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Study Guide
Prepared by Jen Kleinknecht, Media Specialist, H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, Verona, NJ

Vocabulary Words
Discussion Questions

 Downloadable version of The Smoky Corridor Study Guide (PDF)

Chapters 1-10
  1. Who was Horace P. Pettimore?
  2. What was the "terrible tragedy" of 1910?
  3. What is Zack's special gift?
  4. Where is Zack starting school?
  5. Who is Timothy Johnson?
  6. What happens to Timothy? Why?
  7. What is the story about Pettimore's fortune?
  8. What do the two women seated directly behind Zack say?
  9. Who is Wade Muggins?
  10. How does Wade make the wall explode?
  11. Whom does Zack see in the smoky corridor?
  12. What did Zack's mom tell him? What do you think of her?
  13. What does Zack discover about Ms. DuBois's classroom?
  14. What do you think of Ms. DuBois?
  15. What do you think of Mr. Crumpler?
  16. What does Eddie do to Mr. Johnson?
  17. What will happen to Madame Marie if she can't help Eddie?
  18. Who was Scary Arie?
  19. What's the tunnel to hell?
  20. Why does Mr. Crumpler dislike Mr. Jennings?

Chapter 11-19
  1. What's a bokor?
  2. Who becomes a bokor?
  3. Who is Cyrus McNulty?
  4. Why is Cyrus the ideal slave?
  5. How long has Pettimore been waiting for "the special child"?
  6. Whom do you think the special child is? Why?
  7. What is Judy going to research at the library?
  8. How does Zack look according to Judy?
  9. How does Zack feel about starting school?
  10. Whom does Zack bump into at the bus stop? Why does this boy threaten Zack?
  11. Why does Eddie go to Lily Dale?
  12. Who is Malik Sherman? What is he like?
  13. Whose locker does Zack inherit?
  14. What does Davy tell Zack about the Donnelly brothers and the zombie?

Chapters 20-23
  1. What does Wade find?
  2. What ghost does Zack see with a chauffeur's cap?
  3. Who is the "fresh blood?"
  4. Should Zack tell his parents about the zombie? Why or why not? Would you?
  5. What does Wade find in the hole in the wall?
  6. Why does Zack stand up for Malik? Would you have done the same?
  7. Do you think Snertz will continue to pick on Zack and Malik? Explain.
  8. Who is Azalea Torres? What do you think of her?
  9. Who is Patrick J. Cooper? What does Zack think of his picture?
  10. What is unusual about the picture of Pettimore?
  11. Who was Queen La Sheena?
  12. What hex does Queen La Sheena's granddaughter put on Pettimore?
  13. What doesn't Queen La Sheena know about Pettimore's family?
  14. What is Pettimore's plan?
  15. Who is Jeanette Emerson?
  16. Do you think the Donnelly brothers were good ghosts or bad ghosts? Explain.
  17. What does the 1910 newspaper article reveal about the fire?
  18. What group did Patrick advise?
  19. What advice does the librarian have for Zack?

Chapters 31-41
  1. Who is Bartholomew Buckingham?
  2. What is Chuck's problem?
  3. What happens to Wade?
  4. What does Judy tell Zack about the Donnelly
  5. Who is Wade's master? What do you think he
  6. Who is the soul Madame Marie is trying to co
  7. Why is Madame Marie going to have "an acci
  8. Why is Zack going to see more ghosts?
  9. How does Zack help Chuck?
  10. Why does Zipper follow Zack's scent?

Chapters 42-51
  1. Who is the new janitor?
  2. What do you think about Patrick J. Cooper? Was he really a hero? Explain.
  3. How does Mr. Crumpler react to the dog in the cafeteria? What would you do if you saw a dog in the cafeteria?
  4. How does Ms. DuBois fool Mr. Crumpler?
  5. What does Zipper uncover in the janitor's closet?
  6. How does Malik take a rubbing of the inscription?
  7. How long would it take Horace P. Pettimore to steal Zack's soul?
  8. Why do you think Zack has to keep the root cellar secret?
  9. Who warns Zack about the new janitor?
  10. Why is Kurt Snertz angry at Zack?

