Presidents of the United States
Pets Theme Unit
A Pony in the Elevator and Other Stories of White House Kids

A Pony in the Elevator and Other Stories of White House Kids
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.27

     challenging words:    badger, camped, hitched, hyena, John-John, macaw, coyote, president, toddler, thump, world, perched, meet, shocked, proper, bears
     content words:    White House, Oval Office, First Families, Tad Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, East Room, Cabinet Room, President Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt

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A Pony in the Elevator and Other Stories of White House Kids
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     World leaders meet the president in his office. Treaties are signed. U.S. leaders talk about how to solve the nation's problems. Only serious stuff takes place in the White House. Right?
2     Well, not exactly. Much of the president's work does take place in his office. (This room is called the Oval Office.) But the White House is also the home of a family. First Families eat dinner and play games. They do things that normal families do.
3     Presidents' kids find ways to have fun. Tad Lincoln was the son of Abraham Lincoln. Tad lived in the White House during the Civil War. Union troops guarded the house. Some even camped in the East Room. Seven year old Tad loved to watch the soldiers. He wanted to be a soldier.
4     Tad had been given a Union uniform made to fit him. He also had a toy cannon. His favorite game was playing war. He would aim the cannon at a make believe enemy. "Fire!" Wood cannon balls shot from the barrel of the cannon.
5     Thump! Thump! The cannon balls thudded against a closed door. It was a great shot! The cannon crew had hit their target! There was one small problem. The closed door belonged to the Cabinet Room. Important meetings were going on there. President Lincoln came out and asked Tad to play somewhere else.
6     Tad also had fun with the pet goats his father gave him. He hitched them to a chair and climbed on. The goats took off. It was a wild ride! Some ladies from Boston were visiting. They had to dodge goats racing about the White House. The ladies were shocked. Surely the White House was not a proper place for goats!
7     Theodore Roosevelt brought his six children to the White House in 1901. They had enough pets to fill a small zoo. They had regular cats (two) and dogs (five!). Their snakes slithered around the White House. They also had a furry badger. The striped tail of their raccoon could often be seen slinking around corners. Their macaw bird perched on their wrists. They also had a pony named Algonquin (all-GONE-kwin).
8     One of the children became ill. Archie stayed in bed several days. His younger brother thought hard. What would make Archie feel better? Quentin had an idea. He brought their pony in a back door of the White House. He led him quietly down the hall. Then he pulled and pushed until he got the pony into the elevator. Quentin and Algonquin rode up to the second floor. Archie opened his eyes. What he saw made him smile. There were Quentin and the pony in his room!

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Presidents of the United States
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