Grade: Middle
Subject: Literature

#4058. Play to the Angel by Maurine F. Dahlberg test

Literature, level: Middle
Posted Mon Nov 19 08:13:28 PST 2007 by Catherine Nutter (
Anchor Bay Schools, New Baltimore MI USA
Materials Required: Email me for Word formatted version
Concepts Taught: Comprehension Assessment

Play to the Angel by Maurine F. Dahlberg
Independent Novel Test

Character/Term Identification: Match the descriptions in the first column with their objects in the second column. Each choice will be used only once.

1. greeting given to adults by polite Viennese children A. Greta Radky
2. Jewish dress shop owners B. Mutti (Anneliese Radky)
3. the protagonist's former best friend who now lives in America C. Herr Hummel
4. protagonist who discovers her inner courage and confidence D. Frau Vogel
5. the protagonist's deceased brother E. Kurt
6. quiet, mysterious man also known as Karl von Engelhart F. Elisabeth von Prettin
7. an excellent baker and mother-figure, but a horrible house- G. Eulalie
keeper H. Herr von Prettin
8. assigns her students an essay that allows the protagonist to I. the angel
open up to her classmates J. Erika Brauner
9. a special election K. Frau Schffer
10. has a commanding air, kicks a helpless, elderly Jewish man, L. Kss die Hand
and has a daughter who fears him M. a Past
11. usually defined as "a scandalous love affair" N. plebiscite
12. woman whose overwhelming sense of loss causes her to O. the Rosenwalds
stop living with any emotion P. Herr Rudolf Beck
13. prissy, pompous school girl
14. has a wise, understanding look; looks intelligent, caring, and
ready to listen
15. insulting, mocking young man who is holding a grudge against Herr Hummel
16. the name of a character's portable radio

Quote Identification: Identify the speaker of each quote. Some speakers may be used multiple times. Other speakers will not be used at all.

17. "How could I make her understand? Playing the piano wasn't just some- A. Greta
thing I enjoyed. . .It was the part of me that made me me."
B. Mutti
18. "I was having a bad dream. There was a young man chasing me. . ., a
piano student. . .the best sort of Nazi! Arrogant, obnoxious, a bully." C. Frau Vogel

19. "[H]e was no teacher for plunking children." D. Herr Hummel

20. "In Nazi Germany, if you are a decent person, you are always in trouble-- E. Herr von Prettin
either with the government or with your own conscience."
F. Herr Rudolf Beck
21. "I say for shame. . .! Wanting to sell that piano, when you know that Greta
enjoys playing it!" G. Lore Siegler

22. "Bullies are always polite and cordial when someone is kissing their--" H. Elisabeth von Prettin

23. "Play them like toes, not fingers." I. Kurt

24. "There! I was believing in myself and using a lot of past-tense verbs." J. Herr von Prettin

25. "Well, it's the little girl from Demel. . .I need to talk to your piano professor.
I believe he lives in this area. Perhaps you can tell me where."

26. "The day before my first recital, I was so scared I felt like I'd never seen a viola before. . .
You have to relax and trust yourself."

27. "Is it hard to play the piano?. . .My parents are making me take lessons, but I'm not very good at music.
Not--not like you are."

28. "I thank you again for saving my life."

Multiple Choice: For each item, choose the best answer.

29. The setting of this story is:
A. Berlin, Germany, 1938 C. Vienna, Austria, 1939
B. Vienna, Austria, 1938 D. Innsbruck, Austria, 1939

30. What physical complaint does Mutti regularly make?
A. sore ankle B. tight back C. tired feet D. splitting headache

31. How does Greta behave with her mother at the story's start?
A. as if her mother were fragile C. she speaks openly and honestly
B. she flatters her mother with compliments D. she avoids her mother

32. Which of the following is NOT a reason Mutti gives for wanting to get rid of the piano?
A. it's a big extravagance C. it takes up too much room
B. it reminds her of Kurt D. her daughter should be studying at night

33. How does the author utilize music throughout the story?
A. it mimics the characters' voices C. it develops mood in the scene
B. it illustrates the protagonist's feelings D. A, B, C
E. B, C
34. What does Frau Vogel believe would help Mutti's health?
A. aspirin B. Greta leaving her alone C. a new husband D. Dr. Freud's talking cure

35. What is the first indication to the reader that Greta harbors some buried courage?
A. when she walks to Frau Vogel's alone C. when she stays in the dark attic sorting music
B. when she seeks out lessons from Herr Hummel D. when she stands up to Elisabeth

36. From what disease did Kurt die?
A. hypoglycemia B. hypertension C. hemophilia D. leukemia

37. Why doesn't Greta's father live with them?
A. he left when she was three C. he lives with another woman
B. he died of the same disease as his son D. he went to stay with his ailing mother

38. The other people in Greta's life besides Herr Hummel haven't been very good listeners. Which situation is NOT
mentioned by Greta regarding the others?
A. the girls at school all have other best friends
B. Frau Vogel has too much to say to be a good listener
C. Mutti is always tired or ill
D. the Rosewalds are always overwhelmed with business

39. Playing the piano to Herr Hummel's angel results in what?
A. Greta feeling frustrated and despondent
B. Greta feeling excited and energetic
C. Greta feeling relaxed and no longer shy
D. Greta feeling important and famous

40. Greta is told "sometimes it's easier to be the one who leaves than the one who is left behind." To which of the
following does this statement NOT apply?
A. Erika moving to America, leaving Greta behind
B. Frau Vogel leaving her husband, as he wallows in despair
C. Herr Hummel fleeing Germany, unable to help any other Jews
D. Kurt dying, emotionally crippling his mother and, in turn, hurting his sister

41. After she sees the picture of her brother in the music store, Greta sobs. What does Herr Hummel understand
about her emotional state that others may not?
A. she really misses her brother C. part of her feels guilty that she couldn't save him
B. she was always jealous of him D. she is beginning to forget him

42. Whose comments seem to push Greta through her turning point when it comes to becoming confident and
courageous about her recital?
A. Herr Hummel's B. Mutti's C. Frau Vogel's D. Lore's

43 How does Greta deal with her mother the morning of her recital?
A. she doesn't try to protect her emotions anymore C. she completely avoids her
B. she is extra gentle and sweet with her D. she is cruel and attacking

44. Why doesn't Mutti come to the recital?
A. her overwhelming anger prevents it C. her ankle is sprained
B. she is too depressed D. she must finish a dress

45. Why had Kurt told his mother he wanted to die?
A. he was tired of living in pain C. he no longer had any fight in him
B. he could never make a living off music D. he was rejected by the orchestra

46. Why is Greta's schoolmate, Kthe Neff, beat up?
A. because of her dark hair and eyes C. because she insulted a Nazi
B. because Elisabeth finally snapped D. because she was out alone at night

47. Who comes to Herr Hummel's home looking for him while Greta is there alone?
A. Herr von Prettin B. Herr Ornstein C. Herr Rosenwald D. Herr Rudolf Beck

48. How does Greta save Herr Hummel's life?
A. she gets his passport and money to him C. she shouts him a warning from the park
B. she sends for Herr Ornstein D. she send Frau Vogel to warn him

49. A year later, where is Herr Hummel living?
A. Bern B. New York City C. Philadelphia D. Prague

50. Which of the following is NOT a theme in this novel?
A. loss B. haste C. courage D. intimidation