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. To take her mind off her fears, what does Mary Alice do?

2. While Mildred is eating, Grandma walks outside on the pretense that she is doing what?

3. A forlorn Mary Alice informs Grandma of ______________.

4. Grandma and Mary Alice take a load of the treats to the party, and who serves them?

5. Why is it important that the school is many miles from Mildred's house?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What has happened to Mrs. Abernathy's son? Is this still seen today? Why or why not?

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

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

9. What is theme is strong in this section? Support your response with information from this section.

10. What does Grandma do instead of participating in the sharpshooting competition? Why might she do this?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Many in this town are stingy.

Part 1) Describe four characters in this town who are stingy. Why are they stingy? Would they be stingy if the economy were better? Why or why not?

Part 2) How does Grandma encourage these characters to be more giving? Are her tactics morally correct? Why or why not? What other tactics might be as successful? How?

Part 3) Would you consider yourself to be a stingy person? Why or why not? How can you be more giving to others? How can you and others benefit from your increased ability to give?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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