Guided Reading Questions for Dylan Dover: Into the Vortex

(for teachers, educators, parents, guardians & enthusiastic readers)

The questions below are divided into two types: comprehension and critical thinking. Comprehension questions are used to ensure that the reader understands the content. Critical thinking questions are used to engage the reader’s higher order thinking skills. Higher order thinking questions are used to develop independent thoughts, to make judgments and predictions, to apply knowledge to new contexts and to synthesize ideas.

When it comes to comprehension, in addition to guided reading questions, there are other strategies that may be helpful to ensure a reader’s understanding of text. For example, ask your reader to write down any words that they do not know which they encounter in the book. Alternatively, you may also identify specific words in the text and ask your reader what that word means. For words that they don’t know, first see if the reader can make sense of the word by “inferring through context.” This is where the reader tries to figure out the meaning of the word by considering the full sentence in which the word is used. Oftentimes, the context can be used to determine the precise meaning of a specific unknown word within the sentence. Next have the reader look up the definition of the word and compare what they thought was the meaning with the actual definition. Finally, go back to the original sentence and re-read the sentence in its entirety. Not only will this technique ensure reading comprehension, but it is also an excellent tool to build vocabulary!

There are many additional strategies for reading comprehension which cater to the specific learning needs of individuals. For example, some may demonstrate learning best in a verbal form. For these readers, ask them to give you an oral summary of what they have read. Some readers may prefer to draw images (either by hand or using technology) to reflect their understanding. Some may thrive by acting out a skit, or composing a song, or building something (using actual objects from around the house or using technology) that depicts an important scene. Some readers may best demonstrate their understanding by writing out a summary of what they have read, either in a short paragraph or perhaps using jot notes instead.

There is not one single way for a reader to demonstrate reading comprehension, as this understanding may be expressed in many different forms. It is important to allow readers to communicate their understanding in ways that are best suited to their personal learning styles. Ultimately what is most important is for readers to develop the skills they need to understand and interpret text, whether a novel, a biography, a textbook, a news article, etc. Like any skill, reading comprehension requires practice to develop. The more an individual reads for understanding (which is very different than just reading words without making sense of them), the better developed this skill will become.

Critical thinking is a second important skill that can be developed through literacy. Questions that engage higher order thinking will develop the reader’s ability to think independently, make predictions, synthesize ideas, connect experiences and previously acquired knowledge with what is currently being read, and analyze text for deeper meaning. Critical thinking encourages curiosity and creativity, it builds capacity for problem-solving and decision-making, and it develops a person’s ability to construct arguments to support their opinions. In today’s world, young people more than ever require these skills to be successful in school, in the workplace, and in their own personal lives.

But most important of all, reading should be fun! People who enjoy reading, are more likely going to choose to read even when they don’t have to do so! So have fun with your reader. Perhaps there are other questions that they would like to discuss, rather than the ones suggested here. Perhaps there are other ways that they would like to express their ideas. Maybe they could read in conjunction with some of their family members and/or friends. Perhaps they would like to try writing their own short story, or create a different ending to this book…the options are endless!

And so, my fellow parent / guardian / educator / friend / reader, I sincerely hope that you and your reader enjoy reading Dylan Dover: Into the Vortex and that these questions help guide your reading experience.

Please let me know your thoughts – I am always interested in hearing what you have to say!

With great appreciation,



Comprehension Questions:

  1. The prologue describes the immortal world as “vulnerable”. What does this mean and why would this situation impact the leaders’ decisions?

  2. The four characters introduced in the prologue are Alexia, Callista, Baltazar and Atticus. Which of these characters are in the highest positions of power?

  3. What clues are revealed in the prophecy that provide you with insight as to who might be involved in the prophecy when it is ultimately fulfilled?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Explain whether or not you agree with the immortal leaders’ decision to withhold information about the prophecy from their citizens?

