Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916 Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Capuzzo
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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 shark was estimated to be _______ feet long and weighed around 500 pounds.

2. Many years later, ichthyologist George Burgess concluded that the shark was a _________, serial killer, but in the rhetoric of the day, the shark was a sea monster.

3. A shark can smell prey ___________________ away.

4. Charles sensed that he was being followed and probably felt he had reached safety. Why did he feel safe?

5. The shark that attacked in 1916 had returned from the southern waters where he had suffered in his competition with many larger predators. He was tossed northward by what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens by the time a shark is eight years old? How is this significant?

2. How does the story begin? How is this chapter important?

3. Describe the 1891 experiment. Is this a valid experiment? Why or why not?

4. What did most people think about the idea of a shark attacking a human? Why did they believe this?

5. Describe a young great white shark regarding its size and speed in the water. What might this mean for a human swimming in the water?

6. What information is given about a specific shark? Why is this information important?

7. What might have drawn the shark to Charles Vansant?

8. What were the beliefs of many who heard the news of Bruder's death?

9. Describe the teeth of a shark. Why might they be like this?

10. What might have drawn this particular shark north?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Several hunts took place to find the man-eating shark.

Part 1) Describe one of these hunts. Who organized this hunt? How was this hunt operated? What information about sharks and other creatures did the men have when organizing this hunt?

Part 2) How successful was this hunt? Explain. How could this hunt have been more efficient and organized?

Part 3) Compare the hunts to each other. Which hunt was more successful? Why was it more successful?

Essay Topic 2

George Burgess believed the shark that attacked the Jersey Shore in 1916 was a rogue shark.

Part 1) What is a rogue shark? How did Burgess come to this conclusion about certain sharks and specifically this one? Do you believe he is accurate in describing this shark as a rogue shark? Why or why not?

Part 2) Does the author seem to believe this shark is a rogue shark? Why or why not? Do you believe rogue sharks exist? Why or why not?

Part 3) Do you believe other animals, including humans, can be rogue creatures? Why or why not? How much more dangerous would these types of creatures be than those who were not classified as "rogue?"

Essay Topic 3

This book begins with Charles Vansant swimming in the ocean.

Part 1) What feelings does this chapter evoke in the reader? How are these feelings continued throughout the book? What is the purpose of these feelings? How might these feelings influence the reader regarding his or her view of Great Whites?

Part 2) Why does the author choose to tell Charles' story in several chapters, separated by other chapters about sharks? What is the purpose of mixing stories of shark attacks with objective information about the life of a shark?

Part 3) How does the author seem to feel about sharks? Why might he feel this way? Use the book to support your response. How do you feel about sharks after reading this book? Why do you feel this way?

(see the answer keys)

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