Jason Earns His Wings

Jason Earns His Wings
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.82

     challenging words:    airport, airline, apprehension, buffed, catalogue, check-in, cheery, childish, confirmation, e-ticket, e-tickets, frothy, grayish-red, hotdogs, lilt, printout
     content words:    Soon Jason, Then Charlie

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Jason Earns His Wings
By Colleen Messina

1     Jason entered the airport terminal with a bit of apprehension. He had earned the money for his ticket all by himself. He was going to California so he could visit his friend, Adrian. This was going to be his first flight alone. He felt nervous.
2     "Be sure to get your wings!" his mom joked. Jason smiled. He remembered the gold plastic wings he used to get from the airline stewardesses when he was little. Now that he was a teenager, the plastic wings seemed childish.
3     Steel birds lifted off outside with a deafening roar. The airport smelled like coffee and dust. People scurried here and there like mice pursuing cheese. Most of them looked sleek and professional. Many were on their cell phones.
4     Jason got out the printout of his electronic ticket. He waited in line for what felt like hours. His hands felt slimy. He wanted to act like he knew what he was doing. But he didn't.
5     "Need some help, sonny?" a cheery voice said.
6     Jason looked up. The gleam from the bald man's head was so bright it reminded him of buffed metal. Round, wire-rimmed glasses protected hazel eyes with flecks of gold in them. His skin was lightly freckled and wrinkly. Jason figured that Charlie's hair had been red...when it existed, because Charlie had grayish-red eyebrows. An airport I.D. tag said "Charlie."
7     "Oh, yes," admitted Jason.
8     Jason hated to admit that he felt relieved.

Paragraphs 9 to 23:
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