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Some Lucky Pennies



Some Lucky Pennies
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.71

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    helping, artistic, particularly, outdoor, weakly, boredom, miserable, mouth-watering, mystery, slender, adult, weary, otherwise, attack, restless, barbeque
     content words:    Aunt Ellen, Uncle Jess, Cousin Pete, How Uncle Jess


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Some Lucky Pennies
By Colleen Messina
  

1     The natives in the backyard were restless under the hot June sun. They were jumping and screaming. They were bored. They were about to attack. The relatives at the family reunion were concerned because the food was taking a bit too long to prepare, and no one had organized enough activities for the restless children.
 
2     In the kitchen, the adults were assembling the final details of a magnificent feast. Aunt Ellen was making her famous mouth-watering potato salad. Uncle Jess was slapping hamburger patties into round shapes, ready to be smothered in sauce and cooked on the hot grill. Cousin Pete was shucking corn on the cob, and other assorted cousins were chopping, slicing, and dicing, too. The small kitchen was a beehive of fragrant activity.
 
3     "It is too bad the kitchen is so small; otherwise the kids could help us. Right now they need a new outdoor activity. We just didn't plan enough for them to do," sniffled Aunt Ellen as copious tears ran down her face. She was not crying because of the bored children; freshly sliced onions were causing her grief. The slender, sniffling woman looked completely miserable.
 
4     "I agree," commented Uncle Jess. "I knew we should have set up the pool or rented one of those inflatable bounce houses. It is too much to ask seven kids under the age of ten to safely entertain themselves when they are ravenously hungry!"
 
5     Uncle Jess was a financial advisor who was much more comfortable with directing numbers on paper than small kids in a game. He would probably have the kids doing a math puzzle or counting his pocket change. He had just finished up his army of hamburger patties and lined them up on a plate so they were ready to launch on the grill.
 
6     "I think one adult should go out there and play a game with them for a few more minutes until we are ready," said Cousin Pete, a round gentleman who was not particularly athletic. He had moved on from corn to a new job of precisely arranging sliced tomatoes, pickles, and lettuce on a plate with a most artistic flair. His stout fingers were surprisingly nimble in manipulating slippery garnishes.
 
7     Uncle Jess's face suddenly lit up like a hot barbeque coal.
 
8     "I've got it!" he said with a sly grin.
 
9     "What?" chorused the rest of the weary relatives together as they continued to stir, slice, and assemble the food.

Paragraphs 10 to 23:
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