The Night Crossing

Section 1: Chapter 1

  1. murmur: a soft indistinct sound
  2. thunderous: relating to the sound of thunder
  3. startle: to feel shock or alarm
  4. tatter: small piece of cloth or paper
  5. peasant: a poor farmer of low status
  6. rumor: a currently circulating story of uncertain or doubtful truth
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. A rumor was going around the village that a lion was roaming nearby.
  2. When the space shuttle flew over head it made a thunderous sound.
  3. Alice nervously pulled at the threads on her tattered sweater.
  4. The doctor heard a murmur sound when she listened with her stethoscope to the child’s chest.
  5. Oh! You startled me when you came around the corner suddenly.
  6. There were many peasants gathered around in the fields hoeing corn.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Clara heard her parents talking about leaving Austria before it is too late. (pg. 1)
  2. Clara’s father says Austrian money can still buy a way for us to escape Hitler and the Nazis (pg. 4)
  3. The thunderous voices behind Marta and Clara roared, “Juden! Juden!” (pg. 5)
  4. The Jewish families often live in backrooms and basements, hoping to make a quick escape. (pg. 7)
  5. Clara asks Mama, “Will they take us away?” (pg. 9)
  6. Mr. Duessel is arrested for baking kosher goods to sell to Jews. (pg. 11)
  7. Clara’s Grandmother tells her she had carried the dolls in her arms during a night crossing. (pg. 12)

Section 2: Chapter 2

  1. fob: a chain attached to a watch for carrying in a waistcoat
  2. candlesticks: a holder for a tall thin candle
  3. freedom: to act or change without constraint
  4. forbade: refuse to allow
  5. satchel: a bag carried on the shoulder by a long strap
  6. vanity: a piece of furniture used for dressing
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. I love my new brown leather satchel, it looks so stylish.
  2. My Grandmother’s silver candlesticks glow in the candlelight.
  3. Jose forbade his son to play down by the train tracks.
  4. There was a lovely old vanity at the used furniture store.
  5. All people yearn for freedom once they experience it.
  6. The movie actor’s costume had a watch fob coming out of his vest.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Papa used the pillow case to collect family possessions that could be sold. (pg. 14)
  2. The family would pretend they are Swiss citizens returning home. (pg. 15)
  3. Some of the money would be given to people who would risk their lives helping the family. (pg. 19)
  4. Mama always begins the Sabbath by lighting the candles. (pg. 19)
  5. Mama has sewn the candlesticks into the folds of Marta’s petticoat. (pg. 20)
  6. Papa says the family must not look like they are escaping. (pg. 21)
  7. Papa toasts to freedom and a safe crossing. (pg. 22)

Section 3: Chapters 3–4

  1. journey: travel from one place to another
  2. foothills: a low hill at the base of a mountain
  3. crouch: knees are bent and body is low
  4. patrol: expedition to keep watch over an area
  5. altitude: the height of an object in relation  to sea level
  6. huddle: crowd together, nestle together
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. Clara had to crouch down in order to hide from the bully.
  2. It would be fun to journey from Canada to Alaska.
  3. The air was thin at the altitude we had climbed to.
  4. Let’s huddle together to stay warm from the cold wind.
  5. The foothills looked misty with clouds swirling around them.
  6. Soldiers patrol the perimeter fence at the Army base.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Papa whispers to the four of them, “Absolute silence.” (pg. 25)
  2. Marta reads from books and Clara plays with her dolls in the barn. (pg. 28)
  3. Papa picks Clara up and carries her on his back. (pg. 30)
  4. When Mama’s stomach rumbles loudly they freeze in fear. (pg. 33)
  5. Papa’s shoulders slump because the farmer wants more money. (pg. 36)
  6. Marta jingles her bracelet because she wants to tempt the farmer’s wife. (pg. 38)
  7. Papa exclaims, “Good Marta-very good!” (pg. 40)

Section 4: Chapter 5–Epilogue

  1. crept: to move slowly and carefully to avoid being noticed
  2. urgent: requiring immediate action
  3. petticoat: worn under a skirt or a dress
  4. insincere: not expressing genuine feelings
  5. flatlands: land with no hills, valleys, or mountains
  6. courage: the ability to do something frightening
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. The flatlands stretched on into the distance for miles and miles.
  2. Lilly’s hot pink petticoat bounced around as she danced around the floor.
  3. The cheetah crept in the under brush, stalking his prey.
  4. An urgent call came over the ham radio about a boat beginning to sink in the lake.
  5. Javier showed great courage when he helped pull the missing dog from the drain pipe.
  6. Julia was feeling very insincere about apologizing to her brother after she said something mean.
Comprehension Questions
  1. The icy winds in the Alps are making two miles seem like a hundred miles. (pg. 42)
  2. Clara thinks the candlesticks will be safe inside Gittel and Lotte. (pg. 44)
  3. Papa’s hand tightened around Clara’s hand. (pg. 47)
  4. The solder asked Clara where she got her dolls. (pg. 48)
  5. When the war ended it became like it had been before the Nazi terror. (pg. 52)
  6. Marta and Clara began to truly understand what happened. (pg. 53)
  7. The two candlesticks on the mantel in the parlor are the most treasured possession. (pg. 54)