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ACT Reading Test - 3

Reading Questions

DIRECTIONS: The passage in this test is followed by several questions. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question. You may refer to the passage as often as necessary.
Miep Gies: A Dangerous Secret
1 Miep Gies didn't look like a criminal. To a casual observer, she appeared meek and obedient. But every day for two years, Miep Gies broke the law. Today, the world salutes her for having the courage and compassion to do that.

2 In 1939, Miep (pronounced MEEP) was living and working in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She worked for a company that sold jam-making products. That fall, World War II broke out. A few months later, Hitler and his Nazi soldiers took over the Netherlands. Miep knew Hitler hated all Jews. Still, it was shocking to see Nazi soldiers begin to round up Jews and ship them off to forced labor camps. Miep Gies was not a Jew, but she hated what was happening. Rage smoldered inside her every time she saw a Nazi uniform.

3 By 1942, Miep's own boss was in danger. His name was Otto Frank. Mr. Frank desperately wanted to protect his wife Edith and their two daughters, Margot and Anne. But what could he do? As a Jew, he had no rights. He and his family weren't allowed to leave Amsterdam. They weren't allowed even to ride the local streetcars or own a bicycle. They had to wear big yellow stars on their coats so Nazi soldiers could spot them easily. And any day now, the soldiers would come and take them all away.

4 Miep knew that some Jews tried to avoid capture. Many ran for the coast, hoping to get onto a ship bound for England. Others snuck out to the countryside, hiding in abandoned shops or old barns. Miep wondered if the Franks had ever thought of fleeing. But she kept her questions to herself. She was sure Mr. Frank would do what he thought best.

5 Then one day, Otto Frank called Miep into his office.

6 "Miep," he said, "I have a secret to confide in you."

7 Miep listened as Otto explained his plan. There were some unfinished rooms in the attic above his office. He wanted to hide his family there. Would Miep be willing to help him?

8 It was a lot to ask. In order to help the Franks, Miep would somehow have to smuggle food into the attic every day. What if someone saw her? Besides, how would she get the food in the first place? Wartime rationing meant that people could buy only enough to feed their own families. If Miep started buying food for four extra people, surely someone would notice. The neighbors would becomes suspicious and report her to the authorities.

9 Furthermore, it was not just four people who would be hiding in the attic. Mr. Frank had invited a business partner to come with him, as well as the man's wife and son. So Miep would really need to take care of seven people.

10 Miep knew all this. She knew that if the Nazis found out, they would probably send her to a labor camp, too. Yet when Otto Frank turned to her, Miep never hesitated. Would she help? "Of course," she said quickly.

11 Mr. Frank hoped to prepare the attic rooms before they moved in. He wanted to bring in clothing and arrange the beds. But there wasn't time. In early July, Margot Frank received a notice in the mail telling her that she had been assigned to a labor camp. She was supposed to report right away. When Otto Frank heard that, he immediately contacted Miep. Early the next morning, they made their move. Miep brought Margot to the secret attic rooms. The rest of the group followed a short time later.

12 And so began 25 months of hiding. The two families in the attic suffered in many ways. Their secret rooms were hot in the summer, cold in the winter. During the day, when the building was filled with office workers, they had to be very quiet. When sickness struck, they simply had to wait it out. There was no way they could get medical attention. Anne's eyes began to bother her, and she suffered from bad headaches. Her parents knew she needed glasses, but they couldn't risk sending her out to an eye doctor. Although all seven people worked together as best they could, their nerves grew jagged. At times, tension filled the air.

13 Miep, meanwhile, had problems of her own. Every morning she went to work early. She had to get to the office before the regular workers arrived. Quickly she slipped up to the attic, where her friends gave her a list of the food they needed. Then later each day, Miep went shopping. She tried to appear casual when she walked into a store and ordered large quantities of food.

14 After a while, Miep began to trust one particular grocer. He never asked questions, but filled her orders as best he could. Miep believed he understood-and approved of-what she was doing. But one day when she entered his shop, the grocer wasn't there. In his place was his terror-stricken wife.

15 "What's the matter?" asked Miep.