  2. What do you think may have happened differently if the leaders had told their citizens about the prophecy?

  3. What benefits may exist for people in your society / community who hold positions of power, and what challenges do you think people in these positions must face?

  4. In your life, how might you develop your own leadership skills? How might these skills help you in your future?

Chapters One – Three:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. Why is Reus monitoring exceptional births in the immortal realm?

  2. How many children are actually born to Maggie and Ben Warston? How many children do they think existed?

  3. Before Dylan is transported to the immortal world, what hints does the author reveal which indicate that Dylan has magical powers?

  4. What is D3W3 and what function does this agency serve in the immortal world?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. The author describes unusual birthmarks on the inner wrists of two of the babies that are born. Why do you think that these birthmarks are explained with such precise details? Why would the author include this information about these children?

  2. How do you think Dylan was feeling when he encountered the bullies in the forest? Why are the bullies necessary for the story to progress?

  3. When Dylan first arrived in the immortal realm, he was very disoriented, confused and frightened. Think of a situation that you have experienced where you felt confused or frightened. How did you respond in that situation? Were your reactions similar or different to those of Dylan when he landed in the immortal world for the first time?

Chapters Four – Six:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. Identify three factors that are similar between the immortal dimension and the human world, then identify three factors that are different between these worlds.

  2. Why has Dylan’s brother never heard of 9-1-1?

  3. Remy and Dylan discover that they can hear each other’s thoughts and communicate through their minds. What information did they decide to discuss only in their minds to keep this information a secret from their parents? Why did they decide not to tell their parents this information?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Dylan meets several characters soon after his arrival in the immortal world. Which of these characters do you think Dylan feels the most comfortable with and why do you think so?

  2. When Dylan meets his biological family, Maggie, Ben and Remy Warston, he experiences conflicting feelings. Why would Dylan have such a mixed emotional response to meeting his biological parents and brother for the first time?

  3. Remy and Dylan quickly discover that they can hear each other’s thoughts and communicate through their minds. Why might this ability be beneficial and useful to them? How might this ability pose challenges and problems for them?

  4. Do you think you would like to be able to hear someone else’s thoughts? Would you want someone else to be able to hear your thoughts? Why or why not?

Chapters Seven – Nine:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. At the beginning of Chapter 7, Maggie asks Dylan what he wants to eat for breakfast. Dylan tells her but he feels awkward about the conversation and starts to apologise to Maggie. Why does Dylan feel uncomfortable in this conversation? What is he worried about?

  2. What was the main cause of the immortal civil war which took place in the human dimension? How was the immortal civil war resolved?

  3. Baltazar is very clear with Reus that the three male siblings must be kept separate. Why does Baltazar want to keep the boys apart?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. After the immortal civil war, a new dimension was created - a world only for immortal beings. If you were creating a new world, how would you decide who the leaders would be? What skills, values and knowledge do you think are essential for a good leader to have, and why do you think each of those attributes are important for effective leadership?

  2. When the immortal world was created, the leaders instituted laws to govern their society, many of which were borrowed from humans. Think about your life. What are some important rules / laws that you must follow? Why do you think those rules / laws exist (what purpose are those rules / laws trying to achieve)? Do you agree with those rules / laws that you identified? Do you think those rules / laws should stay as they are, or do you think that they should be changed or perhaps even removed? Explain your reasons.

  3. In Chapter 9, Dylan shows Remy his cell phone and tries to explain the features of the phone and how it works to his brother. The cell phone is one important technological tool that is widely used in modern societies today, but there are many others. Identify some of the benefits that technology has in your life. Now identify some concerns about technology and how it is used in your life. In your opinion, do the benefits of technology outweigh the disadvantages? What actions do you think are needed to minimize the problems associated with technology today?

Chapters Ten – Twelve:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. Why is Maggie not allowed to deliver her message to Oliva and Mike Dover herself, but rather must let Warrentree deliver it on her behalf?

  2. Reus decided to impersonate Mary Fairshefsky, Dylan’s case worker from D3W3. What were the pros and cons that Reus considered in making this decision?

