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Study Guide for The Ice Diamond Quest

The quiet seaside village of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland comes to life when Tom and Liz Austen arrive. In their quest to help cousins Duncan and Sarah unravel the mystery of the flashing signal from an off-shore yacht, they encounter many dangers. The Hawk and the Renegades are never far behind as the amateur detectives seek to prevent an unscrupulous land developer from putting poor people out of their homes. The youngsters accidentally uncover an international intrigue and they discover that everyone is not as trustworthy as they may seem.


Pre-reading suggestions

Petty Harbour is a small town that does not appear on some maps. If you look at a map of Newfoundland, and locate St. John's, you might find Petty Harbour just south of the capital. To see some excellent pictures of the St. John's area, Suzanne LeVert's Let's Discover Newfoundland is a good source.

Discuss what it would mean to a group of poor people living in tenements to have those tenements torn down to make way for a park.

Find out what a "breakwater" is.




  1. Why did Liz shout "Tasukete!" after the man found Tom and her hiding in the lifeboat?

  2. What does "spellbinder" mean? Why did the man in the hospital use this term to describe Nanny?

  3. Why were Tom and Liz in Newfoundland?


 4. In chapter 7, Mrs. Austen says, "I'm proud of Nanny and all the women who set an example for the rest of us." What did she mean by this? How do you feel about her comment?

 5. "You've got a memory like a sieve." What does this expression mean?

 6. When Duncan asked him about his toughest case, Tom said that it was the one on the train. Which Eric Wilson mystery takes place almost entirely on a train?


 7. Tom's mother said, "At least I've got nothing to regret. All my life I showed her my love, just like you kids have always done." In your relationships with your family, do you have any regrets? If so, what could you do about them?

 8. Tom thought that the license plate POWER might be an acronym. Duncan suggested it could mean Plunder Only With Experienced Robbers. Can you suggest other meanings for the acronym POWER?


 9. Reference is made to "the unique Newfoundland flag." Make a drawing of the flag.

10. The people of Petty Harbour rely on the cod fishery for their living. Research changes in this fishery, and suggest how the community has been affected.

11. Imagine yourself at the funeral of a loved one, speaking about that person's life. What would you say about that person?

Word Game

Rearrange the following jumbled words (some may be names)

  1. MTO -

  2. CNNUDA -


  4. TQSEU -

  5. CZDOAI -

  6. RENHUT -

  7. YAKTH -

  8. NEHRY -



  1. It means "Help" in Japanese, and Liz knew they were on board a Japanese boat.

  2. It means someone who can tell a story or give a speech in a way that holds the attention of the listener. Nanny was a great storyteller.

  3. They were coming to visit their Nanny who was very ill.

  4. Answers will vary.

  5. Like water running through a sieve, your brain cannot hold much.

  6. Murder on The Canadian.

  7. Answers will vary.

  8. Answers will vary.

  9. Discuss with students how flags are designed.

  10. Answers will vary.

  11. Answers will vary.

Word Game Solutions

  1. TOM

  2. DUCAN


  4. QUEST



  7. KATHY

  8. HENRY


Copyright (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

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