ACT Reading OG Test 1 - Passage I

Questions 1-10 are based on the following passage.

LITERARY NARRATIVE: This passage is adapted from the novel A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar (©2008 by Randa Jarrar).

I don't remember how I came to know this story,

and I don't know how I can possibly still remember it.

On August 2, the day I was born, my baba (father)

stood at the nurses' station of St. Elizabeth's Medical
5 Center of Boston with a pen between his fingers

and filled out my birth certificate. He had raced down the

stairs seconds after my birth, as soon as the doctor had

assured him that I was all right. While filling out my

certificate, Baba realized that he didn't know my sex
10 for sure but that didn't matter ; he'd always known I

was a boy, had spoken to me as a boy while I was in

Mama, and as he approached the box that contained the

question, NAME OF CHILD, he wrote with a quivering

hand and in his best English cursive, Nidal (strife;
15 struggle). It was not my grandfather' s name, and Baba,

whose name is Waheed and who was known during his

childhood as Said, was the only son of the family, so

the onus of renaming a son after my grandfather fell

squarely.upon his shoulders. It was an onus he, brushed
20 off his then-solid shoulders unceremoniously, like a

piece of lint or a flake of dandruff; these are analogies

my grandfather would the next day angrily pen in a

letter sent from Jenin to Boston.

When he' d filled out the entire form,Baba regally
25 relayed it to the nurse, who he remembers was called

Rhonda. Then Baba, in flip-flops, turned around and

raced up the white-tiled hallway, bypassed the elevator,

ran up the three floors to the maternity ward, and burst

into the birthing room.

30 “How is my queen?” said Baba, caressing my

mother's face.

“She's lovely, ”Mama said, thinking he meant me,

“and eight whole pounds', the buffalo! No wonder my

back was so ...” Baba s brow furrowed, and Mama
35 couldn' t finish her complaint, because,eager to correct

his mistake, Baba was already out the door and running

down the white-tiled hallway, past new mothers and

their red-faced babies, past hideous robes in uncalled­

for patterns, bypassing the elevator, and sliding down
40 the banister of the staircase. He raced on, screaming for

Rhonda, where is Rhonda, help me, Rhonda, an outcry

that provided the staff with three weeks worth of


Rhonda einerged with the' birth certificate in hand,
45 and Baba, who is not usually known for laziness,

grabbed a pen and -added at. the end of my name a

heavy, reflexive, feminizing, possessive, cursive “I.”

Moments later, Mama, who had just been informed

of my nom de guerre, got out of bed and walked us to
50 the elevator, the entire time ignoring my baba, who was

screaming, 'Nidali is a beautiful name, ' so unique, come

on Ruz, don't be so rash, you mustn't be walking, you

need to rest

Mama must not have fought long, or who knows:
55 maybe she went to the nurses' station and talked to

Rhonda and maybe Rhonda told her that the birth cer-

tificate was already sent out-that Mama would have to

go to the office of the City of Boston clerk and see the

registrar of vital statistics where they keep the birth
60 and death certificates-and maybe Mama, who is the

most superstitious of all humans (even more ,than Baba,

and to that she'll attest) shuddered at the thought of

taking me, a newborn, through the heat and the Boston

traffic to a place where, she must 've imagined,' people
65 went to fill out death certificates, and she must’ ve fur-

ther imagined that going on such a trip, to such a place,

would surely bring about my death-because I still

have my name.

Whenever I imagined Baba running out just after
70 my birth and sliding through the hallways like a movie

star, I knew he must have embellished. Baba liked to do

that: tell stories that were impossible but true all at

once, especially if those stories made him look like a

rock star. This is because he used to be a writer and was
75 now an architect. Our little apartment was filled with

blueprints and plastic models of houses instead of note-

books and poetry: a reality that filled him with great

sadness. So Baba put that sadness into these stories.

Mama liked to expose him when he told such sto-
80 ries; she was his paparazzo, his story-cop. This was

because she was the true rock star: a musician who no

longer played music. Our house was filled with Baba's

blueprints and plastic models of houses and with my

schoolwork and toys and dolls and a hundred half pairs
85 of socks instead of a piano: a reality that filled her with

great sadness.

I knew from the beginning that home meant

embellishing, and that's why I loved school. Teachers

were there; they taught us facts based on reality.

Question 1 The point of view from which the passage is told is best described as that of