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Mystery May
The Mystery of the Hidden Photograph, Part Three



The Mystery of the Hidden Photograph, Part Three
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.62

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    happening, reticent, tear-stained, patchwork, multicolored, transformation, practically, immediately, interesting, album, photo, painful, comfort, amazement, sadness, such
     content words:    Great Aunt Ella, Was Ella, Then Ella, Aunt Ella


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The Mystery of the Hidden Photograph, Part Three
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Cheryl looked at Great Aunt Ella and felt sorry for her. Brent seemed to be doing well, but Cheryl was struggling with the question of whether to show Ella the old photograph she had found hidden in the basement.
 
2     Grandma sat down in another chair across from Ella, but there were no other chairs in the room, so Cheryl and Brent sat on the bed with its multicolored patchwork quilt. Brent immediately began wildly bouncing up and down until Cheryl told him to stop. Little brothers could be so annoying!
 
3     Grandma began talking gently to Ella. Ella did not talk much. She did smile and nod, though, and Grandma kept on talking to her in a soft voice. Grandma told Ella about what was growing in the garden. She introduced Cheryl and Brent. Brent chimed in and told the quiet woman about his soccer season. Ella still didn't say anything, but Brent went on and on. He described game after game until Grandma interrupted him.
 
4     "Cheryl found something interesting at home," Grandma began. "Would you like to see it, Ella?"
 
5     Ella didn't say anything. Grandma looked over at Cheryl and nodded.
 
6     Cheryl had a funny feeling in her stomach. Grandma was giving her a chance to show Ella the picture. Cheryl reached into her pants pocket and carefully pulled out the old photograph. She put the picture in front of Ella's face so she could see it.
 
7     Ella peered at the photograph. She grew even paler, which surprised her visitors. Cheryl, Brent, and Grandma waited. It was as if the whole room was suspended as if time had stopped while Ella reached deep into her memories. Then her face contorted in great sadness, and the woman burst into tears.
 
8     Grandma wrapped her arms around Ella, while Cheryl and Brent sat silently on the bed and waited. What was happening? Was Ella going to be OK? Then Ella suddenly stopped crying and raised a tear-stained face up to Grandma.

Paragraphs 9 to 21:
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