The Windy Hill: Free eBook & Go-Along Activities

The Windy Hill by Cornelia Meigs, author of Invincible Louisa (about Louisa Alcott) and Swift Rivers, tells the story of a brother and sister, Oliver and Janet, whose regular summer visit to a favorite cousin ends up being anything but regular.

Cousin Jasper doesn’t seem to be himself, and is unusually indifferent to the young people.  In a fit of pique, Oliver stalks off and meets “the beeman.”  During his visits with the beeman and his daughter, Oliver listens to stories of long ago.  However, the Beeman’s stories end up playing a vital role in unraveling a tale of family history that, through emergency circumstances as a result of consequences, ends in forgiveness and redemption.

The Windy Hill, winner of the Newbery Honor, was published in 1922 and is in the public domain.

Free eBook:

The Windy Hill is a perfect book to use in learning literary elements and devices.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Describe the setting.  How does the title figure into the story?
  • The author has presented very developed characters.  Fill out a character chart for each of the major characters.
  • Compare/contrast Cousin Jasper and Anthony Crawford.  What choices did they make?  What were the results?
  • Describe the conflict?
  • What was the resolution?
  • Flashback, filling in crucial story elements by referencing events that happened long ago but have relevance today, is used several times throughout the book.  Make a chart listing each flashback scene and its relevance to resolving the conflict.
  • Foreshadowing.  What clues did the author give earlier in the story as to what would happen later?
  • What is the theme of the story?
  • Write your own short story focusing on the literary elements and devices mentioned above.

Additional Resources

Literary Elements Map
Another great interactive from ReadWriteThink that helps students map setting, characters, conflict and resolution.

Story Cube
Also from ReadWriteThink, can be used instead of the above.

Bio Cube
Interactive from ReadWriteThink that helps you develop a character.  Fill out for each major character.  Can also be used to see the contrasts between Anthony Crawford and Cousin Jasper.

Activity: Compare & Contrast

Activity: Compare & Contrast
To contrast Cousin Jasper and Anthony Crawford.

14 Forms of Writing for the Older Student: The Short Story
Helps for writing your own story.

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