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. What does Grandma think of Bootsie the cat?

2. Before Grandma leaves, about what does she warn Mary Alice?

3. To where does Mildred follow Mary Alice?

4. What frightens Mary Alice in her room?

5. Where does Grandma make Bootsie live?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Grandma continue to taunt the pranksters during the party? How might the pranksters feel about this?

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

3. Why is Mary Alice afraid at night in her room? How does she deal with this fear?

4. How does Grandma greet Mary Alice? Why might she act this way?

5. How does Grandma get back at Old Man Nyquist? Should she have done this? Why or why not?

6. What does Grandma think about Halloween? Why does she feel this way? Why would the reader probably not be surprised by this?

7. Where does Mary Alice go directly after arriving in town? What is happening there when Mary Alice arrives?

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

9. What is a main reason for why Mary Alice does not want to move in with her grandmother? Why might she feel this way?

10. How does Grandma handle these pranksters?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mary Alice and Ina-Rae conspire against Carleen.

Part 1) How do these girls use Valentine's Day to get back at Carleen? Why do they do this? Are they successful? Why or why not? What does this behavior reveal about Mary Alice at this point in the story?

Part 2) How else does Mary Alice begin to take a stand for herself and others throughout this book? Why does she do this? How does her behavior compare to Grandma's?

Part 3) How can you stand up more for yourself and others? Would you consider using tactics similar to those used by Mary Alice and Grandma? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Mary Alice falls in love with Royce.

Part 1) How do Mary Alice's feelings for Royce develop throughout the book? How do his feelings for her mirror her feelings for him? How is Mary Alice finally able to get the courage up to invite Royce over? How might Grandma have played a role in this?

Part 2) What about Royce is appealing to Mary Alice and the other girls? Do you see in him what these girls see? Why or why not? What is special about Mary Alice? How does she stand out from the rest of the girls in her school?

Part 3) What other romantic attachments take place in this book? What is the purpose of these attachments to the story? How are they tied to the plot, character development, and/or themes?

Essay Topic 3

Grandma lives in a small hick town.

Part 1) Describe this small town and its inhabitants. Why does Mary Alice think she will not like this town? In the end, does Mary Alice end up liking the town? Why or why not?

Part 2) What does this town reveal about Americans throughout the country during the 1930s? What aspects of this town are universal and could represent many towns throughout the U.S.?

Part 3) How does this town compare to your own? How have Americans changed since the 1930s? How have they stayed the same? What are possible causes of these similarities and differences?

(see the answer keys)

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