Stuck in Neutral 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. When Shawn's mother has coffee with her friend Connie and they talk about his father leaving, where is Shawn?

2. What does the crow do that startles Shawn and his father?

3. What does Dad think the crow might do to Shawn?

4. What does Shawn consider the bad part of his seizures?

5. Which classroom staff members at the school does Shawn like the best?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Shawn, who is the Shawn in the poem written by his father?

2. What is the little ritual that Shawn's father performs every time he visits Shawn?

3. How does Shawn describe the first signs that he will have a seizure?

4. How does Shawn describe his experience with grand mal seizures as a child?

5. What kinds of things is Shawn able to remember using his gift?

6. Why does Shawn say that he has looked into death's eyes?

7. What does Cindy do when the dog is hit by a car?

8. Despite his irritation at the world premiere reading of the poem, what things does Shawn like about the poem?

9. How much control does Shawn have over his seizures?

10. What is Shawn able to do when his spirit leaves his body during a seizure?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sydney McDaniel writes a poem that wins him a Pulitzer prize. This poem symbolizes everything Mr. McDaniel sees and feels about Shawn's disability. Shawn, however, has mixed feelings about the poem. He believes that the fame that the poem brings his father has made him into a professional victim. He also sees the valid benefits of the fame. Name three ways in which the poem turns Sydney into a professional victim and several ways that the fame produces valid benefits for the family.

Essay Topic 2

At the end of the novel, Sydney McDaniel comes into the room, sits down, and takes a quilted pillow from Shawn's oversized crib. Sydney cries as he speaks to Shawn and then confesses that he does not know what to do. Shawn is suddenly able to focus on his father and he thinks he finally connects with his father. Then Shawn has a seizure and floats away, realizing that he is flying free either way. So the novel ends without answering the question of whether Sydney kills Shawn. Is logical that Shawn has a seizure when he does in this chapter? Why or why not? What is the function of the seizure in this chapter? Did the author chose a cowardly or lazy way to end this novel? If not, why is it appropriate that the novel ends without answering the questions of whether Sydney kills Shawn?

Essay Topic 3

Paul and his father have both evidenced the desire to protect Shawn. Write a brief essay comparing and contrasting Paul and Sydney with regard to their sense of responsibility to protect Shawn. How are they the same and how do they differ? What concrete actions do they take to protect him? What actions can you predict they might take in the future? Will these actions in fact protect Shawn? Why or why not? Provide examples from the novel to support your assertion.

(see the answer keys)

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