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. Usually it's a _________ for a cup of stew.

2. Why does Grandma believe Mary Alice will not get beat up?

3. What does Grandma think of this holiday?

4. Grandma, acting quite polite, does what?

5. Some ___________ come to the cobhouse and fall over the wire that Grandma strung.

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Grandma do when she arrives at the Pensingers' residence? Why does she do this?

2. What is burgoo stew? How might this represent life during the Great Depression?

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

4. How does Grandma raise money for Mrs. Abernathy? Is this a good tactic? Why or why not?

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

6. Why does Mary Alice move in with her grandmother? What does this reveal about the Great Depression?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Daughters of the American Revolution meeting is used as a lesson.

Part 1) Describe the events leading up to the DAR meeting. Why is Grandma asked to participate? Initially, why did you believe she wanted to hold the meeting at her home? What takes place at this meeting? How was this foreshadowed?

Part 2) Why does Grandma decide to teach Mrs. Weidenbach a lesson? How is this lesson taught in typical Grandma fashion? Should she have put Mrs. Weidenbach in her place like this? Why or why not?

Part 3) Do you believe Mrs. Weidenbach learned a lesson? Why or why not? Might there have been a better way to teach Mrs. Weidenbach a lesson? If so, how? If not, why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The Christmas season brings many surprises.

Part 1) What are the Christmas season surprises? How does each surprise come about? How are these surprises significant to the plot and/or character development?

Part 2) How is surprise an important aspect of this book? What other surprises take place throughout this book? What are the purposes of all these surprises? How are various characters change by the surprises in this story?

Part 3) What surprises have been significant in your own life? How have you been changed by surprise events? How can you relate to the characters in this book, regarding surprising events?

(see the answer keys)

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