It was a humid July night in 1986 at the Tanglewood Music Festival. The legendary Leonard Bernstein was preparing to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a performance of a work he had composed

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It was a humid July night in 1986 at the Tanglewood Music Festival. The legendary Leonard Bernstein was preparing to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a performance of a work he had composed. Midori Goto, a Japanese violinist, then only fourteen years old, did not feel nervous when taking the stage. She had been playing the violin since she was three years old, and she had never felt nervous when playing. Instead, she felt excited to be on stage because playing the violin brought her tremendous happiness. However, she knew she had to play especially well that night.

2 Midori made her way onstage from behind the curtain and took her place. She closed her eyes briefly. She heard the orchestra begin, and the music carried her away as it always had. However, that night she had to be especially focused. Bernstein’s Serenade was particularly difficult. Midori took a deep breath and began to play. People in the audience knew they were witnessing a prodigy. Midori was gifted and driven, yet intensely calm. The audience was amazed that a young musician could memorize and play such a difficult piece perfectly, serenely, and with artistic insight.

Everything had gone very smoothly through the first four movements of the piece. Midori’s fingers were not tired. She had paced herself to be prepared for the fifth and final movement. It was the most challenging part of the piece, and she wanted to please the audience. Suddenly, Midori felt the E string on her violin snap. She knew she had to remain calm so that she could resume playing. Showing no concern, she quickly turned to Malcolm Lowe, another violinist in the orchestra. 1Lowe looked somewhat confused at first. Then he handed Midori his own violin, which was much larger than the one she had been using. 2There was a slight pause while Midori fitted her chin rest onto the new violin, but then, she proceeded playing, absolutely unfazed by the event.

4 About two minutes later, the E string on Lowe’s violin also snapped. Midori then borrowed the violin of Max Hobart, the associate concertmaster. She focused and soldiered through the remainder of the movement flawlessly, despite the fact that both violins she played were larger than her own. The audience members gasped with surprise. At the conclusion of the piece, Leonard Bernstein gave her a huge hug. Midori’s broad smile indicated she knew she had done well.

The next day, the front-page headline of the New York Times stated, “Girl, 14, Conquers Tanglewood with 3 Violins.” Columnist John Rockwell wrote, “When it was over, audience, orchestra, and conductor-composer joined in giving her a cheering, stomping, whistling ovation.”

6 Midori had won the hearts of all who heard her. However, she was confused by all of the commotion about the broken strings. “What was I supposed to do?” Midori said. “My strings broke, and I didn’t want to stop the music.”

1.) Which is the best objective summary of the passage?

  1. In 1986, fourteen-year-old violinist Midori Goto performed Bernstein’s Serenade at the Tanglewood Music Festival. While she was playing the final movement, a string broke on her violin, and another broke on the replacement violin she borrowed. Midori remained calm and finished the piece on a third violin without missing a note.

  2. While playing Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade in 1986, the E-string on Midori Goto’s violin broke. She grabbed another violin and played on until it, too, broke a string. After getting a third violin from the concertmaster, Midori managed to complete the performance.

  3. When a string broke on Midori Goto’s violin during her performance at the Tanglewood Music Festival, she was forced to continue on a different violin. Since she was only fourteen, that violin was too large for her and a string also broke on it. Another violin was provided, but it was also too big for her. Amazingly, she was able to finish playing the piece on the third violin.

  4. At the age of fourteen, Midori Goto played the violin solo in Bernstein’s Serenade in Tanglewood. Midori played brilliantly despite breaking a string on two consecutive violins. Although the violin she ended up using was too large for her, she received thunderous applause from the audience when she finished.

2.) The author’s main purpose in paragraphs 1 and 2 is to

  1. foreshadow the last part of the passage.
    explain why the music would be difficult for Midori.

  2. establish a setting for the action in the passage.

  3. suggest that Midori was prepared for the concert.

3.) What evidence from the passage best supports the author’s claim in paragraph 2 that Midori was a “prodigy”?

