ACT Reading Practice Test 91: LITERARY NARRATIVE

DIRECTIONS: Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.


LITERARY NARRATIVE: This passage is adapted from the memoir "My Glove" by Katherine A. Powers (©2008 by the Creative Nonfiction Foundation).

My oldest personal possession is my baseball
glove, which I bought for eight dollars at Woolworth's
in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in 1960, when I was almost
thirteen. It was a "modern" glove in that it had shape,
5 unlike the ancient specimens I came across in my
grandfather's house that looked as if they'd been fash-
ioned for trolls and exhumed from a bog. My glove
had-has, I should say-a good deal of rawhide lacing.
Its metal eyelets number twenty-five. The strap's black
10 nylon label boasts a "W," which might stand for
"Wilson," except it doesn't. The glove's inside surface
sports another beguiling "W," as well as "Style 2681"
and "[illegible] Set Pocket." I can't remember what sort
of "Set Pocket" it was. Deep, T'd say. The inscription
15 has been flattened out of existence by almost fifty years
of service.

I bought this wonderful thing secretly, because my
father had met the few remarks I'd made about "'think-
ing of getting a glove" with his rote response: "You
20 don't want that." (Other things I "didn't want" were
blue jeans, a bicycle, a penknife, a fishing pole, a per-
manent wave, and a pet of any sort.) A baseball glove?
What would I do with it? Who would I play with? Boys
at school? I was a girl. And what was I going to play
25 with? Not a hardball: we were not having anything to
do with hardballs. That's how people got their teeth
knocked out and the next thing you knew there'd be a
broken window and 'I'll be out there doing my act with
the putty knife."

30 For a week or so I fraternized with my new glove
on the sly. Behind the closed door of the room I shared
with my younger sister, I cradled my glove and pushed
my face in it, inhaling the deep, fertile leather smell it
pumped out. I kneaded it, shaped it, and slammed a
35 ball-a brand-new baseball-in it. Outside the house,
around the corner, out of sight, I found a clandestine
battery mate, the wall of a brick college dormitory that
had no windows on the lowest story. The glove acti-
vated all the baseball boilerplate I had amassed from
40 incessant baseball-book reading. Confronting the wall,
I flicked off the sign, looked in for another, slapped the
glove against my thigh, wound up, and poured one in.
Sometimes (if the wall was hitting) I cupped my knee
with my glove, waiting for the batter to try to punch
45 one through. I snagged the ball, pounced on it, speared
it, whipped it home.

I walked around (out of sight of the house) with
the glove tucked under my arm, wishing I could shove
it in my back pocket like boys did in books, but of
50 course my pants, when I was allowed to wear pants, had
no pockets because my mother had made them. I
wished I knew where to get neat's-foot oil, not avail-
?able at Woolworth's, but no one I could confide in
knew anything about that. Another thing I could not do,
55 I might as well confess, was spit in my glove. I could
direct the occasional spitting noise at the pocket, yes.
But shoot a gob of spit right in there and work it in like
you read about? No, I couldn't.

I brought the glove to school, placing it beside me
60 on the old-fashioned bench seat, on top of my books--
just like the boys did. In that distant day, or perhaps
only in that parochial school, the boys and the girls
were not allowed to play sports together at recess, and
none of the girls had gloves. But we did play softball
65 and my glove had no problem at all handling the larger
sphere. It could handle anything.

Soon enough, unable to keep my love object to
myself, I came clean with my parents. Fairly clean at
least: I kept the hardball under wraps, nestling a tennis
70 ball into the glove's pocket in a prissily responsible
manner. I told my father I thought I better tell him I'd
gotten a baseball glove. It was a really good one. He
massaged it with his thumbs, sort of churning them
around in the glove. The leather seemed okay, he
75 allowed, but he said he didn't see why the glove had to
look the way it did. He whapped his fist in it a few
times and then Look it with both hands and bent it back
and forth as if to reprimand it for the affectation of its
deep pocket. He entered briefly into the subject, famil-
80 iar to all baseball-book readers, of infielders sitting on
their gloves to keep them flat so they could turn the ball
over fast. I said I knew about that.

He said, "Is this the best you can do for a ball?" I
told him that actually I had bought a baseball, but that I
85 only used it against the side of the brick dormitory--
you know the wall that doesn't have any windows low
down you could accidentally hit. He said that's how
you ruin a good ball, leather gets all nicked. I said that
was true.

1. It can most reasonably be inferred from the passage that compared to what the narrator thought her father's reaction would be to her purchase of a baseball glove, his actual reaction is:

A. more angry and regretful.
B. less harsh and dismissive.
C. more blameful and stem.
D. less lighthearted and prideful.

2. In the final two paragraphs (lines 67-89), the predomi-nant approach of the narrator as she responds to her father's pointers and anecdotes about baseball could L best be described as:

F. honest arid direct; she tells her father when he explains something that she already knows.
G. manipulative and self-serving; she pretends to be interested in her father's pointers so he'll be more likely to give her permission to play baseball.
H. helpful and instructive; she gently corrects her father's misconceptions about playing baseball.
J. defensive and bitter; she's offended when her rather speaks as if he knows more about baseball than she does.

3. The narrator claims that the baseball glove she bought in 1960 was "modern" in that it had:

A. a fertile leather smell.
B. a black nylon label.
C. metal eyelets.
D. shape.

4. The passage most strongly supports that the narrator generally responded to her father's comment "You don't want that" (lines 19-20) with:

F. little, if any, surprise.
G. deep and vocal anger.
H. a feeling of pity for her father.
J. appreciation for her father's insight.

5. Based on the passage, which of the following state-ments represents one of the narrator's typical experi-ences with playing baseball or softball at school?

A. The narrator and a few girls who had their own gloves would play baseball on their own.
B. Sometimes the narrator would play baseball with the boys, but usually she would play softball with the girls, without her glove.
C. The narrator would play baseball with the boys, since any girl who had her own glove was allowed to play baseball with them.
D. The narrator would play softball with the girls, and she would be the only one to play with a glove of her own.

6. Which of the following statements, if spoken by the narrator, would best capture the sentiment of the narra-tor's comments in lines 76-79?

F. I could tell that my father wished that he had kept one of his baseball gloves.
G. It was as if my father were scolding my glove for its design.
H. My father bent my glove too forcefully, just to make me mad.
J. My father didn't want to try out my glove, consid-ering that he had seen much better ones.

7. Details in the passage suggest that the narrator's father considered a tennis ball to be:

A. the best choice for the narrator to use for practic-ing baseball, considering she was a girl.
B. a better choice than a hardball for first learning how to catch and quickly turn over a ball.
C. a less-than-ideal choice for practicing baseball, even for the narrator.
D. a less durable choice than a hardball for practicing pitches against a brick wall.

8. In the passage, the narrator describes a brick wall of a college dormitory as:

F. fraternizing with her glove.
G. flicking off the sign.
H. using baseball boilerplate.
J. being a clandestine battery mate.

9. The narrator explains that she didn't carry her baseball glove around in her back pocket for which of the fol-lowing reasons?

A. She felt the action was crass, much like spitting in her glove.
B. Her homemade pants didn't have pockets.
C. She needed to hide her glove, since she hadn't told her parents about it yet.
D. Her glove didn't fit in her small back pocket.

10. The narrator characterizes herself as coming only "fairly clean" (line 68) with her parents because she:

F. didn't tell them right away about her glove.
G. had been using her sister's tennis balls to practice baseball.
H. didn't tell them at first that she owned a hardball
J. had been practicing throwing a tennis ball against a dormitory wall