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Mandy the Outsider

Mandy the Outsider


Author: Norma Jean Lutz

Study and lapbook prepared by Amy Tharp and Colleen Hoenicke


Summary from back cover: Ten-year-old Mandy McMichael doesn’t fit in at her new school in Seattle. She’s very smart, but the “in crowd” teases her so much she decides to play dumb just to quiet their taunts. Then there’s her friendship with a Japanese family – and in 1939, with a world on the brink of war, hers is not a popular position.

Lapbook Templates

Vocabulary Fan
Franklin Roosevelt File Folder Shapes
Characters Shape Book
Coca-Cola Simple Fold
1939 Shape Book
Copywork Pocket
1939 Flag
Presidental Requirements Flap Book
What I Like to Do & Walking Home For Lunch
Seven Minute Frosting Recipe Simple Fold
Dewey Decimal System Simple Fold
Seat Belts Fan
Baseballs & Telephones Flap Books
The Blitz & Churchill Flap Books
Gas Comparison Matchbooks
The Wizard of Oz Flap Book
Prayer For Leaders Simple Fold
When I'm Sad Simple Fold
How Will Chapter 17 Begin?  



Chapter 1


LA - Vocabulary:

Accosted (page 8) - confronted

Shoo-in (page10) – a given, easy in

Grimaced (page 11) – made a facial expression of disgust

Feeble (page 15) – not adequate, weak


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1.  At the beginning of the chapter, what did Susan want Mandy to do for her? (tie her shoes)

2. How many children are in Mandy’s family? (7)

3. What were the McMichaels getting ready to do? (go on a picnic)

4. What radio show does Mandy like to listen to? (Little Orphan Annie)

5. What does Peter love as much as Mandy? (books)


LA - Characters:

Complete the “characters” lapbook piece. The major characters in the book are each listed on a separate octagon piece. Cut out the pieces and write down what you know about each character, such as how old they are and how they are related to Mandy. Then staple them together, with the cover on top, to form an octagon book. You can use the blank pieces to add more characters if you’d like.

Mr. McMichael – Mandy’s dad

Mrs. McMichael – Mandy’s mom

Mandy – the main character, 9

John – Mandy’s 11 year old brother

Susan – Mandy’s 5 year old sister, Ben’s twin

Ben – Mandy’s 5 year old, Susan’s twin

Lora – Mandy’s oldest sister, 19

Caroline – Mandy’s 14 year old sister

Peter – Mandy’s oldest brother

Mark – Lora’s boyfriend


SS - Geography:

Japan, China and Germany were mentioned in this chapter in relationship to World War II. Locate these countries on a map. Where are they in relation to each other? to where you live?


SS - History:

Mandy and her family didn’t watch television. Instead, they listened to radio shows. One of Mandy’s favorites was Little Orphan Annie. Listen to an episode of Little Orphan Annie HERE You may have to turn up the volume, as this is the actual radio show that was played in the 1930’s.


Begin the “1939” lapbook piece. On each of the pieces, write one way that you can tell that the story takes place in 1939. For example, in the first chapter Susan is compared to Shirley Temple. Continue to add to this throughout the book. Then cut, stack and staple the pieces to form a book.


Life Skills:

The McMichaels prepared for and went on a picnic together as a family. As a family, plan a picnic. What will you take? Work together to get ready for your picnic. If weather permits, enjoy your picnic outside; otherwise spread a blanket on your living room floor.



Chapter 2


LA - Vocabulary:

Subdued (page 21) – under control, calm

Gait (page 23) – a manner of walking


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1.  Who did Mandy see while she was reading her book in the woods during the picnic? (four girls from her class who called themselves the Golden Ring)

2. Who is Mandy’s teacher? (Mrs. Crowley)

3. Why didn’t Mandy raise her hand when Mrs. Crowley asked who knew about fractions and decimals? (She didn’t want anyone to make fun of her.)

4. Where did the class go when Mandy thought it was recess time? (to physical education class)


Math - Basic Operations:

Mrs. Crowley asked her class who knew their multiplication facts to 12. Take some time to review multiplication facts. Quiz your child with flash cards. Hold up one card at a time. If he gets it correct, give him that card. See how many cards he has when you are finished. Play again and see if he can beat his score.

HERE is a fun math website with games, printable flashcards and online lessons about multiplication. There is even a section to see how many facts you can do in a minute.