  1. “only fourteen years old” and “play such a difficult piece perfectly”

  2. “excited to be on stage” and “wanted to please the audience”

  3. “the music carried her away” and “she knew she had done well”

  4. “intensely calm” and “absolutely unfazed by the event”

4.) How did the actions of Lowe and Hobart influence Midori’s performance?

  1. Their initial confusion was resolved when they realized what she needed.

  2. Their quick responses helped her to resume playing almost immediately.

  3. They handed her violins that were too big for her, and she had trouble with them.

  4. They were not able to restring her violin, and she had to use their violins to finish.

5.) What made Midori’s performance so impressive, especially to all the adults around her?

  1. She played a violin, borrowed from Malcolm Lowe, which was much larger than the one she had been using.

  2. She was not at all shaken by the series of mishaps and finished the difficult serenade flawlessly.

  3. She reacted very calmly to the audience’s and the orchestra’s cheering, stomping, whistling ovation.

  4. She broke a string on her violin during the fifth movement, the most challenging part of the piece.

6.) In paragraph4, the author uses the phrase “soldiered through” to indicate that

  1. Midori felt like she was under attack.

  2. Midori played her violin as though it were a weapon.

  3. Midori stood up straight, with no expression on her face.

  4. Midori continued to do what she was supposed to do despite obstacles.

7.) How do the final two paragraphs contribute to the overall meaning of the passage?

  1. They suggest that Midori felt less satisfied after her performance.

  2. They compare Midori’s behavior during the concert to her later behavior.

  3. They show that Midori would have been more impressive if the strings had not broken.

  4. They contrast Midori’s reaction to the concert with the reaction of her audience.

8.) How does the author structure the passage, and how do the footnotes contribute to it?

  1. The passage is structured as a sequence of events, and the footnotes provide background information that is needed to understand the events.

  2. The passage is structured to compare young musicians to experienced musicians, and the footnotes elaborate on the main differences.

  3. The passage is structured as a partial biography of a famous person, and the footnotes define some of the technical terms related to the person’s profession.

  4. The passage is structured to show the results of a common problem for performers, and the footnotes reveal how the problem can be avoided.


by D.H. Lawrence
Butterfly, the wind blows sea-ward, strong beyond the garden wall!

Butterfly, why do you settle on my shoe, and sip the dirt on my shoe,

Lifting your veined wings, lifting them? big white butterfly!
Already it is October, and the wind blows strong to the sea
from the hills where snow must have fallen, the wind is polished with snow.

Here in the garden, with red geraniums, 1 it is warm, it is warm

but the wind blows strong to sea-ward, white butterfly, content on my shoe!
Will you go, will you go from my warm house?
Will you climb on your big soft wings, black-dotted,

as up an invisible rainbow, an arch

till the wind slides you sheer from the arch-crest
and in a strange level fluttering you go out to sea-ward, white speck!
Farewell, farewell, lost soul!
you have melted in the crystalline2 distance,

it is enough! I saw you vanish into air.

The Butterfly

by Arun Kolatkar
There is no story behind it.

It is split like a second.

It hinges around itself.
It has no future.
It is pinned down to no past.

It’s a pun1 on the present.

It’s a yellow butterfly.
It has taken these wretched hills

under its wings.

Just a pinch of yellow,

it opens before it closes

and closes before it o
where is it?

1.) What is the impact of the phrase “the wind” throughout Lawrence’s “Butterfly”?

  1. It represents the attractive coloring of the butterfly.

  2. It describes the motion made by the butterfly’s wings.

  3. It emphasizes the journey that the butterfly will take.

  4. It shows the butterfly’s lack of response to the questions.

2.) How does Lawrence use the repeated image of a shoe in the first two stanzas of “Butterfly”?

  1. to represent a place that is familiar

  2. to create an image of movement

  3. to represent a memory of the past

  4. to create a sense that anything is possible

3.) Which statement best describes the contrast between the garden and the wind in the second and third stanzas of Lawrence’s “Butterfly”?

