A Year Down Yonder Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Richard Peck
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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. Wordlessly, Grandma stews up some _______ on the stove.

2. What has caused Mrs. Abernathy's son's illness?

3. Grandma makes sure to do what with this boy's desert?

4. To whose class is Mary Alice taken?

5. What does the principal's son's appearance indicate?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the events surrounding Augie's attempt to impress Mary Alice. What does this reinforce about his character?

2. How does Grandma handle these pranksters?

3. How does Grandma trick Mildred? What does this reveal about her?

4. Describe Halloween in this town. Why might it be like this?

5. How does Grandma defeat Mildred, the bully? What lesson does this teach Mary Alice?

6. What is Armistice Day? What is a holiday that we have that serves a similar purpose? What is the purpose of this holiday?

7. What warning does Grandma give Mary Alice before she leaves her at school? What does this warning foreshadow?

8. How does Mildred go about attempting to collect the dollar from Mary Alice? What does this reveal about Mildred?

9. How has Bootsie changed since he moved in with Grandma? What has led to this change?

10. How does Mary Alice react to Mildred's plan for getting her dollar from Mary Alice? What does this reveal about her?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Grandma hunts foxes to survive.

Part 1) Describe Grandma's hunting technique. Are you surprised by her decision to hunt foxes? Why or why not? How might she have come to be a fox hunter? What does this reinforce about her character?

Part 2) What is the purpose for revealing this in the story? How does this help to develop Grandma's character and her relationship with Mary Alice?

Part 3) How have other characters in this story adapted to the hard times of the Great Depression? How might you have adapted at this time to survive? What skills do you posses that would be useful?

Essay Topic 2

Mary Alice is the main character.

Part 1) Describe Mary Alice. How does she change throughout the story? Why does she change? How do other characters in this story also change? What is Mary Alice's relationship with other main characters in the story?

Part 2) Mary Alice is also the narrator of the story. How does her narration affect the knowledge of the reader? How does it also influence the reader's opinion of other characters? How different might the story be if the narrator were not a character in the story? How different might the story be if Grandma was the narrator?

Part 3) What is learned about Middle America during the Great Depression through Mary Alice's eyes? Has this affected your view of life in the 1930s? If so, how? If not, why not?

Essay Topic 3

The Epilogue takes place several years later.

Part 1) Describe the Epilogue. What is the purpose of the Epilogue? How does the way in which the Epilogue was written compare to the rest of the book?

Part 2) How has Mary Alice changed over the years? How has the world also changed in such a relatively short period of time? How does the Epilogue wrap up the story that takes place throughout the previous chapters of the book?

Part 3) Is the Epilogue necessary? Why or why not? Is it an effective ending to the story? Why or why not? Is this how you would have ended the story Why or why not? If not, how would have ended it?

(see the answer keys)

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