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Grade 7 Reading Comprehensions


Sea Sick


Sea Sick
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.1

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    ballast, bemoan, contemptuous, cutesy, Ka-POW, lethargic, liquidation, nautical, nightlights, Pbhhhhhht, seafarer, utilitarian, ZOING, enroll, bustling, truckload
     content words:    Stepfather Dan, Brady Bunch, Barefoot Sailor


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Sea Sick
By Brenda B. Covert
  

1     You should hear the contemptuous way my stepfather calls me lethargic. If only I were bustling with enthusiasm like his son, Colby, I could do a truckload of work to help support the family, he says. To that I say, "Pbhhhhhht!"
 
2     He and my mum run a gift shop with a nautical theme. There are rows of cutesy little lighthouse nightlights, suncatchers, paintings, sculptures, and salt and pepper shakers. Some items are functional, but others are purely decorative. In addition to all the lighthouse merchandise, they sell seagull carvings, seashells, models of ships, and sailor caps. Just opening the door makes me seasick!
 
3     To boost his image as a seafarer, my stepfather dons a captain's hat and calls people "matey." (If you can't tell, this is where I roll my eyes to the ceiling.) Whenever he calls me "matey," I ignore him. I don't care how lucrative this business is, I never asked to be a part of it.
 
4     Earlier today Stepfather Dan tried to explain sailboats to me. (I must have accidentally looked him in the eye first.) A new case of scented candles with embedded shells had arrived, and I was slapping price stickers on them. It was a strictly utilitarian effort on my part. As long as I'm "useful," Dan is the benevolent sovereign of this nautical "kingdom." Should I make a mistake and bemoan my life as an indentured servant within his hearing, he transforms into an enraged despot who wields ultimate power over my happiness. If it were possible, I'd retreat with lightning speed to the nearest castle and stock the moat with piranha and crocodiles! I'd rather enroll in a desert boot camp than spend my spare time surrounded by coastal souvenirs.

Paragraphs 5 to 15:
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