  1. The garden is blooming; the wind is dying.

  2. The garden is weak; the wind is powerful.

  3. The garden is colorful; the wind is white.

  4. The garden is safe; the wind is mysterious.

4.) In Lawrence’s“Butterfly,”howdoestheinformationinthelaststanzafitwiththeotherideasin the poem?

  1. It adds a new level of meaning by suggesting the speaker’s acceptance of the butterfly’s leaving.

  2. It shifts the focus by including images that describe the speaker of the poem instead of images of the butterfly.

  3. It explains what the speaker hopes the butterfly will do if it leaves the garden.

  4. It offers a surprising conclusion because the speaker does not answer any of the questions in the earlier stanzas.

5.) Which stanza from Kolatkar’s “TheButterfly” most captures the freedom that the butterfly enjoys?

  1. stanza 1

  2. stanza 2

  3. stanza 3

  4. stanza 4

6.) In Kolatkar’s “The Butterfly,” what is the effect of the unfinished word in line 12 and the space between lines 12 and 13?

  1. It shows the reader that the poem is about to end.

  2. It shows how suddenly the butterfly has disappeared.

  3. It shows that the poet was interrupted by someone.

  4. It shows that the poet forgot what he was going to say.

7.) Which main idea do the two poems have in common?

  1. Butterflies are beautiful.

  2. Butterflies inspire curiosity.

  3. Butterflies are skilled in flight.

  4. Butterflies frequently face dangers.

Read the passage and then answer the questions.

Arna Bontemps was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, in 1902. His father was a bricklayer and his mother taught school. When Bontemps was three years old, his family moved to California. There he lived until he graduated from Pacific Union College in 1923. He moved to New York City to pursue a teaching job in 1924. While teaching in Harlem, he would eventually meet writer Langston Hughes, who would become a good friend. Hughes and Bontemps represented a group of artists whose works contributed to the Harlem Renaissance—a renewal of African American art and literature.
Although Bontemps taught throughout his career, he was also an accomplished African American poet, novelist, and scholar. In fact, Bontemps won prizes for his poetry in 1926 and 1927. That success was followed by his first novel, God Sends Sunday, which was published in 1931. Soon after, Bontemps accepted a new teaching position in Alabama to support his growing family. He never lost sight of his writing career, though. He published short stories as well as books for young people. In 1936, Bontemps published Black Thunder: Gabriel’s Revolt, a critically acclaimed historical novel about a slave rebellion that took place in Virginia in 1800.
In 1943, Bontemps moved to Chicago and earned a degree in library science. He then became a librarian at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. He held the position until he retired in 1965. This job helped establish his reputation as a historian. Throughout his life, Bontemps helped develop a huge collection of African American cultural material. Modern historians recognize his contribution in preserving African American culture and continue to praise his efforts.
Bontemps won many awards for his writing, which often tackled themes such

as social justice and the pursuit of freedom. After a long and varied career, Bontemps died in 1973, but the significance of his work lives on.

1.) What was Arna Bontemps’s most noteworthy contribution to the preservation of African American culture?

  1. He became a librarian at Fisk University in Nashville.

  2. He won many awards for his writings on African American themes.

  3. He helped develop a huge collection of African American materials.

  4. He and his friend Langston Hughes became part of the Harlem Renaissance.

2.) What was the author’s purpose in writing this passage?

  1. to tell a creative story about a Louisiana author

  2. to list Arna Bontemps’s awards and accomplishments

  3. to give a brief biographical account of the life of Arna Bontemps

  4. to tell about one author’s pursuit of social justice and freedom

3.) What do the details about Arna Bontemps’s career reveal about him?

  1. He enjoyed traveling and used his various travels to explore different cultures and make new friends.

  2. He developed many talents as he took advantage of different job opportunities and worked with other artists.

  3. He preferred teaching young people and did so through his teaching position and through his work as a librarian.

  4. He became wealthy from his publications as he moved from poetry writing to novel writing.

4.) Read the sentence from the final paragraph.

