I use this novel in a book club centered around the theme of survival. I use it with lower level readers at the 5th grade, but it could be used by any student in grades 3 - 6. It is an engaging and interesting book, as are all of Lauren Tarshis's books in this series. They are available inexpensively from Scholastic.
This student work packet can be used for whole class, small group or individual reading assignments. It provided practice in the skills of character traits and emotions, determining main events, determining fact from fiction, cause and effect, citing evidence and one sentence summaries. Extension activities are provided, including writing a persuasive paragraph, watching related videos and reading paired text and comparing these sources to the novel.
No answer key is included. The teacher can easily make one after reading this short book and then can better interact with her students.
This packet would make an excellent plan for a long term substitute or for homeschooling.