People of the Book Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Geraldine Brooks
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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 word in the novel refers to an elementary school run by Sephardic Jews?

2. What does Hanna order for dinner when she goes out with Karaman in “Hanna: Sarajevo, Spring 1996”?

3. What does the saltwater used at the seder table represent?

4. When was the Sarajevo Haggadah sold to the National Museum in Sarajevo?

5. When Hanna finally gets to see the book for the first time in “Hanna: Sarajevo, Spring 1996,” she says that "No conservator had handled this manuscript for" how long?

Short Essay Questions

1. What actions does Serif Kabal take to save the Sarajevo Haggadah?

2. Who is Razmus Kanaha? How does Hanna know this character?

3. What theory does Dr. Heinrich present regarding the binding on the Sarajevo Haggadah?

4. Who is Franz Hirschfeldt? How is his character described in “Feathers and a Rose: Vienna, 1894"?

5. How does the narrative style of the novel change in “An Insect’s Wing: Sarajevo, 1940"? Why do you think the author makes this change?

6. Who is Werner Heinrich and what is his relationship to Hanna?

7. Describe Hanna's character in the novel. How old is Hanna? What is her focus of expertise?

8. Why has Hanna come to Sarajevo in “Hanna: Sarajevo, Spring 1996”? Who accompanies her? What is Hanna's objective in this chapter?

9. Who is Lola and how is her character introduced in “An Insect’s Wing: Sarajevo, 1940"?

10. Describe the narrative style established in “Hanna: Sarajevo, Spring 1996.” From whose perspective is this chapter related? Why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the history of Sarajevo and discuss the setting of Sarajevo in the novel. During what time periods does the author present the city of Sarajevo? How does each depiction differ? How has Sarajevo's history informed its contemporary state?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the motif of religion in People of the Book. What different world religions are explored in Hanna's search for the history of the Sarajevo Haggadah? How are these religions depicted? How would you describe the relationships between these religions and their adherents historically?

Essay Topic 3

Describe and discuss the character of Hanna as the protagonist of People of the Book. How would you describe Hanna's character arc? In what ways does Hanna's character evolve in the novel? What is the main objective that Hanna sets out to accomplish? Does she accomplish this objective? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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