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 does Armpit say he'll never do again?

2. What do Kaira and her band spontaneously decide to do?

3. What does Armpit celebrate with Ginny on their daily walk?

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

5. What does Tatiana tell Armpit?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the letter Armpit receives from Kaira say?

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

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

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

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

6. Why does Kaira ride in the band's bus and whose music does the band play for her?

7. What does Armpit's boss say about Armpit's work and what does the boss offer to do?

8. Describe Armpit's conversation with Detective Newburg.

9. Why does Armpit want to borrow one of Ginny's stuffed animals and which one does she recommend?

10. How does Kaira discover that Armpit is ticklish and what does Fred interrupt?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by Small Steps. Questions that Sachar most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Sachar' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Sachar' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Sachar and see how his life might have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

Characters are an important part of what makes Small Steps interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly discuss and analyze Armpit. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he always likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

2. Thoroughly discuss and analyze Kaira. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of El Genius. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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