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Mystery May
Finding Champ



Finding Champ
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.18

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    choppy, lakeside, sightings, white-knuckled, rushing, hull, grip, sure, settled, brushing, actually, minutes, deadhead, doing, waves, yards
     content words:    Lake Champlain, Port Henry


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Finding Champ
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     "Are you sure it's okay for us to take the boat?" asked Ethan.
 
2     "Sure," said Michael confidently. "Grandpa told me that we can take the row boat out when we want to fish. We just have to tell someone we're going out."
 
3     "I guess I can run up and let Grandma know," said Ethan. He ran back up to the lakeside house.
 
4     "Don't forget your life jacket!" Michael called after him.
 
5     Michael was seated in the small aluminum boat, wearing his life jacket, when Ethan returned wearing his. The ropes for the bow and stern of the boat were already untied, and Michael held the boat next to the dock with his hands.
 
6     Michael knew that Ethan was just a little nervous in boats since his experience was limited, unlike his own. As soon as Ethan was seated, Michael began pushing the boat away from the dock with one of the oars.
 
7     "Are you sure you know what you are doing?" asked Ethan as the boat nosed its way out from the sheltered water around the dock. The small craft began to bob up and down as the waves slapped against the metal hull.
 
8     Michael nodded. He'd taken the boat out on Lake Champlain many times, but the water hadn't been this choppy. After a little while, the breeze dropped, and the water became calmer. Even so, Michael kept the boat near the shore.
 
9     "Why don't you bait a hook and toss it in while I row?" asked Michael.
 
10     "Are you sure fishing is safe to do here? I mean, I wouldn't want to catch a monster." Ethan tried to joke, but he found himself looking out over the water. Then he picked up his fishing rod, baited the hook, and tossed it over the side.
 
11     "Have you ever seen it?" Ethan asked.
 
12     "You mean Champ?" Michael shook his head. "A lot of people say they have, but I haven't. I wouldn't mind seeing it if it exists, but I'm not sure it does."
 
13     "Why do some people think it lives here?" asked Ethan.
 
14     "Well, Grandpa says that this lake is a lot like Loch Ness in Scotland. It's very deep, and the water is murky. There are also lots of fish. He thinks there could be a whole family of Champs out there. I guess I need to see one to believe in it."

Paragraphs 15 to 28:
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