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The War of 1812
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One Star-Spangled Banner, Please! (Could You Super-Size That?)



One Star-Spangled Banner, Please! (Could You Super-Size That?)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.12

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    amen, cheery, malt, misses, Ooof, practically, seamstress, sentry, ashore, hallway, halt, watchman, Hmmm, boomed, working, attack
     content words:    Since June, Miss Pickersgill, Miss Julia, New England, Auntie Mary, Uncle John, Major Armistead, Fort McHenry


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One Star-Spangled Banner, Please! (Could You Super-Size That?)
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     "Come with me, Julia!" Caroline was excited. "I'll show you what we've been working on. It'll make your eyes pop! Here. You take the basket with Mama's supper."
 
2     I looked out the window. It was dark. The sentries would be out. Since June of 1812, America had been at war with England. British ships lurked just outside the harbor. Who knew how many redcoats might slip ashore in the dark?
 
3     "I know it's late. Don't worry," Caroline said. "The sentry will let me pass." Fine, I thought. What about the redcoats? "I often help Mama when she works late," she went on. "Or I bring her supper, like we're doing now. Have you got the basket?"
 
4     Caroline picked up a tin candle holder and lit the candle. Then she opened the door and shooed me out. When my cousin got a notion in her head, she was like a strong wind. You went where she wanted you to go. Besides, she was thirteen, practically grown up.
 
5     "Our watchman knows me," she went on, pulling me along. "You'll see. He'll frown and pretend to be stern." She made a big scowl. "‘Halt there, young Miss Pickersgill!'" Her voice boomed. "'You'll be bringing a nice hot dinner to your mother, then? Good lass!'" Caroline giggled. I peered into the shadows, wishing she wouldn't talk so loudly.
 
6     The cobblestone street made an uneven path beneath our feet. Caroline held the light out farther. It surely was dark! I wanted to ask where we were going, but I didn't want to get Caroline talking again. I hoped there were no British spies prowling about.
 
7     "Halt!" The sudden shout scared the life out of me. A light shone in my face. "Miss Caroline!" The man's voice softened. He moved the light out of our eyes. "And Miss Julia. Taking dinner to Mrs. Pickersgill? Go ahead, then, but be careful." His forehead had a worry line in it. "You can't tell who's about these days," he said. "After a year of war, we must be very watchful here in Baltimore." Amen, I thought.
 
8     "Hmmm...Mr. Purdy's not his cheery self tonight," Caroline remarked as we passed on. Then, "Here we are!" She went up the steps of a large building and swung the door open.
 
9     "Whew!" I wrinkled my nose. It smelled like the ale my uncles drank after working in their fields all day. Gentlemen in Virginia did that sort of thing. My mama shook her head over it. She said her brothers had forgotten their New England morals.

Paragraphs 10 to 18:
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