Questions for I Survived: The Great Molasses Flood, 1919

by Lauren Tarshis

Chapter 1

  1. What is the setting (time and place)
  2. Who are the two main characters?

Chapter 2

  1. Where is Carmen from?
  2. How did Carmen’s mother die?
  3. Where does Tony live?

Chapter 3

  1. Who is Rosie?
  2. Why can they get molasses from the large tank?
  3. Name three things molasses used to make.

Chapter 4

  1. Where is the strange noise coming from?
  2. Why does Rosie lick Tony’s face?

Chapter 5

  1. What is wrong with Carmen’s father?
  2. What is the newspaper boy shouting?
  3. What bad thing happened after the earthquake in Italy?

Chapter 6

  1. What happened to Carmen’s father?
  2. Where does she live now?
  3. What are Mr and Mrs Grasso planning?

Chapter 7

  1. Where does Carmen go when she is sad?
  2. How many children do the Grassos have?

Chapter 8

  1. What does Carmen lose when she falls asleep?
  2. What is Rosie eating?
  3. Who finds Carmen and Rosie?

Chapter 9

  1. What is making “bang” noises like bullets?
  2. Why does Carmen fall off Rosie?
  3. How tall is the wave of molasses?

Chapter 10

  1. What do Tony and Carmen hang on to?
  2. Name three things they see in the molasses.

Chapter 11

  1. What words does Carmen imagine her father saying?
  2. How does she get her head above the molasses?
  3. What does Carmen grab to float?

Chapter 12

  1. How many people died?
  2. How long was Carmen in the hospital?
  3. Where did she get stitches?
  4. Who comes to visit Carmen?

Chapter 13

  1. Who does Carmen see outside?
  2. How many people had been hurt?
  3. Why did the molasses tank explode?

Chapter 14

  1. What are the good smells Mrs Grasso is making?
  2. What is the surprise for Carmen?
  3. What does Nonna smell like?

Writing About the Molasses Flood

  1. What made the rescue efforts more difficult?
  2. What did firefighters spray to clean the molasses?
  3. How long did the clean-up take?

More Facts

  1. Where do the men want to take the children and teacher?
  2. How many sleds are there?
  3. What hits the horse?

The Molasses Company Refused to Take Blame

  1. What was the name of the company?
  2. Did the judge think there was a bomb?
  3. How much did the company pay the victims?
  4. Now, what does a company need to get to build a giant tank?
  5. What is the scientific term for the way molasses bubbles?
  6. Why did people use molasses instead of sugar?
  7. What year did women earn the right to vote?
  8. How many people died in WWI?
  9. What day is Armistice Day?
  10. How many people died from the “Spanish Influenza”
  11. What recipe is in the book?