The Children Are Carried Off
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: J.M. Barrie

Chapter 12 passage: Captain Hook is the villain in J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan.” Hook, an evil pirate, has many reasons to hate Peter. This passage explores some of these reasons. After reading the passage, students will use context clues to explain some of the words in the selection.

Topic(s): Adventure / Thriller, Science Fiction / Fantasy. Skill(s): Context Clues. Genre(s): Prose

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In the novel Peter Pan, Peter’s main enemy is the pirate Captain Hook. Hook and Peter have a long history. The captain hates Peter for cutting off his hand and feeding it to a crocodile. Now the captain uses an iron hook for a hand. This passage explains Hook’s feelings about Peter.


It was Pan he wanted, Pan and Wendy and their band, but chiefly Pan.

Peter was such a small boy that one tends to wonder at the man’s hatred of him. True he had flung Hook’s arm to the crocodile, but even this and the increased insecurity of life to which it led, owing to the crocodile’s persistence, hardly account for a vindictiveness so relentless and malignant. The truth is that there was a something about Peter which goaded the pirate captain to frenzy. It was not his courage, it was not his engaging appearance, it was not-. There is no beating about the bush, for we know quite well what it was, and have got to tell. It was Peter’s cockiness.

This had got on Hook’s nerves; it made his iron claw twitch, and at night it disturbed him like an insect. While Peter lived, the tortured man felt that he was a lion in a cage into which a sparrow had come.

Comprehension Questions

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