Between Shades of Gray Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ruta Sepetys
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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. Why does Elena rush to get herself and Lina clean?

2. What is Lina thinking about at the opening of the novel?

3. What drawing that Lina did once infuriated Lina's father?

4. What does Elena learn from someone about food?

5. What does Lina's mother do with their best jewelry?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Lina tell a gray-haired man about her drawing?

2. What does Lina's father say to Lina?

3. What are Elena, Lina and Jonas forced to do?

4. Who does Lina recognize on the truck and what does one prisoner do and what happens to him?

5. Describe the arrest of Lina's family.

6. What does Lina keep from her mother about Kostas?

7. Where are the prisoners and what does Lina remember about Stalin's agriculture policies?

8. How do they dispose of Ona's baby's body?

9. What happens in Vilnius?

10. How do Lina, Elena and Mrs. Rimas relieve the stress of the camp?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in "Between Shades of Gray".

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of "Between Shades of Gray". How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of "Between Shades of Gray". How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

Essay Topic 2

Between Shades of Gray belongs to the young adult novel genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the young adult novel genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a young adult historical novel and an adult historical novel mystery?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of "Between Shades of Gray", identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in "Between Shades of Gray". (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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