The Vanishing Island & The Dragon’s Gate: Classroom Guide


One of my favorite things here at Novel Novice is when we can combine a book that readers LOVE with the opportunity to use it in the classroom. The Chronicles of the Black Tulip series by Barry Wolverton is a perfect example of this.

Last year, when The Vanishing Island (book 1) was released, I shared it — and the classroom guide — with my brother’s mother-in-law, who was a 4th grade teacher in Central Oregon. She shared the book and activities with her students, and their response was overwhelming.

They loved it.

chronicles-classroomThey raved about the book, had in-depth conversations about what it meant to them, speculated about the sequel, begged me for information about the sequel, and even wrote their own reviews of the book. (More on those in a moment.)

All this goes to show that when you combine a book that kids and teens ENJOY reading, they’re much more likely to engage in the classroom. Which is what we’re all about, and it’s why we’re grateful that Walden Pond Press has released a new, updated version of their classroom guide for this series, following this week’s release of book 2, The Dragon’s Gate.

Check out the classroom guide for yourself & put it to the test with your kids and students:

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”chronicles-of-the-black-tulip-ed-guide”]

(Can’t see the preview? Download the PDF here.)

Need more proof of just how awesome these books can be in the classroom? Here are some of my favorite reviews from the kiddos mentioned above:


The Vanishing Island is one of the best books I’ve ever read it just leaves you wondering about what’s gonna happen. I never wanted to stop reading!

I recommend this book to anybody who likes action and adventure and can handle putting down a really good book.

Also I don’t think anybody can wait for book #2, it’s probably gonna be as good and better!

vanishing islandHannah:

The Vanishing Island is a mix of survival and excitement. Over vast oceans in ships and finally ended up on a unknown island. What will happen next…

I recommend The Vanishing Island to any person brave enough to venture over vast oceans in ships and fight menacing pirates. Do you dare to read The Vanishing Island?

I recommend The Vanishing Island to anyone that likes fiction with survival mixed in. The Vanishing Island is full of crazy cliffhangers.


The book The Vanishing Island was a fantastic book. It is about a boy who is a little tall for his age and gets in trouble and gets a punishment of working in the vomitorium and finds a dying man who gives him a secret map or secret message that brings him on this awesome adventure to this island called the Vanishing Island on this ship there was the admiral, Bren, Mouse, Otto, Mr.Van Decken, Mr.Richer and Mr.Tybert. I like how at the end it just leaves you hanging.

I would recommend this book to all the people who like action and adventure books to read this book. This is the best book I have ever read. I can’t wait for the next book to come out!!


This book was very interesting with a mixture of gods and seas. I loved it ! Barry Wolverton is clearly a natural storyteller with the tales of a boy wanting the freedom to be at sea on a ship in search for treasure but is that treasure what he wants ? This book is one of my favorites of all time, I can’t wait for the next one.


Dragon's Gate - Cover FinalAn engrossing fantasy, a high-seas adventure, an alternate history epic—this is the richly imagined and gorgeously realized second book in acclaimed author Barry Wolverton’s Chronicles of the Black Tulip, perfect for fans of The Glass Sentence and the Books of Beginning series.

A magical white jade stone and a map inscribed in bone that may be the key to an even greater mystery—this is the treasure Bren and Mouse have found buried on the Vanishing Island.

Mouse is determined to follow the map to a place called the Dragon’s Gate, convinced it will explain who she really is and the powers she possesses. Bren has had enough adventure for one lifetime and would like nothing more than to return to his father in Map. But nothing goes according to plan when the survivors of the Albatross are rescued by Lady Jean Barrett, a charismatic archaeologist with a sense of destiny.

Barrett is on a quest for the Eight Immortals, ancient artifacts she believes are buried in the tomb of China’s first emperor—the location of which has been hidden for nearly two thousand years. The only way for Bren, Mouse, and Barrett to all get what they want is to work together on a dangerous journey into the heart of China, a kingdom long closed to outsiders, where the greatest secrets about Mouse and Bren are waiting to be unveiled.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


We’ve teamed up with our friends at Walden Pond Press to give away at least THREE signed copies of The Dragon’s Gate by Barry Wolverton, and you’ve got chances to win EVERY DAY this week. And the more people who enter, the more prizes we’ll give away.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Visit every day this week, and check out our latest post featuring The Dragon’s Gate.
    (HOT TIP: New posts go live every morning at 8am ET/5am PT)
  2. Read that day’s post, and then comment on each day’s post with your response to the comment prompt.
  3. Then fill out the Rafflecopter form below to tell us you’ve commented, and earn additional chances to win. (We’ll post the Rafflecopter form on each day’s post, to make it easy for you!)
  4. BONUS! The more people who enter this contest, the more prizes we’ll give away. That means MORE signed copies of The Dragon’s Gate, and even copies of book 1, The Vanishing Island. So ENTER & SHARE, share, share!

The more posts you visit & comment, the more chances you have to win!

Also be sure to complete the Rafflecopter completely for your entries to be counted. (We also require you provide us with your U.S. mailing address up front. This information will not be shared or sold; we’ll use it ONLY if you win to mail you your prize!)

Ready? Here is today’s prompt:

THURSDAY’S CONTEST COMMENTS: How would you use The Chronicles of the Black Tulip in the classroom?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This contest is open to the U.S. only, and runs through midnight (PT) on Friday, November 18th. Please see our contest policy for complete details. 







2 thoughts on “The Vanishing Island & The Dragon’s Gate: Classroom Guide

Add yours

  1. First of all, I would use the idea of getting kids to write book reviews. What a fun twist on book reports! Then, I would ask them to look deeper at the language and learn how this author create the imagery and world by carefully choosing the right words. I would carry this idea over into a poetry unit and have the kids use this book as idea starters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: