4th grade Literature test

The children will read a one page story and prove the validity of various statements by stating evidence from the text.

TEST is May 20.



A Sudden Slice of Summer  by ReadWorks


The snow began to fall early this year, in November, before Susannah even had a chance to   bring her purple winter coat out of the closet.  Cold white confetti came down on the city of Montreal morning, noon, and night . The other kids in her class loved the snow. They love that sometimes, when the winds picked up and the roads turned icy, school was cancelled. They liked to build towering forts and snowmen.

Susannah despised the snow. She hated everything about winter. Her family had taken a trip to Florida two winters ago, and she wished that they could live there all year round. She and her sister had bobbed up and down in the ocean waves with goggles on, searching for colored fish in the water. In the mornings, her mother had squeezed fresh juice for her family from the Florida-grown oranges. With her brother and sister, Susannah had built a magnificent castle on the beach. She liked the feeling of sand between her fingers. It stuck together just like snow, but it didn’t make your teeth chatter.

 At the end of this week, Susannah’s family was going to spend the weekend at a snow resort. They would ride chairlifts to the top of a frosted mountain and follow the slopes back down.   Susannah refused to go with them. She wanted nothing to do with that thick, white, powdery stuff. It was bad enough that she had to trudge through it every day on her way to school. So arrangements were made for Grandma to stay at the house with Susannah. She was determined to stay warm and dry.

Susannah’s parents finished packing up the car. Her siblings piled into the backseat. Soon the station wagon disappeared from view, and Grandma settled into an armchair in front of the     television. In a few quick minutes, she was asleep. Susannah glanced outside and gave a sigh. Her hot chocolate was just about gone. She was about to turn towards the sink to rinse her mug when, out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of something green. Something green? In her white backyard? She pressed her face up against the kitchen window.

 There, in the corner of the yard closest to the sliding back door, the snow had melted away.  In its place, a small tree with low-hanging fruit was growing. Susannah immediately ran out to it. Elsewhere, the snowflakes continued to swirl, but not a single one landed on this bright patch of ground, which was covered in sand. The sun beamed down on Susannah so hard, in fact, that she was hot!  Half-buried by her feet were a plastic shovel and pail. She couldn’t believe it. A small slice of tropical holiday she had been missing had landed right behind her house. She ran inside for her bathing suit.

For the next few hours, while Grandma lay dozing, Susannah sprawled out on her own little    beach. At first, she could not stop smiling. She giddily stretched out her limbs and moved        them back and forth, making a snow angel— no, a sand angel. She read a bit of a book. She picked a few oranges and unpeeled them one by one.

After that, she didn’t quite know what to do. Apparently, the pleasures of the warm sand       beach were a lot less fun when there was no one around to share them with. 

By late afternoon, Susannah wasn’t feeling very well. She had forgotten to lather herself in suntan lotion and her skin had turned a very dark shade of pink. She had eaten so many sweet oranges that she now had a stomachache. She had gotten some sand in her eye and had to blink furiously to get it out. She glanced over to the other side of the yard. She was relunctant to admit it, but the snow looked refreshing.  She imagined racing her siblings to the bottom of that frosted mountain. Perhaps skiing with her family wouldn’t have been so terrible?  She was flushed and bored, but most of all she missed them.  

Savannah trudged inside, showered the sweat and the sand off of her body and then joined   her Grandma, who had finally awoken. Before bed, she crept over to the backdoor and peered out. The sand, the tree, and the bucket were gone. Susannah began to think that she had imagined it. She wasn’t that disappointed. Her brother and sister would be home in the morning and she wanted to play with them. Even if it meant being cold.

 The car pulled into the driveway. She welcomed both of her parents home with hugs and      gave one to her grandmother, too, who was preparing to leave. Then she pulled on her          snowsuit and joined her siblings in the backyard. They were sculpting animals and were surprised to see her there. She dropped to her knees, without explanation, and began to work.  Her hat was pulled low over her ears, her mittens were lined with wool, and suddenly  her sister’s hand was over hers, helping to smooth out a fish’s curved tail. She could wait for   summer. She was warm enough.  


Sample questions:

1. What season does Susannah dislike at the beginning of the story?

2. Where do the main events of this story take place?

 3. Susannah does not like being outside in the snow.  What evidence from the story supports this statement?

  4. Why does Susannah like spending the winter in Florida more than in Montreal?

 5. What is this story mainly about?

6. Read the following sentences:

“The snow began to fall early this year, in November, before Susannah even had a chance to bring her purple winter coat out of the closet. Cold white confetti came down on the city of Montreal morning, noon, and night. . . .” What does the phrase cold white confetti refer to?

 7. This story contained a flashback. In which paragraph was the flashback?

8. Describe how Susannah feels about winter and snow by the end of the story.

9. In the story it says Susannah realized that the pleasures of the warm sand beach were a lot less fun when there was no one around to share them with.  Explain the reasons why Susannah loved her vacation in Florida so much.

10. Read the following sentences about Susannah from the end of the story:

 “Her hat was pulled low over her ears, her mittens were lined with wool, and suddenly her sister’s hand was over hers, helping to smooth out the fish’s curved tail. She could wait for summer. She was warm enough.” Explain why Susannah would feel “warm enough” even though she was still playing in the cold snow.