Mrs. Crowley also asked her class who knew about fractions and decimals. Here are a couple of websites similar to the one above. These focus on fractions and decimals, with games and online lessons for each. Fractions Decimals


SS - School in 1939:

Even though she attended a public school, Mandy began her school day with the pledge, prayer and Bible reading. If you know someone who attends a public school, have your child ask them how they start their school day. They may or may not say the pledge, but most likely they don’t begin their day with prayer and Bible reading. This is because in 1962 and 1963, daily public prayer and Bible reading were taken out of public schools in America.


When Mandy’s class said the pledge, their flag looked different than the flag does today. That is because Alaska and Hawaii were not states yet, so the flag only had 48 states.  On July 4, 1959, there were 49 stars on the flag. This included Alaska. The star for Hawaii was added to the flag on July 4, 1960. Since then, the United States flag has looked the same with 50 stars. Complete the lapbook piece on the 1939 flag. List what it looked like and how it was different from the flag we have today.


Mandy walked home from school to eat lunch. Find out how far away you live from the school your child would attend if they attended public school. Would they physically be able to walk that far during their lunch break? Would they have time? Are students even allowed to walk home for lunch in your school district? Many school districts don’t let students go home for lunch everyday. This was a common practice in Mandy’s time (1939). Write your findings in the lapbook piece about lunch. If you have a relative or friend who went to school in 1939, find out if they walked home for lunch. How far did they have to walk?


Chapter 3


LA - Vocabulary:

Smidgen (page 31) - a small amount

Suspend (page 32) – to lose a privilege for a time


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1.  Why did John think Mandy was so quiet at supper? (Her class hadn’t had library day yet.)

2. What day was library day for Mandy’s class? (Friday)

3. How many books did Mandy want to check out? (5)

4. What was the limit? (2)

5. At the end of the chapter, why did the girls from the Golden Ring make fun of Mandy? (Mrs. Crowley announced that Mandy got a perfect score on her spelling test.)

6. What did the girls from the Golden Ring call Mandy? (Mandy Einstein)


LA - Using a Library:

Mandy’s class visited the library. Take a trip to the library today. Let your children check out some books that are just for fun, not school related. Then take some time to discuss how books are organized in the library. The fiction is in one section, and the non-fiction is in another. The fiction books are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name. The non-fiction books are arranged according to the Dewey Decimal System. Here is the list of numbers for the Dewey Decimal System.

Complete the lapbook piece on the Dewey Decimal System by writing the list inside the lapbook piece. This would be a good time to check out a book on World War II along with your “just for fun” books. See if your child can find where the World War II books are located in your library. (They are with world history books, not with American history books, which is where I Iooked for them when we did this unit.)


LA - Characters:

Even though she is trying to hide it at her new school, Mandy is good at school work. She also likes to read books. Complete the lapbook piece about what you like to do. For example, do you like to dance, read, or draw?


SS – Gas in 1939:

Mandy’s brother Peter works at a gas station, pumping gas for customers. In 1939, when you went to a gas station, the attendant pumped the gas for you. Also, gas only cost 10 cents a gallon.  At most gas stations today, you have to pump the gas yourself. Are there any places where you live that still pump the gas for you? Complete the lapbook piece about gas in 1939. Write how getting gas then was different than it is now. Also write the price for a gallon of gas in 1939. Then complete the lapbook piece about gas today. Find out how much gas costs right now and put that inside the lapbook piece.



Chapter 4


LA - Vocabulary:

Flanked (page 35) – boardered

Aromas (page 36) – pleasing odors


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1.  Why were the Mikimotos so concerned with the United States going to war with Japan? (because they were Japanese, and people in the United States would blame them for whatever the militarists of Japan did)

2. What is an alien? (a person who isn’t a citizen of the country they are in)

3. What was the new addition to the Mikimoto family? (a cat)


LA - Copywork:

Mandy compared Helga to Mephibosheth. Copy the following passage about Mephibosheth. You can either copy it onto your own paper to put in a notebook, or you can copy it onto a 4x6 notecard and use the copywork lapbook piece.  2 Samuel 9:13 “And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet.”


SS – Japanese Culture:

Try some Japanese food. See if you can eat it with chopsticks.



