By Mr. Morton When the Spellman family moved next door to us, my mother swore the Lord himself sent them to test her good nature. See, our block was pretty quiet until the Spellman’s came



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By Mr. Morton


When the Spellman family moved next door to us, my mother swore the Lord himself sent them to test her good nature. See, our block was pretty quiet until the Spellman’s came. There were some senior citizens, the newlywed couple, Mr. Tatum the librarian, and us, the Middleton family, and we didn’t live any way like the Spellman family did. We kept our lawn cut, turned off our lights at 9PM, and went to church every Sunday. The Spellmans had a different life style all together.
The first thing that you must know is that there were sixteen of them, all different ages from twin babies to grown men. That part is only relevant because each Spellman had a loud personality, and sixteen loud personalities is a lot of volume. They played loud music all hours of the day and night, had crowds of noisy guests coming and going, and every one of those sixteen Spellmans must have owned a bike that they kept resting in the front yard.
Living next to those Spellmans almost drove my mother insane. If she wasn’t shaming them for not attending mass, or complaining to her sister Jackie about the way the Spellman girls dressed, then she was shoeing the Spellman’s dogs out of our yard or filing noise complaints with the police. My mother had never been so busy. She was even organizing a “good neighbors” committee to discuss ways to improve the neighborhood. All she ever spoke of any more were the Spellmans and their wrongdoings.
One Sunday afternoon after church service, my mother was driving old Ms. Parker home to her house on the hill when we got a flat tire. My father was out of town at the time, so it was just me, my mother, and old Ms. Parker. All of us together might have been able to get the spare tire out of the trunk if we put our wits together; but as far as changing the tire, let’s just say that we were at the mercy of the good Lord. Since old Ms. Parker lived so far up that hill, not a lot of traffic drove by us. It had been about fifteen minutes since the last car passed when we heard the rattling and puttering of an old pick up truck as it pulled over to assist us.
The Spellman boys ran up on our car like a NASCAR pit crew. Before my mother could even protest, they had ushered us out of the car, thrown the car on a jack, and took the tire off. “Her spare is flat,” said the middle one to the big one. “Give her ours,” replied the big one, barely acknowledging the sacrifice. The Spellman boys whizzed and zoomed around the car and like that we were back on wheels. My mother was stunned. “I don’t know what to say,” she stammered. The big one said, “Well, the Lord said love thy neighbor, and we are neighbors, right?” After that my mother started acting like a neighbor.
The next day when the Spellman’s dogs went traipsing through my mother’s flower garden, she put out a bowl of water for them. When she saw the Spellman girls walking out with nothing but a halter on, she lectured them about being upright ladies and offered them sweaters. And when she heard the Spellman’s music through our walls, she tried to dance a little bit. She even invited the Spellman’s to be part of the good neighbors committee. So she finally took a page from that book she was always thumping and became a good neighbor herself, and the neighborhood was a better place because of it.
A

1. Which of the following is best described as the inciting incident of the story?


A. The Spellman family moves in next door. B. The narrator’s mother gets a flat tire.

C. Mother starts the “good neighbors” committee. D. The dogs walk through mom’s garden.


2. Which of the following is best described as part of the climax of the story?
A. Mother offers sweaters to the Spellman girls. B. The Spellmans move in next door.

C. The Spellmans give mom their spare tire. D. Mom files noise complaints.


3. Which of the following is best described as part of the exposition of the story?
A. The narrator’s block is quiet. B. The Spellmans change Mom’s tire.

C. Mom gives the dogs water. D. Mom gives a ride to old Ms. Parker


4. Which of the following is best described as part of the rising action of the story?
A. Mom dances a little bit to the music. B. Mom becomes a good neighbor.

C. The Spellmans give mom their spare tire. D. Mom shames them for missing mass


5. Which of the following is best described as the resolution of the story?
A. Mom becomes a good neighbor. B. The Spellmans change moms tire.

C. Mom files noise complaints on the Spellmans. D. Mom drives old Ms. Parker home.


6. Which of the following is best described as part of the falling action of the story?
A. Mom shoes away the Spellman’s dogs. B. Mom dances a little bit to the music.

C. Mom talks about the girls to her sister, Jackie. D. The Spellman’s move in next door.


7. At the beginning of the story, which of the following character traits best describes mom?
A. judgemental B. tolerant C. kind D. helpful E. friendly
8. At the end of the story, which of the following character traits best describes mom?
A. boring B. helpful C. angry D. impolite E. rude
9. Which term best describes the following: modern day, on the block, and on an empty road?
A. direct trait B. indirect trait C. motivation D. conflict E. setting
10. Which term best describes the following: new wild neighbors move in on a quiet block?
A. direct trait B. indirect trait C. motivation D. conflict E. setting


11. The turning point in the story
12. Events after the climax
13. How the story ends
14. Events before the climax
15. The moment the conflict is introduced

A. rising action
B. falling action
C. resolution
D. inciting incident
E. climax


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