PROSE FICTION: The Summer Sandwich Club
Maxwell was one of those kids I know I will remember for the rest of my life. I first met Max three summers ago when he showed up at the park on the first day of camp with his mother Katherine. After a brief
Line 5 good morning, he went off to play with the rest of the five and six year olds who I would be counseling for the next several weeks. As his mother walked back to her car, I couldn’t help but notice that she looked as though she had just finished running a marathon; however, that
10 thought left my mind soon after she drove away, as I was surrounded by the smiling faces of thirty brand new campers. The summer started off great, and Max and I hit it off right away; he looked up to me as an older brother,
15 and I thought he was a great little kid. There were a few things that stuck out in my mind as odd, though, like when he would complain of being hungry an hour or so after lunch at least once or twice a week. By the third week of camp, I decided that it was something
20 I needed to investigate, and during lunch time I went over to his table and asked if I could sit next to him. He giggled and said, “Sure Jake,” feeling special that I would want to spend my lunch break with him. His lunch consisted of a bag of potato chips, a can of soda,
25 and a chocolate bar—hardly a healthy meal for a five year old. I offered him half of my sandwich and his eyes lit up like it was his birthday. That afternoon, when Katherine came to pick Max up from the park, I pulled her aside to discuss the lunch
30 issue. “Katherine, Maxwell needs to have a healthy lunch.” She looked down at the ground.
“What do you mean, Jake?”
“I mean Max can not keep eating junk food
35 every day.” “Oh. That. I’m sorry about that. It’s just that I work back-to-back jobs every night and barely make it home in time to get him out of bed and dressed before camp starts in the morning. His babysitter is supposed to
40 pack Max’s lunch for him at night when she puts him to bed. We have had a couple of new babysitters lately, and sometimes they forget to do it, so I end up having to throw something together at the last minute. I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen any more.”
45 “It happens to the best of us; I just wanted to make sure you knew what he was eating. After a couple days of him being hungry I got worried and wondered who was making his lunch for him. See you tomorrow morning then.”
50 Several days later I expected to see Max eating a sandwich went I went over to him at lunchtime. His lunch once again consisted entirely of junk food. Something had to change; at the very least he needed to be eating much less sugar.
55 “Katherine,” I called to his mother as she stepped out of her car that afternoon. I really had no idea what I was supposed to say. It was quite a predicament. “We really need to fix this problem with Max’s lunch.” “Jake, I know, it’s just that the house payment was
60 due yesterday, and I haven’t had the, uh, time to get to the grocery store,” she trailed off. “Things are just a little hard for us right now.” She was obviously self-conscious at the moment, and I felt bad for having brought it up again. I told
65 her that I had a plan, and not to worry about it. After explaining what I meant, the look on her face was one of relief and thanks, and she and Max headed home for the day. For the rest of the summer, I spent my lunches
70 with Max and his friends, having meetings of what we called the “Sandwich Club”: every day I would bring a couple of extra sandwiches, and anybody who wanted to try one could have some. Max never seemed to care what kind of sandwiches I brought to the club, but just
75 giggled and smiled up at me every afternoon. At the end of the summer, I got a letter from Katherine, thanking me for being so kind to she and Max. I wrote back telling her that I could hardly wait until the next meeting of the “Sandwich Club,” and to
80 tell Max that I said hello. For the next two years, the “Sandwich Club” had regular meetings, Monday-Friday at noon, all summer long. After that, Max and his mother moved to be closer to his grandparents, and I went back to having my lunch
85 with the rest of the staff. But for those few years, the “Summer Sandwich Club” brought joy to one camp counselor and many young campers.
When Jake says, “It happens to the best of us,” he is primarily saying that:
The best answer is A. Jake makes this statement in response to Katherine telling him that she sometimes has to “throw something together at the last minute.” This suggests that it does not happen often and is unintentional. The other answer choices are not supported by the passage.
It can be reasonably inferred from the conversations with Jake, that Katherine:
The best answer is H. During the conversation, Katherine says, “It’s just that I work two back-toback jobs every night,” and later, “Things are just a little hard for us right now.” You can infer that Katherine is working hard and barely getting by
The idea that Jake’s mother is trying her best to take care of her son is least supported by which of the following quotations from the passage?
The best answer is B. When Jake says, “Katherine, Maxwell needs to have a healthy lunch,” he indicates that Max is currently not eating well. This example has nothing to do with how well Katherine takes care of her son, but rather highlights one of the problems she is having in taking care of her son. The other answer choices all make reference to her trying in some way.
As it is used in line 57 the word predicament most nearly means:
The best answer is J. The word predicament is used to indicate Jake’s problematic situation with Max’s lunches. Based on the context of the paragraph, his situation is somewhat difficult. Therefore, predicament most nearly means “challenge,” which refers to a difficult task. The other answer choices are not supported by the context of the passage.
It can be inferred from the passage that Jake is:
The best answer is C. Throughout the passage, Jake is never referred to as either Max’s best friend or his brother, but Jake does know Max; therefore, A, B, and D should be eliminated. He is noted as being Max’s camp counselor, and has a good influence on him by encouraging and allowing Max to consume healthier meals. Therefore, answer choice C is correct.
The passage makes it clear that the “Sandwich Club”:
The best answer is F. At the end of the passage, Jake remarks that the club lasted for two summers, and then Max moved away. This best supports answer choice F. Although answer choice J may appear to be correct because it is implied that Max enjoyed the meetings of the Sandwich Club, the author never defines these meeting as Max’s favorite part of camp.
You may reasonably infer from the details in the passage that Katherine and Max:
The best answer is D. At several points in the passage, Katherine refers to how hard it is to find enough money for everything, and how much she has to work to make ends meet. This suggests that Katherine and Max have little money. The other answer choices are not supported by details in the passage.
Katherine can most accurately be characterized as:
The best answer is G. Whenever Jake brings up problems with Katherine, she seems genuinely concerned about Max’s well-being. However, because she works so much and has so many other things to get done, her attention is often diverted away from Max. The other answer choices are not supported by the context of the passage.
The word issue, as it is used in line 30, most nearly means:
The best answer is D. When Jake pulled Katherine aside to discuss the lunch issue, he indicated that Max’s lunch is a concern of his, eliminating answer choices A and C. Although answer choice B may appear to be correct, the word “incident” implies a one-time occurrence. Max was consistently bringing unhealthy lunches to camp, therefore answer choice D, “problem,” is correct.
The title, “The Summer Sandwich Club,” combined with details presented in the passage imply that:
The best answer is J. The passage states that Jake thought of the Sandwich Club because he needed to come up with a solution to help Max eat healthier lunches. The last paragraph also mentions the fact that once Max moved away, the Sandwich Club ended. These facts best support answer choice J. The other answer choices are beyond the scope of the passage.