vocabulary: hollered, smothered, revive, resuscitation, pendulum, lumbered, staggered, mesh, lunged, serpent, confront, peer
Enrichment: Visit a pet store in your neighbourhood. Interview the owner after preparing a list of questions such as, "Why did you start up a pet store"? Give the results to your teacher and then present them to your class. This could also be an audio or video interview.
Why was Augie unable to see the snake at first?
What question did the boys struggle with on their English assignment about friendship?
Explain Ricky's comment that he is smart in school while Augie is smart in life.
According to Augie what flaw exists in the "friendship" question about commonalities?
What strategy does Ricky adapt to keep from crying?
What commonalities does Augie finally recognize between the two boys?
Why is Ricky reluctant to accept Augie's offer to give him some pants?
Why does Ricky refuse Augie's invitation to supper?
Vocabulary: questionnaire, commonality, perplexed, altering, fidgeting,latkes, borscht, lox, veterinarian
Enrichment: Form into small groups and discuss the following. Which of these two statements is correct according to the friendship question: "birds of a feather, flock together" or "opposites attract"? Do you agree with either of these expressions? Explain your answer.
Augie's family ate different foods from Ricky. Explain giving some examples. Make a list of the foods you normally eat and compare them with your classmates. Don't forget to include food from all different types of meals and snacks. You should also include beverages and desserts.
Are there any types of foods your classmates are not supposed to eat? Explain. Hold a food fair and bring different types of food to share with your classmates for lunch.
Why did Ricky jump out of bed in the morning?
Why did Augie want to get to school early on this particular day?
What did the boys discover when they opened the box?
Vocabulary: boxers, p.j. pants, snarl, sprinted, recoiled, accuse, credit, croaked
Enrichment: The novel "Ricky" is a first person narrative. This means the story is told from the point of view of the main character. Research the internet to determine the pros and cons of a story written in the first person narrative (point of view).
What did Augie do to buy them more time to search for the snake?
What strategy did Augie use to locate the snake?
Where did they finally locate the snake?
Vocabulary: proof, hysterical, insisted, latch, accent, broadly, waterline, probe, baited, carnivores, hinged
Enrichment: Plan an imaginery interview with one of the characters in your story. Make a list of a least fifteen questions. Have another classmate agree to assume the role of that character and conduct the interview in front of the class.
Describe how Ricky captured the snake.
Who did they meet as they hurried to school?
How did Jimmie's behaviour surprise the boys.
Vocabulary: reveal, rummaged, timid, tentative, lugging, slung, jiggled, writhing, reluctantly, scurried, shepherded, materialized, trespassing, staggered,
Enrichment: Write a letter to Eric Walters telling him that you are studying his novel. Make sure to include a couple of questions about him and the novel. Finally, mail your letter and wait for a response.
Explain why Ricky might have felt he was walking on air.
How did Augie respond to Mr. Skully's comment that the boys were cutting things tight.
How were they going to get Mr. Johnston on stage?
How did Mr. Johnston react when the boys presented him with the boa.
What did Ricky witness for only the second time in his life.
Vocabulary: vandalism, violated, disbelief, wings, metallic, fangs
Enrichment: Form a discussion group to debate whether or not it is "okay" for boys or men to cry.
Explain what has subsequently happened to the characters in this novel.
Locate Osler Public School on the internet.
Copyright 2006Created by: Brian Thornton, Capo Creations, Box 1411,
Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA POJ 1KO
Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of
the publisher. All Rights Reserved