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The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew Book 4)

Last updated Friday, September 26, 2008

Author: Carolyn Keene
Illustrator: Russell Tandy
Date of Publication: 1994
ISBN: 1557091587
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2008

Synopsis: From barnesandnoble.com
For cliff-hanging suspense and thrilling action read The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories - the world's most popular mystery series for young readers! Millions of fans have matched wits with Nancy Drew, helping her solve more than fifty baffling cases. In this mystery, Nancy finds herself in danger when she tries to solve the mystery of an old inn which seems to be jinxed.

Note to readers:
•  The book was written in 1930 and many of the phrases and vocabulary words are dated. Please skip Chapters 2 and 3 b/c they are not part of the mystery and are full of awkward vocabulary. By skipping those chapters you should get into the mystery. Read as far as you can.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you know who Nancy Drew is? Have you seen the movie or read any of her books?
•  Do you know what a mystery is?
•  Have you read any other mystery books? (Cam Jansen, Hardy Boys, Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, Babysitter’s Club)
•  Would you like to solve mysteries? What kind of jobs get to solve mysteries? (police, fbi, doctors, lawyers)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you think the Crandall jewels will be stolen? If so, by who?
•  Who do you think Emily can trust?
•  Can she trust Mrs. Willoughby, Mrs. Potter, her fiancé, Dick Farnham, Nancy, the employees at the Lilac Inn?
•  Who stole the jewels? A stranger or a friend?
•  Do you think Emily should have gone to get the jewels instead of Mrs. Potter?
•  Is this story taking place now or in the past or future? How do you know?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a pop up Halloween/Haunted House card. Take a piece of construction paper and fold it in half (short sides together) and then in half again (short sides together) so you have a card shape. Score the sides so the folds are really creased. Open the card and on the top draw a picture of your haunted house or Halloween scene. Use all of the top page. Now that you have your scene, open the paper completely and fold it lengthwise so your picture faces inside. Cut two parallel lines (no more than an inch lengthwise) where you want your pop up figures to be. Crease these tabs backwards and forwards. You can cut several tabs so you have several pop up figures. Open the paper and crease it back in to the card shape with your Halloween scene facing up. Push out your tabs. Draw and cut other Halloween figures and glue onto the tabs.

Special activities:
•  This game starts by pasting labels on the backs of the guests (just use paper and pin/tape them on if you don't have time to get the labels). The guests obviously can't see their own labels but can see others. Choose from a suggested list of TV and movie characters- or choose your own "set" of characters like teachers or characters from a book or even superheroes. They then ask each other yes/no questions and try to figure out who they are. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Have the kids write a character’s name on a piece of paper (make sure they don’t see each others characters). Have the volunteers mix up the papers and tape them to the children’s backs. Have the kids walk around so people can see their characters. Have the kids start asking each other q’s—am I short or tall; can I fly; do I wear glasses? Can I sing? Etc…

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!