Chasing Vermeer Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Blue Balliett
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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. What shocks Petra?

2. How does Petra respond to what she notices about her father?

3. What is said about Ms. Hussey as a teacher?

4. What helps Calder think?

5. What is in Petra's hair on the way to school the next morning?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does a set of pentominoes work?

2. What about Petra's Halloween outfit is familiar to Calder and what shocks Petra about something she sees in a book about Vermeer?

3. Where can the reader find the answers to the clues given in the art work?

4. What is Petra's father upset about and what is Petra's response?

5. How do the students respond to the quote by Picasso, and who is especially intrigued by it?

6. What do Petra and Calder do to try to make sense of everything that's been happening?

7. What interrupts Calder's writing about his assignment?

8. What is significant about M & M's?

9. How do Petra and Calder's families differ?

10. What is the book "Lo!" about?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of "Chasing Vermeer" and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why "Chasing Vermeer" is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as "Chasing Vermeer" help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading Chasing Vermeer? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in "Chasing Vermeer" to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

Essay Topic 3

Sometimes a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and sometimes it is the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think "Chasing Vermeer" is? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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