  3. Why didn’t Remy understand Dylan’s comments about winter break, spring break and summer vacation?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. The shapeshifters, Halle and Oliver, don’t know who placed them in the human world as Dylan’s protectors. Of the characters that have been introduced so far in the story, who do you think is the most likely candidate for having ensured that Dylan had these shapeshifters as protectors? Why do you think so?

  2. Reus planted an unknown object in Dylan’s bed. Using the information that you have learned so far about Reus, what do you think is going to happen to Dylan when he gets into bed later that night? What do you think Reus has planned, and ultimately, what do you think that Reus wants to achieve?

  3. Based on the name “sleeper serpent”, what do sort of powers do you predict that this creature has?

Chapters Thirteen – Fifteen:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. When Remy comes into Dylan’s room and sees him engulfed in the sleeper serpent’s grasp, he also sees Via flying “erratically” over Dylan’s head. Explain what Via’s movements must have looked like based on this description.

  2. The immortal school uniform contains an element called an “ITIS”. Explain the purpose of the ITIS within the immortal realm.

  3. Thea tells Dylan that in the immortal world “age is pretty much irrelevant.” Why does age not really matter in the immortal dimension?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. The sleeper serpent could not harm Remy. Why do you think that is? Based on this fact, what do you predict may happen moving forward in the story?

  2. Why do you think that Dylan’s identity did not register on the ITIS machine or at border security on the identifilizer5000 when he entered the immortal dimension for the first time? How are these two events connected and important to the story?

  3. Dylan clearly has mixed emotions about his new life in the immortal realm and the life he had to leave behind in the mortal world. Compare Dylan’s feelings to a situation that you have experienced where you also had conflicting feelings about a situation. How was your situation similar and / or different to Dylan’s in the story?

Chapters Sixteen – Eighteen:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. Why did Thea want to impress Reus with her academic abilities?

  2. Dylan and Remy together successfully created a transport portal in their magic class. Why is this significant to the story?

  3. Who are Halle and Oliver and what is their relationship to Dylan?

  4. In HCS class, the teacher Ms. Vamdercamp says to the students: “”Living in the immortal world lets us be ourselves.” What does she mean by this statement?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Based upon what you have read so far, how does the immortal dimension compare with that of the human world? Identify and explain three important similarities and three important differences between these two worlds.

  2. Delaney Warmaster is introduced as Dylan’s magic teacher. Based upon her interactions with her students, do you think that she is demonstrating the qualities and skills needed to be an effective teacher? Explain your answer.

  3. Thea comments that she finds it odd that Remy and Dylan acting together were able to accomplish something that nobody else in school had been able to do. Based upon this revelation, what do you predict will be discovered about Remy and Dylan’s powers later in the story?

Chapters Nineteen – Twenty-One:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. What is the relationship between Orion and Poseidon, according to Greek mythology? How did the star constellation of Orion end up in the sky according to Greek myth?

  2. When Reus is first introduced to Seth, the book describes Seth as looking “warily” at Baltazar. What does this mean? What does this tell you about Seth’s relationship with Baltazar?

  3. Describe Traysik’s personality. What is his relationship with Remy, Dylan and Thea?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Thea discovers Dylan and Remy’s identical birth marks which looks like the star constellation called Orion’s Belt. Based on Dylan’s explanation of Orion’s Belt, what do you think may happen as the story progresses which is connected to their birthmarks?

  2. The prophecy talks about four siblings, three boys and a girl, all born at the same time. From the clues you have learned so far in the novel, discuss whether you believe that Dylan and Remy are two of the siblings mentioned in this prophecy, or do you think that they are not the siblings of the prophecy at all? Explain your answer.

  3. Up to this point in the story, what is your impression of Reus? What do you think are his motives for wanting to capture Dylan?

  4. Do you believe Baltazar’s reasons for wanting to keep the four siblings alive, but separate at least for now? Do you think Baltazar is being truthful with Reus? Explain your answer.