Bontemps won many awards for his writing, which often tackled themes such as social

justice and the pursuit of freedom.

What does the use of the word tackled in this sentence indicate about Bontemps?

  1. He was unafraid to write about serious themes.

  2. He was unwilling to imitate the themes of others.

  3. He was prepared to defend his themes against critics.

  4. He was focused on the effects of his themes on readers.

Yo! Walk that Dog

by Barbara Kerley
1 The yo-yo may seem like a modern toy, as American as apple pie, but it’s actually very old. It may have been invented in the Philippines or in China, but as long ago as 450 B.C., it had reached Europe. A boy playing with what we now call a yo-yo is even shown on a bowl from ancient Greece.

2 It wasn’t until the 1930s, however, that yo-yos became an American fad. Pedro Flores, a Filipino immigrant working in California, began to make and sell yo-yos in the 1920s. (The word yo-yo means “come back” in a Filipino language.) A few years later, Flores sold his company to Donald Duncan, an American businessman. Duncan, an ingenious marketer, sent demonstrators called Duncan Champions around the country to show off yo-yo tricks and give out free instruction booklets. When kids saw the cool tricks, they wanted yo-yos for themselves.

3 Soon Duncan Champions were organizing contests across the country. Competing kids would perform tricks for points—ten if the trick was performed successfully on the first try, five for the second try. Whoever earned the most points won. In the case of a tie, first place went to the kid who could do the most Loop-the-Loops without stopping.

4 Yo-yos have remained popular for decades. In the 1950s Duncan’s factory produced up to 60,000 every day. In Nashville in 1961, more yo-yos were sold than there were people living in the city.

5 With practice, anyone can learn yo-yo tricks and perform them well. The first thing you’ll need to do is cut the yo-yo’s string to the proper length. Place the yo-yo on the ground and pull the string up until it reaches just above your waist. Clip it, tie a slipknot, and slide it onto your middle finger, between the first and second knuckle. Wind up the string and hold your yo-yo in your palm. Flick it down, turning your hand over to catch it when it returns. Practice until you’ve mastered a smooth, comfortable rhythm. You’re now ready to go to Sleep.

6 Sleeping is the basis for many tricks. Begin with the regular toss, but once the yo-yo leaves your hand, hold your wrist absolutely still. Instead of returning, the yo-yo should spin at the bottom of the string. A quick flip of the wrist will bring it back to you. If you have trouble sleeping, try a glass of warm milk at bedtime. If your yo-yo has trouble Sleeping, make sure your string isn’t twisted up too tightly. Let the yo-yo unwind and gently untwist itself.

7 Practice Sleeping until you can do it for five seconds without having your yo-yo “wake up.” Once you can do that, you’re ready to Walk the Dog. Toss down a Sleeper, then gently place it on the floor. As when walking any dog on a leash, you’ll need to follow along behind.
1.) Read the sentence from paragraph 2 of the passage.

Duncan, an ingenious marketer, sent demonstrators called Duncan Champions around the

country to show off yo-yo tricks and give out free instruction booklets.
What does the word ingenious mean in the passage?

  1. elderly

  2. clever

  3. foreign

  4. wealthy

2.) Why is Sleeping the basis for Walk the Dog?

  1. Sleeping builds confidence for mastering more complicated types of tricks.

  2. Sleeping allows practice at concentrating while walking behind a moving yo-yo.

  3. Walk the Dog involves flicking the wrist quickly to unwind the string where it connects to the yo-yo.

  4. Walk the Dog requires that the yo-yo remain at the end of the string for a sustained amount of time.

3.) In paragraph 6, what is the author’s purpose for including the advice, “If you have trouble sleeping, try a glass of warm milk at bedtime”?

  1. to give practical information to the reader

  2. to make a joke involving yo-yo terminology

  3. to show how easy it is to learn new tricks

  4. to compare two types of yo-yo techniques

4.) Which statement below best identifies the two central ideas of the passage?

