This printable supports Common Core ELA Standards ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1, ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2, ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3 and ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.6

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Analyzing a Character (Grade 9)

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Analyzing a Character

Rossamand was a boy with a girl's name. All the other children of Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls teased and tormented him almost daily because of his name. And this day Rossamand would have to fight his worst tormentor, Gosling - a boy who had caused him more misery than any other, a boy he worked hard to avoid. Unfortunately, when it was time to practice harundo, there was no escaping him.

At Rossamand's feet was the edge of a wide chalk circle, drawn upon floorboards so thoroughly cleaned that the grain protruded as polished ridges. Opposite of him stood his enemy. Regretting the ill fortune that had paired him with his old foe, Rossamand frowned across the circle; sour-faced and lank-haired, Gosling stared back scornfully. The blankness behind Gosling's eyes terrified Rossamand; his opponent was a heartless shell. He delighted in causing pain, and Rossamand knew that he would have to fight better today than he ever had before if he was to avoid a beating.

"I'm going to thrash you good, Rosy Posy," Gosling hissed.

"Enough of that, young master Gosling!" barked the portly cudgel-master, Instructor Barthomaus. "You know the Hundred Rules, boy. Silence before a fight!"

Both Rossamand and Gosling wore padded sacks of dirty white cotton, tied with black ribbons over their day-clothes. Each boy held a stock - a straight stick about two and a half feet long. Harundo was a form of stick-fighting, and these were their weapons. Rossamand was never able to get a comfortable hold on a stock. With the fight about to start, he shifted his awkward grip again. He tried to remember all the names, moves, and positions he had ever been taught. The Hundred Rules of Harundo made perfect sense, but no matter how often he had trained or fought in practice, he could never make his body obey them.

In Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls, the only room large enough for harundo was the dining hall. Trestles and benches had been dragged clear and left higgledy-piggledy against the walls. The cudgel-master raised his whistle, and the two dozen other children standing around the circle fell silent. Rossamand noticed some of them grinning knowingly. Others stared - slack-jawed and wondering - while the littlest shuddered with fear.

Gosling twirled his stock with a swagger.

Rossamand looked to the over-cleaned floorboards and waited.

The whistle shrilled.

Gosling strutted into the ring. "Time to get your beating, Missy," he gloated. "You've managed to dodge me all week, so you'll suffer extra today."

"That is enough, Gosling!" bellowed Barthomaus.

Rossamand barely heard either of them. The Hundred Rules were racing madly about his mind as he stepped into the chalk circle. If he could just get them straight in his head, surely his limbs would follow!

With a venomous snarl, Gosling rushed him.
The author describes Rossamand as not very confident with the fighting stick. The author does this in order to?
  1. make the reader lose respect for Rossamand.
  2. provide detail about his friendship with Gosling.
  3. suggest that Rossamand will flee the fight.
  4. build suspense as the fight gets closer.
What is harundo?
  1. A form of karate
  2. A form of stick fighting
  3. A form of baseball
  4. A form of hockey
Rossamand's name affects his confidence.
  1. True
  2. False
Which word DOES NOT describe Gosling?
  1. Bully
  2. Heartless
  3. Intimidating
  4. Timid
The other kids think Rossamand will win the match.
  1. True
  2. False
A cudgel is a short stick used as a weapon. Based on the definition and its use in the story, a CUDGEL-MASTER is most likely...
  1. Someone who is skilled at using a cudgel
  2. Someone who oversees matches with cudgels
  3. Someone who makes cudgels
  4. Someone who fights with cudgels
What are Goslings harundo skills like? How can you tell?

The Hundred Rules are designed to...
  1. Provide order and routine during a fight
  2. Teach individuals how to fight
  3. Encourage trash-talking and competition
  4. Both a and b
What does Rossamand have the most trouble with?

The passage makes it seem like Rossamand will win the match.
  1. True
  2. False

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