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. Why did Shawn think that he understood what death looked like before the dog died?

2. How old is Becky, one of the teacher assistants?

3. How does Shawn's mother describe Sydney to Connie?

4. What is Shawn's birth order?

5. In Chapter 8, what idea is more confusing to Shawn because he knows that his father loves him?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does seeing the death of the dog make Shawn feel?

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

4. What does Shawn consider ironic about his actual intelligence and the assumed level of his intelligence within his class at school?

5. During his last feeding of Shawn, Sydney tells Lindy that he is mad at something other than at Shawn. What is he mad at?

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

7. How does Shawn learn to read?

8. Describe what the special education class at Shoreline High School is like according to Shawn, and how the students behave.

9. When talking to her mother, how does Cindy explain her experience with the dog's death?

10. How does Sydney McDaniel support his argument that schools waste money educating the ineducable?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What are Shawn's main methods for learning about life? Does he learn from people, through other means, or both? How does Shawn learn in these ways? What challenges does learning in these ways present? How does Shawn's intelligence and genius help or hinder him in the process when he encounters a learning challenge?

Essay Topic 2

One evening, Shawn is left with Vonda, his respite care provider. That evening, lying alone in the dark, Shawn hears his father come into the house. Vonda is a fan of Mr. McDaniel and asks for an autograph. How is Vonda's behavior toward Shawn and Sydney symbolic of the way they each are treated by the general population? How did this dichotomy come about? How does it affect Shawn's quality of life in general? What might it mean in particular on the night that Shawn's father's orders are followed unquestioningly? Provide examples from the novel to back up your point of view.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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