Monitor Quiz

Literary Destinations

Books for young readers often have journeys in them - by train, carriage, or rabbit hole. Here are selections from some well-known children's books. What books are they from? Where are the children going?

1. The mountains turned into hills, the hills to snow-covered plains. We crossed a barren desert of ice - the Great Polar Ice Cap. Lights appeared in the distance. They looked like the lights of a strange ocean liner sailing on a frozen sea. "There," said the conductor, "is the North Pole."

2. I left New York in May. I had a penknife, a ball of cord, an ax, and forty dollars, which I had saved from selling magazine subscriptions. I also had some flint and steel, which I had bought at a Chinese store in the city. The man in the store showed me how to use it.... On the train north to the Catskills, I unwrapped my flint and steel and practiced....

3. [She] started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit hole under the hedge. In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

4. The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she was going up in a balloon.... In the middle of a cyclone the air is generally still, but the great pressure of the wind on every side of the house raised it up higher and higher.... And there it remained and was carried miles and miles away as easily as you could carry a feather.

5. Matthew had taken the scrawny little hand awkwardly in his. He could not tell this child with the glowing eyes that there had been a mistake; he would take her home and let Marilla do that.... "I'm sorry I was late," he said shyly. "Come along. The horse is over in the yard. Give me your bag." "Oh, I can carry it," the child responded cheerfully. "It isn't heavy. I've got all my worldly goods in it, but it isn't heavy.... We've got to drive a long piece, haven't we?"

6. "Dictionopolis," read Milo slowly when he saw what his finger had chosen. "Oh, well, I might as well go there as anywhere." He walked across the room and dusted the car off carefully. Then, taking the map and rule book with him, he hopped in and, for lack of anything better to do, drove slowly up to the tollbooth.

7. "What is a moor?" she said suddenly to Mrs. Medlock. "Look out the window in about ten minutes and you'll see," the woman answered. "We've got to drive five miles across Missel Moor before we get to the Manor. You won't see much, because it's a dark night, but you can see something." ... It was in this way that Mistress Mary arrived at Misselthwaite Manor, and she had perhaps never felt so contrary in all her life.


(1) The boy travels by train to the North Pole in Chris Van Allsburg's 'The Polar Express' (1985); (2) Sam travels by train and truck north to the Catskill Mountains in 'My Side of the Mountain,' by Jean George (1959); (3) Alice falls down a hole to Wonderland in 'Alice in Wonderland,' by Lewis Carroll (1865); (4) Dorothy Gale travels from Kansas to Munchkinland thanks to a cyclone in 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,' by L. Frank Baum (1900); (5) Anne Shirley travels by train and horse carriage to Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, in 'Anne of Green Gables,' by L.M. Montgomery (1908). (6) Milo sets out for Dictionopolis in 'The Phantom Tollbooth,' by Norton Juster (1961); (7) Mary Lennox travels by rail and carriage to her guardian in 'The Secret Garden,' by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911).

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