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The 1950's
Dreamboat - A Fifties Story, Part 1



Dreamboat - A Fifties Story, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.05

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    casual, lighted, pointed, scornful, shuck, siding, stalked, sneer, boomed, easily, gorgeous, clearly, thoughts, actually, whatever, beneath
     content words:    Rogers High, Dell Daniels, James Dean, Sweetsville Soda Shop


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Dreamboat - A Fifties Story, Part 1
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     Patsy did her best to look casual. She twirled the straw in her ice cream soda and glanced sideways. Sitting beside her at the soda counter was the dreamiest guy at Rogers High. Dell Daniels was the spitting image of movie star James Dean. And here he was, leather jacket and all, just inches away!
 
2     He'd even smiled at her as he'd sat down on the round stool. What gorgeous blue eyes! She'd smiled back. Then she'd turned away as if to speak to her friend Joyce. It wouldn't do to let him know she felt nervous. Joyce raised an eyebrow. Patsy knew what her friend was thinking. The two had talked about Dell just the night before.
 
3     "My mother says he's bad news," Patsy had said. "But that's just because he's a hot-rodder. I think he's just the most! Besides, I think the ‘rodders are kind of hip." She'd looked at Joyce a little defiantly. "They don't care what the teachers or anyone else thinks. They just do whatever they want. No one else has the guts to do that."
 
4     Joyce had looked at Patsy and said nothing. The hot-rodders were an odd group. They were easily spotted in any crowd. Many wore black leather jackets and slicked-back hair. What stood out, though, was the attitude. It was the bold, scornful stare and the lip-curled sneer that set the group apart. The ‘rodders seemed to go out of their way to be disliked by parents and teachers.
 
5     The group was named for their cars, though only a few of them actually owned vehicles. The cars, all older models, had been patched together and "souped-up." They were called "hot" (fast) "rods" (cars). The hot-rodders were either roaring around in the clattery old things or tinkering under the hoods.
 
6     When they weren't involved with their cars, the hot-rodders slouched around doing things they shouldn't. They hung out just across the road from the school in the mornings, smoking cigarettes. Most of them were flunking school.
 
7     "They seem like misfits to me," Joyce had said finally. "They act like everyone is out to get them. I don't think it would be fun to be angry all the time. Or to always be in trouble."
 
8     Patsy felt a flood of anger at Joyce's words. Why was her friend always siding with the adults? Patsy jumped up suddenly from Joyce's bed. "I've got to go," she'd said. "I've got to meet my dad at the library."
 
9     "See you tomorrow," Joyce had said, following Patsy to the door. "Maybe we could go for a soda after school?"

Paragraphs 10 to 22:
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