  1. The yo-yo is an ancient toy with an interesting history in America, and learning tricks with the yo-yo is possible with practice.

  2. Donald Duncan was responsible for marketing the yo-yo as a popular toy, and making a yo-yo Sleep is an essential part of many other tricks.

  3. Pedro Flores first introduced the yo-yo in California in the 1920s, but Duncan Champions created interest in learning how to do various tricks with the yo-yo.

  4. Many people believe wrongly that the yo-yo is an American invention, but the modern yo-yo can do many things that ancient yo-yos could not do.

Drawing Good-Bye

by Maureen Johnston

If I don’t open my eyes, thought Julius, then I can just pretend that everything is the same, and that today will be the same as yesterday and the day before that. But it wasn’t the same, and even with his eyes closed, Julius knew things would never be the same again. Today was Moving Day. When he opened his eyes, he would see the bare walls of his room with its chipped and peeling paint even more obvious than before.

He and Gus had spent the night in their sleeping bags on the floor of their bare room. Their beds and everything else they owned were crammed into the back of a big yellow U-Rent-It truck that was sitting out in the driveway. He heard voices downstairs. Dad was talking about getting the show on the road, and Gus was being sent back upstairs to get his sleeping bag. “And tell Julius that if he doesn’t come down right now, he won’t be able to eat!”

3 He didn’t want to eat. He didn’t want Gus to relay the message either, so he ducked into the hallway door that led to the attic and climbed up the darkened staircase. He had never seen the attic empty; it was so big! Every time he had come up here before, he had had to crawl around boxes and old furniture to get to the round window that looked out over the backyard.

It was hot and stuffy, and the stray bits of insulation that were scattered on the floor made his hands and knees feel itchy. He made his way over to the window and gazed out at the mountains that lay just beyond the edge of town. He had always wanted to paint them from this viewpoint, but Mom wouldn’t let him bring his easel up here. He had done a sketch or two, trying later to remember exactly how it had looked as he filled in the spaces with his watercolors. But he had never gotten it just right. Someday, he would come back here. He would move back to this house and make this attic into a studio. He would put in a skylight and build a balcony outside the round window. He would stand at his easel on the balcony and paint the Blue Ridge.


He went downstairs. All the empty rooms on this floor made him feel cold and even a little scared. With their bookcases and rugs gone, these rooms could have belonged to anyone. They didn’t even sound familiar. Voices echoed as if they were in the depths of Luray Caverns. His baby sister Regina’s crying had a piercing, eerie sound, like the bats that flew around in those caves.

6 “Where have you been?” An angry voice sounded above the shrieking of Julius’s imaginary bats. “I could use some help, you know. Now, have some cereal, wash out the bowl, and pour what’s left of the milk down the drain. Dad and Gus are leaving in just a minute, and then we’ll follow them in the car. I’m putting Regina in her highchair while I run the sweeper. Keep an eye on her for me.”


Julius felt as though he were in a movie where his character was moving in slow motion. Everyone else was on fast forward. The movie soundtrack had all the instruments playing a different tune. Julius made up a story in his head about an orchestra conductor who couldn’t get the musicians to play the right notes. He would raise his baton, and the sound that came back would be a mixture of whines, clangs, and screeches. He called the story “Cacophony.”

Their orange tabby added his voice to the concert. Sensing danger and disruption, he had gone out hunting this morning. He came to the back door, carrying a dead mouse. His meow was muffled but demanding. “Don’t talk with your mouth full, Catullus.” Julius made the scruffy old cat drop the mouse before opening the door to let him in.

9 Julius finished his cereal and packed the few remaining kitchen items into the box on the counter. He picked up Regina and joined the rest of his family outside.

Dad and Gus were laughing, and Mom was saying how she was glad to have vacuumed those dusty old rooms for the last time. “Good-bye and good riddance!”

