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Created by Brian Thornton
Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA. POJ 1KO
Phone: 705 672-5737
Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of the publisher
All Rights Reserved
Answer Key Novel Study Guide
Answer all questions in sentence form.
Describe the setting in the opening page.
What does the word rumble mean?
Write a brief biography about the author?
To whom is the book dedicated?
What other books has S.E. Hinton written?
From what point of view is the story being told?
What is a protagonist?
Write two or three sentences describing Steve.
How long has it been since Steve last saw Rusty-James?
What problem did Rusty-James have?
Why did Rusty-James' stomach begin to tighten up?
Vocabulary: recognize, profession, moustache, reformatory, solitary, chicks, complicated, clenched, backbone
Enrichment: Explain when you must use quotation marks. How are we able to determine which person or character in the story is talking?
Write a brief imaginary conversation between you and your friend.
Design a bookmark for your novel. Make a cover page or title page for your student study guide.
Find the definition for dialect. Give an example of dialect in the first chapter. Give an example of dialect in the region or community where you live.
Describe the change in setting in chapter two.
Explain the difference between junior high and high school.
What message did Midget deliver to Rusty-James?
Why did Rusty-James always drink chocolate milk?
Where was Rusty-James supposed to meet Biff Wilcox?
What did Steve think was going to happen if Rusty-James took someone along for the meeting with Biff?
How did Smokey get his name?
What assurances did Smokey give to Rusty-James?
Provide some examples to illustrate that Rusty-James is extremely upset.
Describe what Rusty-James had done in the past when Steve wouldn't stop pestering him.
What bad habit does Rusty-James claim to have?
Vocabulary: pool, hangout, cue, annoyed, vacant, cautious, audience, slammed, booth, rattled, nickname, pester, trash, slums, sighed, sincere, flunked, habit, attached
Enrichment: According to Rusty-James, Coke will "rot your insides". Conduct an experiment to see if coke will damage anything. Pour some Coke into a jar or glass and then add a penny or other object. Let it stand for a few days and check to see if there is any change.
Why is Rusty-James' girlfriend angry with him?
What promise had Rusty-James made to his girlfriend?
Compare Rusty-James and Smokey's behaviour before a fight.
What happens to Rusty-James' eyes before a fight?
Biff Wilcox and Rusty-James were cussing one another prior to the fight. Do you think most fights start with angry words? Explain.
Why did someone hand Rusty-James a bicycle chain?
In a short paragraph describe the fight from beginning to end.
How did the Motorcycle Boy deal with Biff Wilcox?
Explain how Motorcycle Boy got his name?
What did Motorcycle Boy mean by the phrase, "I never got past the river"?
Why was Motorcycle Boy expelled from school?
What is the one thing that scares Rusty-James?
Explain why Rusty-James was always making a list of people in his head?
What do we discover about Motorcycle Boy and Rusty-James in the second last sentence of chapter 3?
Vocabulary: shivery, flirting, swig, tension, edgy, alley, sarcastic, husky, cussing, switchblade, lunging, tinge, maniac, splattered, scornfully, jimmied, gleaming, hoarse, concussions, expelled, semester, homesick
Enrichment: Do some research about the development of motorcycles from their earliest days until the present. Present your research to your classmates. Locate some pictures on the internet to accompany your presentation.
In simplistic terms the protagonist in a story is the hero, the good guy or the knight in shining armour. At this point in the story who would you nominate as the candidate(s) for protagonist in Rumble Fish?
Why was Steve absent from school?
Why did Jeannie Martin not like Rusty-James?
Explain the expression, "Them cards was marked".
Why was Motorcycle Boy offered four hundred dollars?
Why did Rusty-James like English class?
What do we learn about Rusty-James' father in this chapter?
Briefly describe Steve and Rusty-James' escape after being interrupted in the act of committing a crime.
What happened that scared Steve enough to go looking for help?
What did Steve do at the end of chapter 4 that "scared the hell" out of Rusty-James?
Vocabulary: stroke, crow, vicious, obnoxious, grade school, bribed, squealed, scrounging, simulated, mags, hubcaps, hollering
Enrichment: Can stealing ever be justified? For example, if you are starving is it wrong to steal food or money to purchase food? Examine the criminal code and discuss the penalties for stealing.
Why did Rusty-James go home?
Who is Cassandra?
Why were Cassandra's arms covered with tracks?
Why didn't Motorcycle Boy respond when Rusty-James asked if there was anything to eat in the house?
Why might nobody believe that Rusty-James' father was well educated and a graduate of law school?
What is Rusty-James real name?
How did Motorcycle Boy respond when his brother suggested that he no longer liked Cassandra?
What did Rusty-James do at midnight?
According to a rumour, what was a local police officer determined to do?
Vocabulary: keel, weirdo, hick, flinch, elite, sassy, junkie, swiping, hooked, rumour
Enrichment: In chapter 5, Rusty-James' father states that the Greeks got anyone who didn't believe Cassandra. Research this topic on the internet to discover what he is referring to when he makes this statement.
Why is Rusty-James not very receptive about transferring to Cleveland High School?
What did Rusty-James tell us he would need if he went to Cleveland High?
