A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Whose birthday is it in this chapter?

2. Who keeps Dave's parents belongings?

3. What do the Mexican kids take from Dave?

4. What do Toph and Dave do in the evenings?

5. Where do Dave and Beth want to move to?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Dave think about as he holds ice to his mother's nose?

2. What different directions do the characters take in Chapter 2?

3. Describe Dave's search for his wallet.

4. What is Dave and Beth's plan?

5. Give an example of Dave and Toph's being late.

6. Summarize the second chapter.

7. What does Dave do during the nights?

8. Why doesn't Dave like telling people why he has to look after Toph?

9. How does Dave help his mother in the first chapter?

10. How do the police deal with Dave's stolen wallet in Chapter 5?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What major events had a profound effect on Eggers' life and how did they change him? What does Eggers still have to learn by the end of the book?

Essay Topic 2

Look at the structure of the book.

1) Discuss elements of the narrative structure: exposition, conflict, complication, climax, resolution and conclusion. Do all the elements make for a logical and linear story? How does the story's structure express the book's ideas?

2) Examine the way Eggers uses other people in the story to express his ideas.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss with the students first person point of view. Why do the students think first person point of view is not necessarily reliable? What moments in the book do the students think are not so reliable and why? With the students, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the first person point of view.

(see the answer keys)

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