16 "My husband's been arrested," the woman whispered frantically. "They've taken him away. He was hiding Jews. Two Jews. I don't know what they'll do to him."

17 Miep's heart raced. She felt a wave of fear for this gentle man who had been so good to her. She knew it could just as easily have been she who had been discovered. In addition, she knew that now it would be harder than ever to get food for the people in the attic.

18 Luckily, Miep found another grocer who was willing to sell her extra food. Still, it was getting more and more difficult to find anything decent. The Nazis were diverting food supplies away from Amsterdam to feed their own troops. Sometimes Miep spent hours shopping and still would up with half-rotten vegetables and spoiled meat.

19 The months dragged by. Miep struggled to keep up the spirits of those in the attic. She brought them news of the war-especially when the news was encouraging. She smuggled in armloads of books for them to read. She brought writing paper so young Anne could keep a diary. She managed to find sweets for the children. Once Miep and her husband even spent the night in the attic to help relieve their friends' boredom and unhappiness.

20 Miep's life became even more stressful when she and her husband agreed to hide a Jewish boy in their own apartment. Miep also took pity on her dentist, a Jewish man named Fritz Pfeffer. She got the Franks' permission to bring him to the attic to live.

21 By the summer of 1944, Miep had reason to hope that the war would soon end. Hitler's troops were retreating from several European positions. But the war did not end soon enough for the Frank family. Miep had been exceedingly careful. She had tried never to draw attention to herself or her activities. Still, someone figured out what was going on and turned her in. Records show that the Nazis received an anonymous phone call telling them about the Jews in the attic.

22 On August 4, Nazis raided Miep's office building. They went directly to the secret rooms. The next thing Miep knew, her eight friends were being marched away by Nazi police. It was the last time she ever saw most of them.

23 Miep herself was lucky. She was not arrested. After the Nazis took away her friends, she hurried to the attic. There, lying on the floor, she spotted Anne's diary. She picked it up and hid it in her desk drawer. It was a dangerous thing to keep, for it showed how deeply involved Miep had been in the conspiracy to save the Franks. But Miep didn't care. She promised herself she would keep the diary safe until Anne returned.

24 Tragically, Anne Frank did not return. She and the others were sent to concentration camps. Although Otto Frank survived the ordeal, none of the others made it out alive. Miep was shattered when she learned the news.

25 After the war, Miep gave Anne's diary to Otto. In time, he decided to publish it. That way, he hoped, others could learn how vibrant and kind-hearted his young daughter had been. 26 Many years later, Miep herself wrote a book, which she called Anne Frank Remembered. In it she wrote, "I am not a hero...I was only willing to do what was asked of me and what seemed necessary at the time." But on this point, the rest of the world disagrees. To people who know the story, Miep Gies is a hero. She is a woman of remarkable courage and conviction. She will always be remembered as a beacon of goodness and light during some of history's darkest days.

Billings, Henry and Melissa, Ed. "Miep Gies: A Dangerous Secret." Heroes: 21 True Stories of Courage and Honor. Lincolnwood: Jamestown Publishers, 1999. Print.

1. The point of view from which the story is told can best be described as:
A) Miep Gies telling the story of how she helped the Franks hide from the Nazis.
B) Anne Frank describing how her father's co-worker helped her family hide from the Nazis.
C) A narrator describing the horrible treatment of the Jews by the Nazis as he experienced it.
D) An unidentified narrator describing the courage of Miep Gies who helped the Frank family hide from the Nazis.


2. Which of the following statements is supported by the passage?
A) Although what Miep did was illegal, she was justified in doing it.
B) Miep should not be considered a hero because what she did was illegal.
C) Miep was relieved when someone finally made the phone call because she would no longer have to worry about getting caught.
D) Miep did not consider herself a hero only because Otto Frank was the only one who survived the concentration camp.


3. It can reasonably be inferred from the passage that which of the following is Miep's feeling about what she did?
A) Although it was dangerous, she had to do it because Otto Frank was her boss and she would get fired otherwise.
B) It did not matter that it was dangerous because it was the right thing to do.
C) If she hid the Franks, she would be considered a hero.
D) She knew she was safe because she was not a Jew.


