Ship Breaker Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Paolo Bacigalupi
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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 does Lucky Girl say is probably on the clipper ship?

2. What does Nailer say she must do if he keeps her alive?

3. What does Nailer do to Lucky Girl with his knife?

4. How do the few people who see Nailer react?

5. What is one problem Pima thinks about concerning the clipper ship?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Nailer feel about Richard, and what saves Nailer from a beating when he gets home after his oil experience?

2. What is wrong with Nailer and why will it be difficult to cure?

3. Why do the children work so hard when Bapi appears?

4. What is the attitude about luck among Nailer's community and how will that affect Nailer's relationship to others after his almost dying.?

5. Describe the confrontation between Nailer and Bapi.

6. What does Nailer think about clipper ships?

7. How does Nailer fare in the oil when he falls into a pool of it?

8. What are the drawbacks to trying to salvage the clipper themselves?

9. What does the girl ask Nailer when she wakes and what is his reaction?

10. Describe the scene where Nailer decides not to kill the rich girl.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 Ship Breaker 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 finished reading a book and did not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in Ship Breaker. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of courage in Ship Breaker. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to possess courage? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of class in Ship Breaker. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to possess courage? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Ship Breaker belongs to the juvenile science fiction genre. Discuss the following:

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

(see the answer keys)

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