Under the MountainScreen Shot 2016-07-26 at 1.42.05 PM.png

Maurice Gee

Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee is a rollicking good read. Rachel and Theo Matheson are twins. Three years old and out on a farm with their father, the red-haired children get lost in the bush. Search parties fail to find them. When darkness and a hard frost fall, hope of finding the children dwindles. During the night, the children huddled on fern-bank, are visited by a strange flaming light which keeps them warm. In the morning the light is replaced by the figure of an old man. He tells the children they have been saved because sometime in the future they will be called on to complete a special task. The children do not understand and quickly forget the old man. Then, ten years later, while on a visit to their cousin’s house in Auckland, they are unaware that the time has arrived. And when they do realise it is too late. They are already part of a dangerous adventure that threatens their lives and the existence of the human race.


The genre is science fiction/fantasy. The setting is the North Shore of Auckland. The time is around the early 1980’s.

Chapter 1


        Using your inference skills, what do these words mean?

        (Listen for them in the text, and write a definition.)


Beach buggy


Disturbing people and talking about unpleasant subjects.


A crater filled by a lake and formed by a volcanic eruption with a little lava.

Understanding the text


 What does Ricky mean when he says’ ‘let me warm my hands.’


What is a toll gate? Does the harbour bridge still have one? Why? The Harbour bridge does not still have a toll gate.


 ‘…only ribs of concrete holding it together.’ What does this mean?


Give reasons why no fish live in the lake. Because the lake stinks,Could have been all fished,Pollution and could be all the dead fish.


What could be making the rotten cabbages smell? All the rubbish in the sea is making the rotten cabbage