Chapter 5


LA - Vocabulary:

Frayed (page 46) – coming apart at the edges

Avid (page 48) – enthusiastic in doing something you like

Paltry (page 48) – measly, small and insignificant

Intentionally (page 51) – on purpose


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1.  What did the librarian tell Mandy that she could do if she got to school early in the morning? (exchange her two library books for two more)

2. After gym class, what mean thing did the girls from the Golden Ring do? (They threw Helga’s clothes in the shower.)

3. What book was Mandy reading outside at recess? (the first Elsie Dinsmore book)

4. What did the girls from the Golden Ring do to the book? (They took it from Mandy and threw it in the dirt.)

5. What was Mandy’s plan to get the Golden Ring to stop bothering her? (make mistakes on her school work on purpose)

6. What announcements did Lora and Mark have at the end of the chapter? (They were engaged, and Mark had enlisted in the navy.)


LA – Reference to Other Works:

Mandy was reading an Elsie Dinsmore book in this chapter. If you have never read one before, check one out from your library to read.


LA - Copywork:

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Do you think Mandy was following what this verse says?


SS – World War II Aircraft:

Mandy’s father helped design airplanes for the war. At supper, the family was discussing aircraft and the war. Explore the following websites about World War II aircraft.

This Site is a good one for kids.

This Site has information and pictures of many planes.

Draw your favorite aircraft to put in your lapbook as an extra picture.



Chapter 6


LA - Vocabulary:

Deftly (page 59) – quickly and neatly

Plight (page 59) – difficult situation


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. Who does Mandy make Miss LaFayette think damaged the library book? (Benjamin and Susan)

2. Do you think she was lying?

3. What was Caroline trying to show Mandy how to do? (iron)

4. What did Lora do when they all got home from the train station? (shut herself in her room)


SS - Character Traits:

When Lora was sad because Mark left, she shut herself in her bedroom and listened to music. Complete the “When I’m sad…” lapbook piece. Have your child write what they do when they are sad.


Life Skills:

One of Mandy’s chores was to iron.  Show your child how to iron. Then let her practice. Don’t forget to take pictures for your lapbook.



Chapter 7


LA - Vocabulary:

Wretched (page 60) - miserable


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. Why was Mandy’s mom upset with Mandy’s B’s but not John’s? (B’s were an improvement for John, but Mandy had gotten A’s before.)

2. What were the boys playing with Helga at recess? (They were playing circus and pretending that Helga was a bear.)

3. What did John tell Mandy was bothering him? (His friends said bad things about Japanese people.)


SS – Wizard of Oz History:

Mandy went to go see the “Wizard of Oz” at the theater. This film came out in 1939. Judy Garland played Dorothy Gale, and Ray Bolger played the Scarecrow. Jack Haley was the Tin Man, while Bert Lahr was the Cowardly Lion. From 1959-1991, the “Wizard of Oz” was shown on television each year.  Complete the lapbook piece on the “Wizard of Oz.”


SS - Map Skills:

The Nazis took over Poland. Find Poland on a map. The Movietone news showed the Japanese attacking the Chinese island of Hainan. See if you can locate it on a map.


Chapter 8


LA - Vocabulary:

Crestfallen (page 69) – dejected, sad

Oblivious (page 71) - unaware


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. Who celebrated Thanksgiving with Mandy’s family? (Mark’s family)

2. Who did John play in the Christmas program? (the innkeeper)

3. What happened to Helga and Mandy at the Christmas program? (They fell off the risers.)


LA – Writing Friendly Letters:

Lora wrote letters to Mark. Review how to write a friendly letter. Then write a letter to a friend or relative.


SS – Invention of Telephone:

Mark’s sister, Betty, was a telephone operator. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone on March 10, 1876. Bell, born on March 3, 1847, tried to improve the telegraph. This helped him with his invention of the telephone. The first sentence spoken over the phone was by Bell to his assistant Watson. Bell said, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you. Complete the lapbook piece on telephones.




Chapter 9


LA - Vocabulary:

Disdain (page 81) – scorn, disgust

Overwrought (page 82) – distracted, emotional, on edge


La - Comprehension Questions:

1. Where did the McMichaels spend New Year’s Eve? (at the Mikimoto’s)

2. What did Miss LaFayette ask Mandy to do? (work in the library)

3. Where did Mark’s letter to Lora say he was being sent to? (the Philippines)


LA - Copywork:

Copy the chorus of “Auld Lang Syne.”

