Mystery May
The Case of the Masked Bandit

The Case of the Masked Bandit
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 2 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.03

     challenging words:    television, bandit, criminal, encounter, flannel, mischievous, Screeeeeech, sheets, spite, strand, trashcan, triumph, peered, shocked, program, excited

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The Case of the Masked Bandit
By Colleen Messina

1     Beth watched an exciting television program right before bedtime. A detective solved many mysteries. He figured out every crime. Beth wanted to get a magnifying glass and be a detective, too. She wanted to solve mysteries. The detective always worked things out during a dark and stormy night. Beth hoped that it would rain soon.
2     The program had an interesting effect on Beth. It made her notice everything. Every noise and bump seemed bigger than ever. Her imagination sparkled like a fire cracker on the Fourth of July. She went into the bathroom to change and brush her teeth. As she got into her pink pajamas, she was sure she heard something at the window. Screeeeeech! Here was her chance to solve a mystery, but she just felt scared.
3     "Mom, come quick! Something is at my window!" cried Beth.
4     Her mother came fast. She listened. She heard a scratching noise. She opened the window. She peeked outside into the dark and stormy night. Well, it wasn't stormy, but it was dark. Beth thought that her mother was brave.
5     "Beth, it is just a tree branch blowing against the window. I will have Daddy trim it this weekend," her mother said.
6     Beth felt better. Her mother solved the mystery. Her mom tucked her into bed. She snuggled into her pink flannel sheets with Teddy, her favorite stuffed animal. Teddy had a pink bow tie. Beth loved pink.
7     "Good night, Beth," said her mother.
8     "Good night, Mommy," said Beth.
9     In the darkness, she saw something round and yellow glowing in her closet. Eyes! They blinked slowly. Beth sat up. Her heart was pounding. Here was her chance, but she just felt scared. She called her mother again.

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