4.Paragraph 12 establishes all of the following EXCEPT:?
A) The attic was very uncomfortable.
B) The Franks did not want to share their space once it got cramped.
C) Anne had eye problems but could not see a doctor.
D) When someone got sick in the attic, they just had to suffer through it.


5. Which of the following statements is NOT supported by the passage?
A) The grocer approved of Miep's actions because he was also hiding Jews.
B) The people living in the secret attic did not always get along well.
C) The Nazis discovered the Frank's hiding place because Miep was careless.
D) Not everyone in Amsterdam was helping to hide Jews.


From (Book): I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - by Maya Angelou

1 The mourners on the front benches sat in a blue-serge, black-crepe-dress gloom. A funeral hymn made its way around the church tediously but successfully. It eased into the heart of every gay thought, into the care of each happy memory. Shattering the light and hopeful: "On the other side of Jordan, there is a peace for the weary, there is a peace for me." The inevitable destination of all living things seemed but a short step away. I had never considered before that dying, death, dead, passed away, were words and phrases that might be even faintly connected with me.

2 But on that onerous day, oppressed beyond relief, my own mortality was borne in upon me on sluggish tides of doom.

3 No sooner had the mournful song run its course than the minister took to the altar and delivered a sermon that in my state gave little comfort. Its subject was, "Thou art my good and faithful servant with whom I am well pleased." His voice enweaved itself through the somber vapors left by the dirge. In a monotonous tone he warned the listeners that "this day might be your last," and the best insurance against dying a sinner was to "make yourself right with God" so that on the fateful day He would say, "Thou art my good and faithful servant with whom I am well pleased." ...

4 Mr. Taylor and the high church officials were the first to file around the bier to wave farewell to the departed and get a glimpse of what lay in store for all men. Then on heavy feet, made more ponderous by the guilt of the living viewing the dead, the adult church marched up to the coffin and back to their seats. Their faces, which showed apprehension before reaching the coffin, revealed, on the way down the opposite aisle, a final confrontation of their fears. Watching them was a little like peeping through a window when the shade is not drawn flush. Although I didn't try, it was impossible not to record their roles in the drama.

5 And then a black-dressed usher stuck her hand out woodenly toward the children's rows. There was the shifty rustling of unreadiness but finally a boy of fourteen led us off and I dared not hang back, as much as I hated the idea of seeing Mrs. Taylor. Up the aisle, the moans and screams merged with the sickening smell of woolen black clothes worn in summer weather and green leaves wilting over yellow flowers. I couldn't distinguish whether I was smelling the clutching sound of misery or hearing the cloying odor of death. 6 It would have been easier to see her through the gauze, but instead I looked down on the stark face that seemed suddenly so empty and evil. It knew secrets that I never wanted to share.

"from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1970). ref: http://grammar.about.com/od/shortpassagesforanalysis/a/angeloustyle.htm 2013. Web. 18 December 2013.

6. According to the first paragraph, the narrator:
A) Has never thought about death.
B) Does not take death seriously.
C) Realized her own mortality for the first time.
D) Finds death to be humorous.


7. As it is used in the passage (Paragraph 3), enweaved most closely means:
A) Clung
B) Attached
C) Moved
D) Forced


8. The narrator's statement, "It knew secrets that I never wanted to share" (Paragraph 6) most likely means:

A) Mrs. Taylor's face represented someone who had experienced death, and the narrator did not want to know what death is like.
B) Mrs. Taylor was an evil woman who kept secrets.
C) Mrs. Taylor's face looked frightening because it was empty.
D) Mrs. Taylor had told the narrator secrets that she really did not want to know.


9. It can reasonably be inferred from the passage that the narrator is:
A) An infant
B) A child
C) A teenager
D) An adult


10. From the narrator's statement, "I dared not hang back" (Paragraph 5), it is reasonable to infer that the narrator:
A) Did not like the other children.
B) Feared being alone at the funeral.
C) Did not like Mr. Taylor.
D) Feared getting in trouble for not listening.




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