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 gives Armpit great satisfaction that afternoon?

3. What does Ginny think her mother has implied about Ginny's father?

4. Where does Theodore get used to digging holes?

5. What does the Mayor suggest about the police behavior?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are Armpit's parents concerned about Armpit taking Ginny to the concert?

2. What does Armpit convince X-Ray to do despite what?

3. What does Armpit impulsively do as far as Tatiana is concerned?

4. What makes Tatiana decide not to go with Armpit and who does he invite?

5. What does Kaira decide to sing and how does it turn out?

6. Why is Kaira pacing nervously backstage?

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

8. What happens that makes Theodore decide to turn his life around?

9. About what does the band hint to Kaira and what is her response?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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).

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of Small Steps, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in Small Steps. (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

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?

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