“For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne. “


SS – History of Coca-Cola:

On New Year’s Eve at the Mikimoto’s, the children drink Coca-Cola. A pharmacist named John Pemberton invented Coke in May of 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was first sold to the public on May 8, 1886, at soda fountain in Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta for 5 cents a glass. In 1886, the slogan for Coca-Cola was “Drink Coca-Cola.” In 1939, Coke had three different slogans – “Coca-Cola goes along,” “Coca-Cola has the taste thirst goes for,” and “Whoever you are, whatever you do, wherever you may be, when you think of refreshment, think of ice cold Coca-Cola.” Complete the lapbook piece about Coca-Cola. List who invented it and when it was invented. Also include any other facts you may find interesting, such as slogans.

This is an informative website that tells about Coca-Cola during World War II and also shows pictures of popular Coke ads around that time.


SS – History of Seatbelts:

All the McMichaels piled into their car to get to the Mikimoto’s home on New Year’s Eve. Some were even sitting on top of others. This isn’t possible today because of seat belt laws. In 1939, there weren’t any seat belt laws. In fact, cars didn’t even have seat belts in them in 1939. Seat belts were invented by George Cayley in the late 1800’s. In the 1930’s, they were common on aircrafts, but they weren’t even put in cars until later in the 1950’s. 1956 was the first year that Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors offered seat belts as optional safety equipment. In 1968, a federal law required all cars to have front seat belts. It wasn’t until 1984, however, that the first law was passed in the United States requiring people to wear them. This was in the state of New York. In 1985, child safety seats were required in all states. Complete the lapbook piece on seat belts. Write at least one interesting fact about seat belts on each piece.


SS - Map Skills:

Mark was sent to the Philippines. Locate Philippines on a map. Then find Seattle, Washington, which is where the story takes place. Try to figure out how far the Philippines is from Seattle. From Manila, Philippines, to Seattle, Washington, it is 6648 miles.




Chapter 10


LA - Vocabulary:

Devastating (page 84) - overwhelming

Dungarees (page 90) – blue jeans


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. What was the grand prize for winning the quiz contest? (a set of encyclopedias)

2. Why did Mandy decide not to enter the contest? (She didn’t want Elizabeth and the Golden Ring to bother her.)

3. How old did Mandy turn on her birthday? (10)

4. At the end of the chapter, who called Mandy dumb? (Helga)


Life Skills – cooking:

Mandy’s mom made her an angel food cake with pink seven minute frosting on it. Copy the recipe for seven minute frosting into the lapbook piece. Then bake a cake together, and top it with some seven minute frosting. Make sure to take pictures for your lapbook/notebook.

Seven Minute Frosting

2 egg whites

1 ½ cups sugar

½ tsp corn syrup

1/3 cup cold water

1 tsp vanilla

Put all ingredients except vanilla in a double broiler. Cook over low heat, and beat with a rotary mixer or electric mixer constantly until it forms peaks. Remove it from the heat. Add vanilla. Beat until it reached spreading consistency. This should be stored in the refrigerator.



Chapter 11


LA - Vocabulary:

Bewilderment (page 94) – condition of being confused

Exuberance (page 97) – cheerfulness, excitement, fervor


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. Why did Helga call Mandy dumb? (Mandy was letting the Golden Ring tell her how to act, and they were cheating her out of a set of encyclopedias.)

2. Where did Mama take the twins while Mandy, John and Peter were at the baseball game? (to the zoo)

3. Who did Mandy see when she came out of the rest room area? (Jim and Alex, two boys from John’s class)


SS - History of Baseball:

Mandy went to go see a baseball game with her brothers and her friends. What was baseball like in 1939? Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees was the MVP (most valuable player) of the American league. He helped  the Yankees win the World Series over the Cincinnati Reds 4-0. 1939 was also a big year for television and baseball. On May 17, 1939, Princeton University and Columbia University played the first televised baseball game. The first Major League game to be televised was on August 26 of the same year, between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Complete the lapbook piece on baseball.


SS – Map Skills:

Hitler and Nazi Germany had taken over Denmark and Norway. Locate Germany, Denmark and Norway on a map.