  5. Dylan sustained serious injuries when he jumped in between Traysik and Thea and was hit by their magic, and yet he seems to have made a miraculous recovery. Based upon what you know so far from the story, what do you predict was the reason that Dylan healed so quickly? Provide reasons to support your answer.

Chapters Twenty-Two – Twenty-Four:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. Describe Chai’s role in the delivery of the Warston siblings. Why did Chai participate in the deception of lying to Maggie and Ben Warston?

  2. Explain the important revelation that Thea has while speaking with Remy in his bedroom.

  3. What is the significance of Thea’s name in this story?

  4. Summarize the important information that Thea and Remy learned from Ms. Vamdercamp that relates to the prophecy of the siblings.

  5. What information is Baltazar going to want to find out from Chai since his interaction with Dylan and Remy at the medical center?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Explain what you predict Chai is going to do now that he knows Dylan has returned to the immortal world?

  2. What emotions do you think Chai is experiencing now that he sees Dylan and Remy Warston again after so many years?

  3. Thea and Remy decide to speak with Ms. Vamdercamp about legends from the human world. What do you think they hope to learn from this conversation with their teacher? Why would this information be important to them?

  4. After speaking with Ms. Vamdercamp, Thea and Remy promise to meet up later in the day with Dylan to figure out the answers they need. What are two important questions that Remy, Dylan and Thea would want to have answered at this point in the story to help them figure out the prophecy?

  5. Dylan doesn’t trust Chai. Do you agree with Dylan’s assessment of the master healer who is trying to help him? Why or why not?

Chapters Twenty-Five – Twenty-Seven:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. What did Baltazar do to Chai after their conversation?

  2. Summarize what Reus learns from Thea while he has her under his trance.

  3. Describe how Dylan’s blood affected the vampire students who consumed his blood after his accident the day before at school.

  4. Explain how the plants in warlock magic class affected both Traysik and Remy. What do their different reactions indicate about their magical powers?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. What reasons might Baltazar have had for not killing Chai at this time? Why would Baltazar want to keep Chai alive?

  2. Thea finds a message written on parchment paper, stuck inside of a textbook. What do you think is the importance of this message to the prophecy?

  3. Dylan’s blood impacted the vampires differently than the blood of others. What does this symbolize within the story? Why is this fact significant to the prophecy?

  4. Based on Remy’s reaction to the plants in magic class and his previous encounter with a sleeper serpent, what do you think is going on with Remy’s magical powers?

Chapters Twenty-Eight – Twenty-Nine:

Comprehension Questions:

  1. Summarize the important points that Dylan, Remy and Thea have figured out about the prophecy, based upon their conversation in the boys’ bedroom after school.

  2. What have you learned about the brother named Seth? Describe his physical appearance and his personality.

  3. Why would Baltazar never have been able to predict that Dylan and Remy would be able to create a transport portal to rescue Seth from inside his castle?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Do you agree with the decision made by Dylan, Remy and Thea to create a transport portal to locate the missing brother? What benefits would there be to this action? What risks would be involved?

  2. Why do you think that Seth chose to leave with Dylan, Remy and Thea in the transport portal, even though he was clearly terrified when he met them?

  3. When Remy and Dylan grabbed Seth’s hand, the transport portal they created was “larger and stronger than any they had ever created as a pair.” Discuss the significance of this statement to the story and how it relates to the prophecy.

  4. What do you predict will happen to Reus now that Seth has been rescued by his brothers and Thea?


Comprehension Questions:

  1. How did the boy’s transport portal take them to Dylan’s human home?

  2. Who are the Siamese cats that Dylan picks up in his arms? How did the cats get there?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. How do you think each of the characters (Dylan, Remy, Seth and Thea) are feeling as they stand outside of Dylan’s human home?

  2. What would you like to see happen in Book 2?

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© 2022 Lynne Howard, Author