Chapters Ch 60-69
  1. Why is Azalea excited about her family tree? Should she be?
  2. What does Horace Pettimore discover in the history classroom?
  3. Who is Ms. DuBois's brother? Were you shocked when you discovered that? Explain.
  4. What is Ms. DuBois's lifetime quest?
  5. What do we learn from Patrick J. Cooper's letter?
  6. What will Seth and Joseph do if one grown-up doesn't free them?
  7. How do the ghosts help Zack defend Snertz?

Chapters 70-79
  1. What do you think Zack will do to stop the zombies?
  2. What is the real reason for Zack's bringing Zipper to the cemetery?
  3. What is the brave and crazy thing Malik is going to do?
  4. Why are there thirty-nine clock faces in the tunnel?
  5. Who's going to the school to see "something amazing?"
  6. What threat does Eddie make?
  7. Who is going to surprise the kids at school?
  8. What do Eddie and Daphne plan to do to Azalea?
  9. How does Zack outwit John Lee Cooper's ghost?

Chapters 80-89
  1. Why is Azalea different?
  2. How do Zack and Zipper get away from Daphne and Eddie?
  3. Should Seth let Joe boss him around? Why or why not?
  4. What does Pettimore drape around his neck?
  5. What does Pettimore tell his zombie to do?

Chapters 90-99
  1. What does Pettimore's zombie look like?
  2. What do the pocket watches spell out?
  3. Who tells Eddie and Daphne where to find Zack?
  4. What is on the amulet?
  5. What does George do to try to make Zipper come to him?

Chapters 100-110
  1. Are Daphne and Eddie expecting any zombies? Explain.
  2. What happens to Eddie?
  3. How does Zipper lead Judy and George into the school?
  4. Who is the young African-American girl from New Orleans?
  5. How does McNulty get to the treasure?

Chapters 111-120
  1. How does Seth help Zack and Malik?
  2. Why doesn't Seth go along with whatever Joseph says?
  3. What ability does George Jennings reveal? Are you surprised by this ablity?
  4. What happens to Ms. DuBois?
  5. Whose name is on the jar? What do you think is inside?

Chapter 121
  1. What happens to McNulty?
  2. Why did Davy and Mr. Willoughby forbid Zack from talking to any adults about what was going on underneath the school?
  3. Who tells Seth and Joseph to move on?
  4. To whom does Captain Pettimore's soul belong for eternity?
  5. How do the detectives explain what happened?
  6. Who is going to keep the gold?
  1. siege
  2. ornately
  3. bequeathed
  4. jostling
  5. preposterous
  6. tranquility
  7. clairvoyant
  8. psychics
  9. subterranean
  10. ostracize
  11. banished
  12. fiendish
  13. gruesome
  14. labyrinth
  15. impenetrable
  16. apparition
  17. contemplatively
  18. doused
  19. motley
  20. tantalizing
  21. cavernous
  22. discern
  23. warbled
  24. amuck
  25. ominously
  26. proceed
  27. weary
  28. malodorous
  29. telepathy
  30. lair
  31. asunder
  32. debris
  33. quizzical
  34. initiative
  35. tribunal
  36. recoiled
  37. adjoining
  38. exonerated
  39. fortifications
  40. amulet
  1. A common theme in literature is appearance vs. reality. Which characters in The Smoky Corridor are not whom they seem to be? Explain. Have you ever met someone who wasn't what he or she appeared to be?
  2. Do Eddie and Ms. DuBois get what they deserve? Explain.
  3. Do you think the ability to see ghosts would be a blessing or a curse? Explain.
  4. In The Smoky Corridor, Zack stands up to Snertz, a bully. In your opinion, why do some people become bullies? Why are some people bullied? What is the best way to handle a bully?
  1. Research topics such as Morse code, Tuskegee Air Men, Kit Carson, Daniel Boone, Johnny Appleseed or other topics of interest related to the book.
  2. Make your own secret language. Write something using your language, and let classmates try to decipher your message. Give clues to help your classmates, and reveal how your secret language works once the message is deciphered.
  3. Use the descriptions in The Smoky Corridor to make a diorama of the school grounds and cemetery, including the secret world of the janitor's closet.
  4. Find out about some of the historical people in your town or state. Write a story in which these historical people are ghosts haunting your school.