Chapter 12


LA - Vocabulary:

Privet (page 103) – a type of shrub

Convulse (page 104) involuntary muscle contractions


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. What did John invite Mandy to do after supper? (listen to programs on the radio with him in his room)

2. What did Mandy tell John when they were alone? (that she saw two of his friends at the ball game and they called him a Jap lover)

3. What was the sermon about on Sunday? (doing good to those who persecute you)

4. Why did Jim punch John? (because they saw him with Baiko and Dayo and said he was a Jap lover)


LA - Copywork:

Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”




Chapter 13


LA - Vocabulary:

Remedy (page 106) – a healing medicine

Accomplished (page 107) – highly skilled, expert


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. What did Mandy make Alex and Jim do? (lay John flat then help her get John to their house)

2. What did Mandy tell Alex and Jim that John could do? (Jujitsu)

3. Who did Alex say invented Jujitsu? (the Japanese)




Chapter 14


LA - Vocabulary:

Versatile (page 117) - capable of doing many things well

Exhilaration (page 118) – the state of being cheerful or joyous


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. What did Mandy go to the park to do? (read/study for the quiz contest)

2. Who did Mandy see at the park? (Helga)

3. Who was standing in the hall after school waiting to tell Mandy that she did a good job during the contest? (Jane Stevens, a member of the Golden Ring)



Chapter 15


LA - Vocabulary:

Evacuation (page 122) - the removal of persons or things from an endangered area

Vital (page 124) – necessary, of critical importance


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. What did President Roosevelt agree to do again? (run for President)

2. What did Mandy drop in the park? (a special bookmark that she got as a gift from Miss LaFayette for winning with quiz contest)

3. Who found it and gave it to her? (Helga)


SS - Presidents:

President Roosevelt’s second term was almost up, and Mandy’s family was discussing who would be the next President of the United States. Complete the lapbook piece about the requirements for being President. Under each flap, list one requirement. In order to run for President, a person must be a natural born citizen of the United States. They must also be at least 35 years old and have lived in the United States for at least fourteen years.




Chapter 16


LA - Vocabulary:

Roused (page 127) – to come out of a state of sleep

Relent (page 127) – to comply, to give in

Raspy (page 132) – rough, hoarse, scratchy


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. Where did Mandy take Susan? (to the park)

2. Why was Susan having bad dreams? (She didn’t want to go to first grade because she was scared.)

3. At the end of the chapter, who came to visit Mandy? (Helga)


LA - Creative Writing:

When chapter 16 ends, Helga has just shown up at Mandy’s house, unannounced. What do you think will happen next? Use the lapbook piece to write how you think chapter 17 will begin.




Chapter 17


LA - Vocabulary:

Dumbfounded (page 133) – shocked, puzzled, astonished

Basked (page 135) – enjoyed a pleasant situation

Civilians (page 138) – a person not on active duty with a military, naval, police, or fire fighting organization


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. Why did Helga go in the living room? (to see the encyclopedias)

2. What grade is Mandy in now? (5th grade)

3. What was Mandy’s class going to do instead of physical education class? (have regular recess)

4. What did Jane ask Mandy at the end of the chapter? (to help her with long division) 


SS – Churchill and the Blitz:

When Mandy went to the movies, she saw news about British children boarding trains and going to live with other families in the countryside until the Blitz was over. The Blitz was the name given to the continuing bombing of Britian by Nazi Germany. It lasted from September 7, 1940, to May 10, 1941. It began with the bombing of London for 57 nights in a row. During the Blitz, 43,000 civilians were killed. Half of these were in London alone. Also in London, over one milLion homes were destroyed or damaged. Complete the lapbook piece about the Blitz. Write under the flaps what it was, when it happened, and who was involved.


Winston Churchill was mentioned in this chapter as being Britian’s prime minister. Churchill was born November 30, 1874, and died January 24, 1965. He was Prime Minister from 1940-1945 and again from 1951-1955. Complete the lapbook piece about Winston Churchill.




Chapter 18


LA - Vocabulary:

Conceded (page 142) – admitted

Demure (page 142) – shy, modest, reserved

Perilous (page 142) – dangerous, risky


LA - Comprehension Questions:

1. Why did Dad get off work early? (so he could vote)

2. Who won the Presidential elections? (Roosevelt)

3. What did everyone do when they found out? (cheered)

4. At the end of the book, what did Mr. Mikimoto do for the President? (He prayed for him.)


LA - Character:

At the end of the book, Mr. Mikimoto prayed for President Roosevelt. Using the lapbook piece, write out a prayer for one of your country’s current leaders.


SS - Roosevelt:

Franklin D. Roosevelt won the Presidential election and was President of the United States for a third term. He served as President from 1933 – 1945. This would not be able to happen now because on March 21, 1947, Congress passed the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution which states that a President can only serve two terms of four years each. Roosevelt has been the only President elected to more than two terms and the only President to serve for more than eight years. Complete the lapbook piece about President Roosevelt. List one fact about him on each piece.