Reading Comprehension Quiz

A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem 

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for July 3.

He was born and died in Italy, yet the influence on America of a grubby street urchin named Salvatore Lucania ranged from the lights of Broadway to every level of law enforcement, from national politics to the world economy. First, he reinvented himself as Charles ("Lucky") Luciano. Then he reinvented the Mafia.

His story was Horatio Alger with a gun, an ice pick, and a dark vision of Big Business. He was nine when the family immigrated from Sicily to New York City. He took to the streets early, was busted almost at once for shoplifting, and was busted later for delivering drugs. He was a tough teenage hoodlum on the Lower East Side when his gang targeted a skinny Jewish kid whose bold defiance won their respect. That kid was Meyer Lansky. The encounter led to a merger of Jewish and Italian gangs and a lifelong friendship. When Luciano rebuilt the mob, Lansky was the architect. A ruthless natural ability enabled them to rise through the ranks of their chosen profession. Sometimes they simply eliminated the ranks - when they downsized colleagues, it was permanent.

1. The downsized colleagues
A. had to find other work.
B. were reassigned.
C. were murdered.
D. were pushed out.
2. Ranks are
A. officers.
B. privates.
C. toadies.
D. members apart from the leaders.
3. Horatio Alger was
A. an author whose heroes achieved wealth by hard work.
B. the character in a book.
C. a historical figure.
D. a politician.
4. The Arabic word origin of Mafia meant
A. eliminate.
B. corrupt.
C. Sicilian.
D. aggressive, boasting.

The information comes from an article by Edna Buchanan at Time Magazine Most Important People of the Century.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-C..........2-D..........3-A..........4-D
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at