Stories in Our Head

Stories in Our Head
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 2 to 3
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.38

     challenging words:    ordinary, pounding, relive, shoebox, popping, time, awesome, behavior, shocked, perfectly, pajamas, settled, soccer, folded, goodnight, ready
     content words:    When Ryan, Curious George, Good-bye Bad Dreams, Hello Sleep, With Mom

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Stories in Our Head
By Jody Williams

1     "Ryan, it's time to get ready for bed," Mom said from downstairs. Ryan was upstairs playing. Ryan knew it was time for bed. He was tired. He wanted to climb in his bed. He wanted to close his eyes. He wanted to go to sleep. One thing was standing in his way -- his bad dreams.
2     Ryan was good at a lot of things. He was a great soccer player. He was a fantastic artist. He was good at reading. In fact, he was reading harder books than most second graders. Ryan was even good at sleeping. His mom said that when Ryan was three weeks old, he slept through the night. Most babies do not sleep through the night until they are a few months old.
3     One night Ryan and his older brothers were watching a movie. They would often do this before they went to bed. Mom said that it settled them down. Usually, that was the case. On that night, Ryan's oldest brother got to pick the movie. He picked one that Ryan had never seen before. Ryan did not want to watch it. Then his brother told him it was about a robot. Ryan's newest love was robots. When Ryan heard about the main character of the movie, he could not wait to watch it.
4     The movie started and sure enough, it was about a robot. It was not your average robot. This robot was bigger than the tallest buildings in the city. It was silver with red eyes. It had huge feet. When its mouth opened, all that could be seen were sharp, shiny teeth. Whenever light hit the teeth, they would sparkle like a sharp knife blade.
5     Ryan's brothers kept saying things like "cool" and "awesome." Ryan did not think the robot was cool or awesome. He thought that it was scary. Ryan did not want to tell his brothers that he was scared. He did not want them to think he was a baby. Instead, he sat on the sofa with his fists clenched around his favorite blanket. He watched as the robot destroyed the city. He watched as people ran away from it screaming. Ryan sat still, barely taking a breath.
6     Finally, Ryan's mom turned it off because it was time for bed. She asked the boys how the movie was. Ryan's brothers went on and on about how awesome it was. They ran upstairs making robot sounds and trying to relive the movie. Ryan, on the other hand, did not have much to say. He slowly walked up the stairs. He brushed his teeth. He put his pajamas on. He climbed up the ladder on his bunk bed to the top bunk. His mom came in his room to tuck him in and say goodnight. She noticed that the look on Ryan's face was not the same. He did not look like the same boy that pretended that his blankets were a cave. He would usually crawl down into the covers and lie perfectly still until sleep would come. He would stay like that until he woke up in the morning.
7     Ryan's mom asked if he was ok. He said he was fine. He was just really tired. She kissed him goodnight and wished him sweet dreams. She left the room and Ryan started to feel strange. He had never felt strange before when his mom left his room. He felt scared.
8     Ryan crawled down into his covers as he usually did. He closed his eyes, but they kept popping open. Every time he would close his eyes, all that he could see was that robot. Ryan tossed and turned. He flipped his pillow over and back again. He made sure that he had his favorite blankets. He even got out of bed and turned an extra light on in his room.

Paragraphs 9 to 16:
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