Monster 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. In the prologue, Steve is surprised that the prisoners still do what, even though they are strangers?

2. Which two items are taken away from prisoners, according to Steve?

3. According to Steve's journal from Wednesday, July 8, what does Kathy O'Brien said her job is in the eyes of the jury?

4. How old is Mr. Nesbitt at the time of his murder?

5. What action on Acie's part does Steve say really "got to me"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Steve doing when the police come to arrest him and take him away from home?

2. In the prologue, Steve says "they say you get used to being in jail." What is Steve's take on this passage?

3. What does Steve say happens if anyone knows you are crying in prison?

4. Why does Johnny, the ringleader of the eventual crime, want to rob a pharmacy instead of a bank?

5. Why do prison officials take away prisoners' shoelaces and your belt?

6. What does James King look like on the first day of the trial?

7. When does Steve say he feels most involved with his case?

8. When Steve gets dressed for court on Thursday, July 9 and thinks of his mother, what is she doing?

9. What does Star Wars have to do with the way Steve designs the beginning of his film?

10. In his journal notes for Tuesday, July 7, why does Steve say he needs to keep thinking of the movie?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A major theme of this book is identity, particularly how Steve's identity is constructed or maintained. Write an analytical essay considering the ways in which Walter Dean Myers makes identity a theme. What are the symbolic or linguistic strategies Myers has employed to communicate and investigate Steve's identity? Be sure to offer a descriptive analysis of Steve's identity and identity crisis, using specific examples.

Essay Topic 2

One interpretation of Steve's actions may lay the blame for his involvement with Mr. Nesbitt's murder on peer pressure and his desire to belong. Write an analytical essay defining peer pressure and Steve's desire to fit in, explaining the circumstances under which he allowed himself to be influenced, and the (bad) choices he made. You may, if you like, include whether or not you think that Steve's friends are more responsible for his actions that he himself is.

Essay Topic 3

One major theme of this novel is teenage violence. Explain the role violence between teenagers and violence perpetrated by teenagers plays in the plot and characterization of this novel, and describe the ways in which Walter Dean Myers explores this theme. Be sure to indicate what you think Myers is trying to communicate to the reader about teenage violence, using specific textual examples.

(see the answer keys)

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