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. How does Grandma react to Mary Alice's arrival?

2. The narrator tells the reader that her father lost his job and her brother Joey has joined __________.

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

4. It is revealed that a major reason for having the shoot at the Abernathy farm is do what?

5. Who is the son of the principal?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What happens to Bootsie one night? Why does this happen?

4. What is learned about Mrs. Weidenbach? How is this significant?

5. How does Grandma handle these pranksters?

6. How does Mrs. Weidenbach act when Grandma agrees to bake the tarts, if the meeting is held at Grandma's home? Why does she react this way?

7. How is Carleen Lovejoy like Mildred Burdick?

8. What is one way that Grandma surprises Mary Alice during this holiday season? How is this important?

9. What newspaper column does Mary Alice write? Why might she do this?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A "dangerous man" arrives in town.

Part 1) Who is this man? Describe him and the reason he is in town. Why might people of this town consider him dangerous? How do these fears affect the way they treat him? How does Grandma take advantage of this? Why does she do this?

Part 2) Describe the event that leads the citizens of this town to like him even less? Is he to blame for this surprising and shocking incident? Why or why not? Why does the town see him as guilty?

Part 3) How does Grandma help to turn the town's opinion around regarding this man? Why does she want to help him? What does this turn-around reinforce about this town?

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

After arriving in town, Mary Alice is directly taken to high school.

Part 1) Describe Mary Alice's high school experience. How does it compare to your own school experiences? How was school in the 1930s like school today? How was it different?

Part 2) How does school become an important place for Mary Alice? How is she changed by her experiences at this school? Are these changes good or bad? Why?

Part 3) How have your school experiences changed you? Do you believe attending school is an important part of one's childhood? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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