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Oscar de la Torre's Story in Everyday Heroes

40 Questions
Oscar De La Torre

Test your understanding of the story about Oscar de la Torre from the reading book "Everyday Heroes" by Beth Johnson (Townsend Press).

Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Oscar owns a car.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 2. 
    Oscar lives in a small apartment in a building that has a lot of cockroaches.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 3. 
    In the sentence "He lives in a small apartment in a building infested with cockroaches."  "infested with" means:
    • A. 

      "with no"

    • B. 

      "that has a few"

    • C. 

      "filled with many"

  • 4. 
    What does Oscar think is more valuable than anything he could buy?
    • A. 

      Helping people like himself

    • B. 

      Working hard like his parents

    • C. 

      Living in Santa Monica, California

  • 5. 
    Oscar earned his diploma from Santa Monica High School, a college degree from Santa Monica City College, and will go to graduate school at the University of Texas.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 6. 
    How does the author describe the neighborhood where Oscar grew up?
    • A. 

      The Pico Corridor is a beautiful and safe area in Santa Monica, California.

    • B. 

      The Pico Corridor is a very poor area with a lot of crime in Santa Monica, California.

  • 7. 
    Oscar's parents did not speak English, but they knew a lot about American culture.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 8. 
    Oscar has a lot of brothers and sisters.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 9. 
    Where were Oscar's parents from?
    • A. 

      El Salvador

    • B. 

      The United States

    • C. 

      Mexico

    • D. 

      Santa Monica

  • 10. 
    How did Oscar meet a police officer for the first time?
    • A. 

      He met the police officer during a special program at his school.

    • B. 

      He met the police officer when his father took him to the police station to register his bicycle.

    • C. 

      He met the police officer when the officer gave him a ticket for riding on the handlebars of his friend's bicycle.

  • 11. 
    What did the police officer who gave Oscar a ticket when he was 8 years old tell Oscar?
    • A. 

      The police officer told Oscar that he would "grow up to be another Mexican criminal."

    • B. 

      The police officer told Oscar to "be careful the next time you ride a bicycle."

    • C. 

      The police officer told Oscar that he was "too young to ride a bicycle."

  • 12. 
    Why did Oscar think he was "bad" when he was a child?
    • A. 

      His parents told him that when he got the ticket for riding on the handlebars of the bicycle.

    • B. 

      When he looked around his neighborhood, everything that "white" people had was nice. Since he was "brown," he thought he was bad because "brown" people in his neighborhood didn't have nice things.

    • C. 

      "White folks with nice houses and nice cars" told him he was bad.

  • 13. 
    Oscar avoided gangs, drugs and violence when he was young because he didn't want to be "bad."
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 14. 
    According to the story, what types of things did Oscar and his friends steal when he was 9 (and 10)?   Check all of the correct answers
    • A. 

      Bicycles

    • B. 

      Trucks

    • C. 

      Car stereos

    • D. 

      Crack cocaine

    • E. 

      Wallets

  • 15. 
    Even though Oscar stole things when he was young, he never was caught, so he never spent any time in jail.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 16. 
    When Oscar was 11 years old, his friends started using drugs.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 17. 
    Why didn't Oscar use drugs when he saw two of his friends try it the first time?
    • A. 

      He was scared when he saw his friend's heart beating very quickly.

    • B. 

      He didn't have enough money to buy crack cocaine.

    • C. 

      He remembered what the police officer told him about becoming a criminal, and he didn't want to be a criminal.

  • 18. 
    Gang violence grew worse in the Pico Corridor where Oscar lived after people there started using and selling drugs.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 19. 
    When Oscar was a teenager, another teenager pointed a gun at him, but he didn't shoot him.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 20. 
    Gun violence was never a big problem in Oscar's neighborhood.  None of his friends were shot or wounded by guns and he rarely hears gunshots at night.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 21. 
    What happened to change Oscar's life when he was 12 years old?
    • A. 

      His parents moved to Texas.

    • B. 

      Oscar was arrested and sent to jail.

    • C. 

      Oscar saw his 14 year old neighbor die after he was shot.

    • D. 

