Small Steps 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. What happens on the way home from school to Armpit?

2. What does Kaira want to know when the show is delayed?

3. What are Armpit and X-Ray doing at the opening of Chapter 5?

4. Who appears and intervenes on Armpit's behalf?

5. What do Armpit's parents do when he gets home?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the phone conversation between X-Ray and Armpit.

2. How does the attack on Kaira end?

3. Describe the conversation between Detective Newburg and Armpit after he witnesses X-Ray's interrogation.

4. What do Ginny and Armpit do after the concert?

5. Describe the interaction between Armpit and Kaira in the hotel restaurant.

6. What does Armpit realize about a song he hears Kaira sing?

7. What does Armpit decide about the trip and how does he feel about his decision?

8. What happens when El Genius encounters Armpit in the hotel?

9. Who goes with Armpit to meet X-Ray, and why does Armpit refuse to sell any tickets to the white guys the first time Armpit and X-ray meet up with them?

10. What happens between Armpit and some police officers and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Small Steps belongs to the young adult novel genre. Discuss the following:

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

Essay Topic 2

Escaping the past, is explored or commented on in several ways. The first is in the opening images of Chapter 6, in which the man crossing the street is portrayed as, and seen by Armpit as, avoiding him because of his criminal history. The key point here is that Armpit chooses not to react - that is, he's no longer reacting negatively to those who DO react negatively to his past. Armpit's determination to move beyond his past also manifests in his avoidance of the teenagers in the car, all of whom he knows from his previous life and all of whom are living and/or behaving in ways that he no longer wants to participate in.

1. Do you think it is unlikely that the man crossed the street to avoid Armpit? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

2. Discuss ways in which a person like Armpit might set himself free from his past. Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

3. Discuss the changes that may have occurred inside Armpit that keeps him from reacting negatively to the man on the street. Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in Small Steps. Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Sachar chooses the symbols he does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Sachar chooses the metaphors she does?

3. Discuss Sachar's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliffhangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Sachar use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

(see the answer keys)

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