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Mystery May
The Mysterious Fever



The Mysterious Fever
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.94

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    kiddy, mindless, tree-lined, zealous, industrious, mysterious, especially, clarinet, virus, sundress, firecracker, lasted, cooler, slipped, matching, fever


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The Mysterious Fever
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Jason slipped into the car and had a strange thought: if he cracked an egg on the sidewalk, it would probably fry. Heat waves shimmered up from the concrete, and the late summer flowers looked wilted. Jason was so glad that the air conditioning was on in the car.
 
2     Jason had been at band practice on this hot August afternoon. School would start in a few weeks, and the zealous band director was eager to do some practice in the summer before football season started. No one in the band was quite as enthusiastic as the director. Jason did not like going to band practice during his vacation. He would much rather go swimming instead. Fortunately, band practice only lasted an hour, so he still had time to cool off at the pool later.
 
3     "How did band practice go?" asked Sharon, Jason's mom. Even though Sharon wore a colorful sundress and matching hat, she also looked a little wilted from the heat.
 
4     "Pretty good, but it's hard to march around when it's a hundred million degrees out. It will be better during real football games when it's cooler!" said Jason.
 
5     Jason grabbed a large bottle of water and took a long drink. His lips were dry and parched from playing his clarinet. The cold water tasted good, but Jason still felt hot. He cranked up the air conditioning and turned the vent so that a cool blast of air hit his face. That felt a bit better.
 
6     Sharon drove the car down the tree-lined streets. Kids played in sprinklers or swam in kiddy pools in the yards, and one industrious boy had set up a lemonade stand. Brave customers tried to hide their puckering lips as they sampled the pale, yellow drink that apparently did not contain enough sugar. One old man looked especially sour and deftly poured out his lemonade when the little boy wasn't looking.
 
7     "Mom, I don't feel so well," said Jason suddenly as he watched the old man dump his drink.
 
8     "What's wrong?" asked Sharon calmly.

Paragraphs 9 to 18:
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