      Oscar became a gang member.

  • 22. 
    School had always been easy for Oscar, he was just lazy when he was a child.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 23. 
    When Oscar was in junior high, what grades did he get?
    • A. 

      A's and B's

    • B. 

      B's and C's

    • C. 

      C's and D's

    • D. 

      D's and F's

  • 24. 
    Oscar was suspended three times in junior high.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 25. 
    In the sentence "The school suspended me three times."  "suspended" means:
    • A. 

      To be kicked out of school (told to leave without being able to return)

    • B. 

      To be sent to the principal's office for 3 hours

    • C. 

      To be temporarily told to stay home (told to leave for 1 or more days but able to return after that time).

    • D. 

      Told to move to a different school

  • 26. 
    Oscar started to play on the football team in high school.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 27. 
    What started to happen when Oscar was on the high school football team?
    • A. 

      He never made any new friends, so he decided to join the same gang his friends were in.

    • B. 

      He started to visit the houses where his teammates lived and saw how nice they were.

    • C. 

      He decided to be a mechanic like his father, so he took auto mechanics classes.

  • 28. 
    When Oscar was in high school, he learned that his friends had nice things (good cars, vacations, big beautiful houses) because their parents were professionals: doctors, lawyers, accountants; and that their success came from education.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 29. 
    How did sports help Oscar's grades in high school?
    • A. 

      Oscar learned about discipline from playing sports; in order to be successful, he had to work hard, not give up and listen to the coaches. He started to do the same things in his classes and his grades improved.

    • B. 

      Because he was a good football player, his teachers gave him good grades.

    • C. 

      Oscar became popular because he played football, and other students helped him do his homework and take tests for him.

  • 30. 
    When Oscar was in the eleventh grade, he visited a high school on the East Coast and met Barbara Walters.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 31. 
    When Oscar was in the eleventh grade, he was interviewed on a TV news program about education in America.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 32. 
    Oscar became the first Mexican-American student body president of Santa Monica High since 1948.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 33. 
    In the sentence "It was great for all of us 'underachievers' to work on the campaign." the word "underachievers" is in quotes.  Why?
    • A. 

      To make it easier to see and read.

    • B. 

      To indicate that you should look up the word in the dictionary.

    • C. 

      To show that Oscar didn't really believe or think that he and his friends were "underachievers." (Other people called them that, but they didn't really think that.)

  • 34. 
    Oscar was able to enroll in University right after high school because his grades were excellent and he got the highest score on his college entrance exams.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 35. 
    The university that Oscar wanted to attend offered him the opportunity to participate in a special program that would help him prepare to be successful in college.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 36. 
    What happened as a result of Oscar's participation in the Bridge program at California State University at Chico?
    • A. 

      Oscar did well in the program and was admitted to the university.

    • B. 

      Oscar dropped out and returned to Santa Monica.

    • C. 

      Oscar didn't do well in the Bridge program, so he applied to the University of Texas instead.

  • 37. 
    Oscar didn't have a very good grade average at the California State University at Chico, so he didn't graduate.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 38. 
    Oscar became the first Latino student body president at the California State University at Chico.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 39. 
    What happened after Oscar graduated from the California State University at Chico?
    • A. 

      He entered the Bridge program.

    • B. 

      He returned to his neighborhood in Santa Monica and joined a gang.

    • C. 

      He got accepted to the graduate school at the University of Texas and returned to his neighborhood to work, so he could pay the tuition.

    • D. 

      He got accepted to the graduate school at the University of Texas and returned to his neighborhood to help the kids their realize that they too should do well in school and get an education.

  • 40. 
    Now that Oscar has his college degree, what types of activities does Oscar do with the young people in his neighborhood in order to help them attend Santa Monica Community College?  Check all of the correct answers.
    • A. 

      He brings teenagers from the neighborhood to the college so they can see what a college is like.

    • B. 

      He helps them hide from the police when the police come to the neighborhood.

    • C. 

      He helps them sell drugs and steal cars.

    • D. 

      He talks to them and tells them there are ways to have a better life.

    • E. 

      He shows them students working hard to get a better life.