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Canadian Theme Unit
The Best Catch



The Best Catch
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.02

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dories, dory, headland, oil-skinned, overcast, shingle, surreal, Wind-whipped, stab, grounds, raked, shivered, trough, leaning, cove, lower
     content words:    Merry Maid, Uncle Pat, Uncle Sean


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Other Languages
     Spanish: La mejor pesca


The Best Catch
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Ammon pulled manfully on the oars. On a calm sea it would have been easy to row the small dory out to the fishing grounds. Today the water was far from calm.
 
2     The waves pitched the boat up and down. Sometimes it wallowed in a trough, and other times it coasted up and down over the sides of the waves. The grey clouds reflected their colour on the water. It looked like it could storm.
 
3     Uncle Sean was already in the bow of the boat, baiting a line. Ammon prayed for a good catch of cod. Fishing had been poor last week, and the storms surreal. Lightning had raked the sky over and over, the thunder cracking and rolling without end.
 
4     When the storm finally ended, two hadn't made it back to the cove. One was the O'Connell boat "Merry Maid;" the other was his father's dory. He and Uncle Pat were missing.
 
5     Ammon preferred to think of his dad as missing. They might never know if he was truly dead from the storm. In the meantime, he was the eldest son. It fell on his shoulders to look after his family.
 
6     The other dories nearby bounced up and down with the waves. Their oil-skinned occupants were little more than silhouettes under the cloudy sky.
 
7     Ammon was glad he had the spare coat and hat his father had left in the closet. The hat had a wide rim at the back which kept water from going down that way. The coat also repelled water, and so did his pants. They weren't really comfortable, but he supposed he'd get used to it.
 
8     They were hardly at the fishing grounds before Uncle Sean had a line over the side. If they started getting bites here, Ammon knew it would be his job to try and keep the boat in position.

Paragraphs 9 to 23:
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