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

2. Grandma takes Mary Alice directly where?

3. What is humorous about the answer to number 59?

4. Mary Alice has to share a desk with whom?

5. Where does Grandma make Bootsie live?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

Essay Topic 2

This book is a work of historical fiction.

Part 1) What details in the book make it a work of historical fiction? How are these details important to the story? How are they also important to the reader? Would this boo be as enticing and engaging without these historical facts? Why or why not?

Part 2) Why might someone choose to write a work of historical fiction? What is the purpose of all works of historical fiction? What is your opinion of historical fiction? Why? Has your opinion of historical fiction been influenced by reading this book? Why or why not?

Part 3) What is your favorite genre? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Mildred Burdick is a bully.

Part 1) How is Mildred a bully? Why is she a bully? How has this bad behavior been passed down through the generations in the Burdick family?

Part 2) How are others affected by Mildred's behavior? What happens to Mildred by the end of the book? What does this say about bullies? What might this also reveal about the author's opinion of bullies?

Part 3) How have you been affected by bullying? How have you dealt with bullying? How has society worked toward stopping bullying? Has it been successful? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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