Private Peaceful Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Morpurgo
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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 do Molly, Charlie, and Thomas bury a mouse and sing a hymn over its grave?

2. What do Charlie, Thomas, and their mother on the day of the burial do after it gets dark?

3. What is Thomas classified as when he starts school?

4. Why doesn't Thomas' mother stand up to Grandma Wolf?

5. What does Thomas do during his and Charlie's venture onto the Colonel's property?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the story of the harvest mouse?

2. How has Molly changed when she visits on Christmas Eve and how does Thomas feel about her?

3. At the novel's opening, what does Thomas Peaceful want to remember this night?

4. What happens when Thomas and Charlie arrive at school on Thomas' first day of school?

5. What happens when the Colonel arrives at the cottage the morning after Charlie steals Bertha?

6. At the novel's opening, who is Thomas Peaceful with and why is he determined not to sleep?

7. Why is Charlie upset by the Colonels plans for Bertha and what does he do to thwart those plans?

8. How does the boys' situation change for the better after the Colonel's wife dies?

9. Why is Thomas glad to be working at the same farm as Charlie?

10. What happens to Bertha?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Private Peaceful belongs to the war novel genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the war 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 war novel and a historical novel or a mystery?

Essay Topic 2

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think Private Peaceful is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 3

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? Did Private Peaceful ending on a less than happy note affect your perception or enjoyment of the book? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Private Peaceful and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Private Peaceful 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?

(see the answer keys)

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