The poems studied in Form One are: ‘The River’ – Valerie Bloom and ‘Mr. Nobody’ – Unknown author. There is only one short story to study and that is: ‘Flipping Fantastic’ – Jane Langford and apart from that you have to study a Novel. Let’s review each one of them so that you will be prepared for your examination.


The following are the novels studied in the literature component in English Language

  1. Black Beauty                                      –           Anna Sewell
  2. Journey to The Centre of the Earth    –           Jules Verne
  3. TheBoscombeValley  Mystery        –           Arthur Conan Doyle



Synopsis of ‘Black Beauty’

Black Beauty tells of the life of Black Beauty, a colt living inEngland.  The story begins with Black Beauty having a happy childhood growing up in the peaceful countryside. In his later years, he encounters cruelty. Things go from bad to worse when Black Beauty’s new owners begin renting him out for profit. Black Beauty endures a life of mistreatment and disrespect in a world that shows little regard for the happiness of animals. However, the story ends on a happy note. Black Beauty spends the rest of his days treated well on a farm.


Synopsis of ‘Boscombe Valley Mystery’


A man named Charles McCarthy has been murdered. McCarthy was killed by a blow to the back of the head while standing next to Boscombe Pool. Witnesses saw McCarthy walking towards the pool, followed quickly by his son, James; they also saw the two of them fighting violently. James is found near the body of his father with blood on his hands. Inspector Lestrade, the Scotland Yard officer who loves giving Holmes a hard time, is sure that James is guilty. But Holmes keeps defending James: after all, he notes, “Cooee” is an Australian cry, and McCarthy’s last words weren’t “a rat” but “Ballarat,” an Australian city name. Fortunately, James’s case is dismissed due to lack of evidence, James marries Miss Turner, and John Turner takes his secret to the grave seven months later.


Synopsis of  ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’

A German scientist, Otto Lidenbrock, discovered the existence of a volcanic tube or tunnel that lead to the centre of the earth. His discovery was based on a cryptic note that was found in an old manuscript he had bought. His nephew, Axel who helped him decipher the coded message and Hans, their guide, set off to explore the tunnel. They encountered astonishing sights of prehistoric animals, plants, natural disasters and unusual landscapes. The living creatures that they met represent the different era or time from the beginning of earth. The geological time is depicted in layers which are synonymous to the rock layers of the earth. The tunnel ended in Italy.


Sample Question 1:

Write about an incident that you think is important. Give reasons why you think the incident is important.

The most exciting part or important moment in the story is when Black Beauty gets injured while riding Mr. Reuben Smith one late night.  Reuben Smith is the new stable boy. There is a loose nail in Beauty’s front shoe. While riding, Beauty feels his shoe slip off and the stones on the road split his shoeless hoof. Black Beauty stumbles and falls. Reuben falls and is hurt. When the riders come by at midnight, they find that Reuben is dead. Black Beauty is badly injured on his knees. He is brought back to the stable and is treated. However it takes a long time for him to heal and he ends up with scars on his knees. This is the turning point in Black Beauty’s life. Beauty is put up for sale after he is healed. Black Beauty cannot work as a carriage horse and is put up for sale. He becomes a job horse and is rented to different people. Some do not know how to ride him well and some mistreat him. He is also up for sale for a few times. Reuben’s negligence has caused Black Beauty to endure sufferings.


Sample Question 2:

Write about a character that you find most interesting. Support your answer with evidence from the novel.

The character in the Boscombe Valley Mystery I find the most interesting is definitely Dr. Watson. He is a loyal companion of detective Sherlock Holmes. He agreed to help Sherlock Holmes although he had a lot of patients to see. He is also very punctual. Although he had only half an hour to get ready, he was at the station on time. Apart from that he is very observant. He notices some unusual footprints at the pool. Watson’s notes about the injury the murder victim had sustained which is a blow to the left side of the head actually prompted Holmes to realise that the killer was left-handed, which allowed him to narrow the list of suspects. He is also a concerned man. He asks Alice about her father’s condition. He is also helpful. He brings the pen and paper for John turner to write the confession.


Sample Question 3:

Write about a moral value you have learnt in the story. Support your answer with evidence from the novel.

The moral value that I have learnt from the novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” is never to give up. I admire Professor Otto Lidenbrock, Axel, and Hans who went to Sneffels where they were let down by cloudy skies. But on the last day the sun comes out and they enter the correct crater. Once in they face many mishaps like being in a chamber filled with combustible gas and face several prehistoric creatures. After the journey they return to Hamburg to great acclaim–Professor Lidenbrock is hailed as one of the greatest scientists of history.