Why was everyone so anxious to leave here? This was the only house Julius had ever known. He had drawn it hundreds of times. Would he be able to draw the new house? It had a different shape. “Split-level,” Mom had called it.


12 Julius felt his mom’s familiar arm around his shoulder. “Honey, you’ll like it in Baltimore. I promise.” He had

heard her say this to him a thousand times in the past few months. “Look, here’s something that came in the mail for you.” She handed him a small pamphlet. He read the words on the cover:

Maryland Institute College of Art

Classes for Children

Fall Schedule
“You can take a real art class, Julius. Not like art classes at school, but special classes in painting, taught by real artists.”

Julius put the brochure in his pocket. He would look at it some more in the car. He helped his mom load the back of the station wagon with the last few boxes, the plants, the vacuum cleaner, and Regina’s highchair. Together they managed to force an angry Catullus into the cat carrier.

When they drove away, Julius didn’t even look back at the house. He had a lot of pictures of it packed away in a box marked “J’s Room.” In his drawings, the house looked the way he wanted to remember it. If he were to draw it again now, he would notice the shingles missing from the roof and the crumbling of the gray stucco walls. One of the front steps was broken, and the green canvas awning over the porch was faded and torn.

15 Catullus was wailing and moaning. “Sh, sh, Tully,” Julius whispered. “You’ll like Baltimore. It’s a big city. They have bigger mice there.”

1.) What is the central idea of the passage?

  1. accepting one’s family

  2. the value of imagination

  3. adjusting to change

  4. learning about oneself

2.) In paragraph 8, the passage says that Catullus sensed “danger and disruption.” What does the word disruption mean as it is used in this passage?

  1. a chance of conflict

  2. a sudden break in routine

  3. a realization of threats

  4. a strong possibility for tragedy

3.) What change in Julius’s view of the house is revealed through the word choice in paragraph 14?

  1. Julius views the house with a sense of disgust rather than with a sense of affection.

  2. Julius views the house as it actually looks rather than as it looks in his imagination.

  3. Julius views the house with a feeling of dread rather than with a feeling of hope.

  4. Julius views the house as it will be in the future rather than as it is in the present.

4.) How does the author use the setting to develop the passage?

  1. The setting reveals the relationships among the characters.

  2. The setting serves as a symbol of the main character.

  3. The setting foreshadows the future actions of the characters.

  4. The setting is a source of conflict for the main character.

5.) What is the main technique the author uses to contrast the point of view of other family members with Julius’s point of view?

  1. She uses descriptions of past events to reveal how the rest of the family feels.

  2. She reveals the feelings of the other family members through their actions and words.

  3. She uses descriptions of gestures and expressions to reveal how the rest of the family feels.

  4. She reveals the feelings of the other family members by telling their thoughts.

6. In the passage, what other character does Catullus most represent?

  1. Gus

  2. Mom

  3. Regina

  4. Julius

Plan your answer to question 7 in the space provided below. Then write your completed response on the lines provided.

7. Write an extended response that analyzes how Julius’s feelings about moving are revealed through his impressions of the house and his interactions with the other characters. Be sure your response includes

  • well-chosen descriptions of Julius’s impressions of the house,

  • well-chosen examples of Julius’s interactions with the other characters,


  • an analysis of how those details show Julius’s feelings about moving.

Make sure your response includes specific details from the passage to support your response.

Use for notes, brainstorming, and/or an outline.



1 It is standard practice in a performance, if a lead violinist breaks a string, the concertmaster (first violinist, closest to the front of the stage) hands over his or her violin and uses the second violinist’s instrument.

2 Young violinists, who have smaller bodies and shorter arms, typically use smaller violins. These violins are referred to as fractions of a full-size violin. At the time of this incident, Midori was playing a 7/8 violin.

11 geraniums: plants with bright, lively flower clusters in pink, red, or white

22 crystalline: clear, transparent, cloudless

11 pun: a clever form of playing with various senses or sounds of words

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