What alternative did Mr. Harrigan give Rusty-James if he refused to transfer to his new school?
Rusty-James informs us that Motorcycle Boy has admirers and enemies but that he doesn't have what?
Where did Rusty-James say that Patty had learned to swear?
Whose picture was in a big national magazine?
What did Motorcycle Boy do at the end of the chapter that scared his brother?
Vocabulary: expelled, tolerate, sassing, swatting, alternative, horse, tramp, stalking, burden, novelty
Enrichment: Create a role-playing situation where a counselor is trying to convince Rusty-James that he should turn his life around. Once you have practiced this scenario, act it out for your classmates.
What did Steve do that surprised Rusty-James?
Why did Steve want to chew gum before he went home?
What problems did Motorcycle Boy's color-blindness cause when he was riding his motorcycle?
Why did Steve ask if the ticket seller was blind?
Why did Rusty-James and his brother leave the movie early?
When was the first time that Rusty-James' father got drunk?
What reason does Motorcycle Boy offer to explain his brother's phobia for being alone?
What does Motorcycle Boy reveal to his brother for the first time after a recent trip to California?
Vocabulary: hound, trotted, stride, glare, scowling, prophecy, bail, chameleon, smother, suburbs, slums, perk, marquee, fidgeting, trickle, skin flick
Enrichment: Do some research on color blindness. Describe the various types of color blindness. Make a presentation to your classmates. Locate some simple experiments on the internet that test people for color blindness (You will require a color printer). Describe the various types of color blindness. Make a presentation to your classmates.
Why didn't Rusty-James know exactly where they were or how they got there at the beginning of this chapter?
Explain what Rusty-James meant when he said that Motorcycle Boy was more alone than he would ever be.
According to Motorcycle Boy why did the gang fighting come to an end and when did he predict the gangs would return?
How does Motorcycle Boy respond when Steve wonders aloud why no one has killed him?
Vocabulary: exile, staggered, spooky, sobering, bristle, trotting, gauging, integrated, slaughtered, rasping, clobbered, grateful, vice, primitive, innate
Enrichment: Do some research on gangs. Include in your studies why they formed, their history, contemporary gangs and gangs in your area. Would you join a gang? Explain. Have you ever joined a club or organization?
Why did Rusty-James hurry out of the clinic when the doctor left the room for a few minutes?
What did Rusty-James suggest his brother was capable of doing if he discovered he had stolen the drugs from the doctor?
Why was Rusty-James shocked when he first saw Steve?
Why is Rusty-James so angry that he grabs Steve by the front of his shirt?
Why did Steve think that Motorcycle Boy was so cool?
What advice did Steve give to Rusty-James?
Vocabulary: clinic, lecturing, swiped, legit (see legitimate), tilt, distorted, hood, pester
Enrichment: Research various types of mental illness. Have a professional make a presentation to the class about mental illness and how families cope.
Why did Rusty-James like telling people things that had happened to him?
Why did Rusty-James disapprove of Patty going to Benny's when he was going out with her?
What comment did Smokey make about being president that surprised Rusty-James?
Why was this the last time that Rusty-James could really talk to B.J. Jackson?
Who was the substitute teacher and what message did she have for Rusty-James?
In this chapter we discover the origin of the novel's title. Explain.
Why did Motorcycle Boy tell his brother that he was sorry that he couldn't see colors?
Vocabulary: audience, mugging, medal, communicate, weird, tense, lieutenant, complicated, dingbat, shrugged, hassle, scrounge, reflection
Enrichment: Many people suffer from various phobias. Discuss some common phobias such as fear of heights and make a list of other fears. Do a class or school survey with a prepared list of phobias and see how many people have them. Make a class presentation and choose someone who doesn't suffer from a fear of public speaking. Discuss methods of curing phobias.
Briefly describe what took place on the night of the last rumble.
Why did Rusty-James think it was strange that his father always changed his shirt before going out?
What explanation did Rusty-James' father give when asked about his wife's mental stability?
What roles would Motorcycle Boy have been more suited to if he had been born in a different century or era?
Why did Motorcycle Boy break into the pet store?
What does Rusty-James do for the first time that he can ever remember?
Why did Motorcycle Boy head for the river shortly after the break-in?
According to Rusty-James what was wrong with the police car's flashing lights?
Vocabulary: bashed, classic, preacher, atheist, convert, resemblance, precedent, acute, perception, distinctly, contrary, miscast, pagan, pity, jimmy, frisked
Enrichment: Have you ever felt the desire to live in another century or era? Choose another time period in which to live and explain why you would like to experience living at that time. Compare your thoughts with your classmates to see if anyone chose a similar time period.
What did Steve believe was the secret to getting somewhere in life?
Do you agree with Steve? Explain why or why not.
Why did Rusty-James turn down Steve's invitation to go to the Sugar Shack and dinner?
What do we discover about Rusty-James' memory?
Vocabulary: (none this chapter)
Enrichment: Alienation is a major theme in this novel. Discuss some of the characters that are alienated and also discuss from whom or what they are alienated. Form a small group and discuss ways of making them feel a sense of belonging to family, friends, and society.
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Created by: Brian Thornton, Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA POJ 1KO
Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of the publisher All Rights Reserved