Before We Were Free Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. Who comes into the classroom?

2. What does Anita ask Chucha about her cousins?

3. What does Anita's mother want her to do with her diary?

4. Why does Anita write with a pencil at times?

5. How old is Mr. Washburn's son?

Short Essay Questions

1. Upon what occasion do the people living in the compound decide to have a party?

2. What do Anita and Chucha see at Toni's house and what does Chucha tell Anita?

3. How does Anita feel when Oscar comes over to play with Sammy?

4. What does Anita realize when she writes in her diary?

5. What do Sammy, Anita and Oscar discuss?

6. Why is Anita spending more time in the bathroom?

7. What does Mami ask Anita not to do?

8. Who is moving in next door, and why is Anita particularly happy about it?

9. How does Antia compare American elections to those of her country?

10. What does Anita realize about Sam as she writes in her diary?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think "Before We Were Free" is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? If not, can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by "Before We Were Free."

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea or concept you think may have been a part of the Alvarez's agenda. Analyze that idea as it appears throughout the book and discuss Alvarez's probable agenda concerning that idea.

3. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

4. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

5. Research the life of Julia Alvarez to see if her life may have influenced her writing and, if so, where and how?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful novel?

2. Judge whether "Before We Were Free" is a successful novel based on the characteristics of a successful novel that you identified. Fully discuss the reasons for your judgment.

3. Do you think the criteria for a successful novel should be different if the novel is written for adults versus young adults? Why or why not? Do you think that most adults would consider "Before We Were Free" a successful novel? What about young teens?

(see the answer keys)

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