Reviewing the short Story ‘Flipping Fantastic”


Flipping Fantastic is a story presented in the form of diary or journal entries. It conveys the thoughts of twin brothers, Tristan and James and their mother. The twin boys have always been together and for the first time they have to go to two different schools. Tristan who is a disabled, wheel-chair bound boy will be going to Chesterlea Grange, a residential school for special children. His brother James will be going to Highfields, a normal secondary school. Since James and Tristan have always been together, both James and their mother are worried about Tristan’s well being in the new school. Tristan on the other hand was experiencing mixed feelings about leaving the familiar Peter Hill Primary and starting at Chesterlea Grange. In the end, both Tristan and James decide that they would make it on their own if they set their mind to it.

Sample Essay type Question:

Tristan and James are as different as day and night although they are twins. Describe the differences in their characters as depicted in the story Flipping Fantastic by Jane Langford


Sample Answer:

Tristan has a positive disposition with high self-esteem. He has high linguistic skills. He is also very friendly and makes friends easily. He has shown that he is mature by agreeing that Chelsea Grange is the right school for him. James on the other hand has low self esteem, timid and lacks confidence. He wants Tristan to reconsider his decision about going to Chelsea Grange.

Sample Multiple –Choice type questions:

Questions 1 – 3 are based on extract from the short story Flipping Fantastic



I am so relieved! Tristan has just told Mum that he doesn’t want to go to Chesterlea after all. That means he will be coming to Highfields with me. Thank goodness for that! I don’t know how I would have managed without him. I was already thinking up a million excuses not to go to school on the first day. I’ve thought of every illness from bubonic plague to yellow fever. Somehow I don’t think that Mum would have believed any of them!

I know that Highfields probably won’t be half as bad as I think but I’m still very glad that Tristan will be there with me. He can look after me and I can look after him. I can help him with his wheelchair up all the ramps in the corridors and I can hold back the automatic doors when they start to close too soon. I can make sure that he can get to the toilet when he needs to, and I can tell the teacher what he can and can’t do in PE.




1.         Why was James relieved?

A.        Tristan would be with James

B.        Tristan would not be at Highfields

C.        James could manage without Tristan

D.        Tristan was going to Chesterlea Grange



2.         If Tristan was not going with James, he thought of many excuses just to

A.        go to Chesterlea

B.        go to Highfields

C.        manage without Tristan

D.        quit school on the first day



3.         James wants his brother to do all the following except

            A.        His brother can look after James

B.        Help his brother with his wheelchair

C.        James can look after his brother

D.        Help James to hold back the automatic doors



Reviewing the poem – ‘The River’ by Valerie Bloom


The river being an element of nature, takes its physical form by flowing through valleys and hills. The river is continuously moving as it twists and turns to find its way through the plains. Along its course, it retains whatever it collects.  It is alive as it gurgles, murmurs, sings and dances along its route. However, the river can also create natural disasters such as erosion or floods.


Sample Questions For the poem-The River


1.         Which of these statements is true?

A.        The river chooses where it wants to go

B.        The river has set a camp by the bank

C.        The river is always in motion

D.        The river likes wanderers


2.         The river represents

A.        the journey in man’s life

B.        the good nature of man

C.        the fear in man

D.        the destructive nature of man



3.         Why does the river twist and turn?

A.        To avoid hard objects

B.        It likes to twist and turn

C.        It is flowing continuously

D.        It keeps a lot of objects


ANSWER: 1.C    2. A.   3. A


Reviewing the poem ‘Mr. Nobody’ (Author Unknown)

Synopsis of the Poem

The poem is about a mysterious little person who creates a lot of mischief in the house and gets away with it. This person is named as Mr. Nobody to give a shroud of mystery to the persona. He is not noticed as he moves around very quietly. Mr. Nobody makes a mess of things in the house. He uses things but never puts them back in order. He dirties the house, leaves his prints everywhere, soils the carpet and the curtains. When things are misplaced in the house, everyone points the finger to Mr. Nobody. Yet he never gets caught as no one has ever seen him or reports of his deeds.


Sample Questions For the poem Mr. Nobody


Mr. Nobody (stanza1)

I know a funny little man,

As quiet as a mouse,

Who does the mischief that is done

In everybody’s house!

There’s no one ever sees his face,

And yet we all agree

That every plate we break was cracked

By Mr. Nobody  

                                                                      Author Unknown

1.         According to the first stanza, everyone……….:

A.        agrees that Mr. Nobody creates all the mischief

B.        has seen the person who is funny

C.        knows that Mr. Nobody is actually a mouse that runs around the house.

D.        knows Mr. Nobody goes around disturbing everyone.


2.         The use of the simile ‘ As quiet as a mouse’ implies that Mr. Nobody is….

A.        so quiet that he is unnoticed

B.        as dirty as the house mouse

  1. able to walk fast just like a mouse

D.        a  person who will not talk


3.         The poem is about…

A.        a funny invisible person

B.        mischief created by someone

C.        a naughty boy

D.        Mr. Nobody’s life



Answer: 1. A.    2. A.    3. B