Yolonda's Genius Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Carol Fenner
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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. How old was Andrew when he received his first harmonica?

2. What tension is there at Asphalt Hill?

3. What cheers Yolanda's spirits?

4. What will be better with the move?

5. What does Yolanda offer to teach Shirley?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Yolanda and Andrew visit Stellers music store?

2. What does Aunt Tiny do for a living, and how does that help Yolanda's family?

3. How does Yolanda feel after Shirley leaves and what does she say to her aunt Tiny about Shirley?

4. What happens when Momma finally notices Andrew's new harmonica?

5. What is Yolanda thinking about as the novel opens?

6. How does Yolanda go about getting Andrew a new harmonica?

7. What happens when Yolanda notices three men eying her momma?

8. How do Yolanda and Andrew play in their concert for Aunt Tiny and Yolanda's momma, and how do the two women respond to the performance?

9. Where has Yolanda chosen to sit in her classroom and why?

10. What is a problem with how Andrew reacts to his sister dragging him around the park?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

There are a number of interesting questions raised by "Yolonda's Genius"--questions that Fenner may wish 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 Fenner's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Fenner's 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?

Essay Topic 2

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think Yolonda's Genius is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful novel?

2. Analyze and discuss "Yolonda's Genius" based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1, and judge if it is a successful novel.

3. Do you think the criteria for a successful novel should be different if it is written for adults versus young adults? Why or why not? Would most adults consider "Yolonda's Genius" a successful novel? What about teens?

(see the answer keys)

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