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Mystery May
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The Magic Present



The Magic Present
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.07

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bright-eyed, children-the, fresh-smelling, jaunty, life-changing, pillow-tummy, spunky, window-eyes, wrapping, festive, strand, warmth, faraway, prickly, contents, mysterious
     content words:    Christmas Eve, Merry Christmas, Even Brittany, Even Santa


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The Magic Present
By Colleen Messina
  

1     A long time ago in a faraway place called Chicago, many children lived in an orphanage. The stone building had window-eyes that stared out over the smoggy city. However, yellow light shone from inside the drab building where the staff treated the children with warmth.
 
2     Christmas was a special time at the orphanage. The cook made mountains of gingerbread cookies. A local tree farm donated a fresh-smelling spruce to the children. While icy blasts of wind and snow wrapped the building in a cold blanket, the children strung hot popcorn garlands for the tree. They made soft felt angel ornaments to hang on its prickly green branches. But the best part of Christmas was the mound of presents that appeared under the tree. Generous people donated gifts for all of the children-the only gifts that they received all year.
 
3     The presents, piled high, came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Boxes glittered in foil wrappers. Bright ribbons and streamers cascaded in all directions. It was a festive feast for the eyes and the hearts of the children.
 
4     Jessica, a spunky girl with bright red hair, looked at the pile of presents. Gold bows glittered with Christmas promise. She gently fingered one of the gifts. Which one would be hers? A delicious feeling filled her with Christmas cheer. It spread from the tip of her orange hair to the pink tips of her toes.

Paragraphs 5 to 15:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



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