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Unexpected Inspiration



Unexpected Inspiration
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.71

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    galvanize, sojourn, steel-gray, tawdry, uninspired, aquamarine, auburn, tweed, sapphire, crimson, diction, eyeliner, ghastly, shoeboxes, yaks, chromatic
     content words:    New York City, Metropolitan Museum, Nicholas Roerich Museum, Nicholas Roerich, President Roosevelt


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Unexpected Inspiration
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Stacy sighed and slouched down into her chair, hoping to disappear. Her green eyes rolled in exasperation as her art teacher rambled on about their next project. Stacy wanted to create works of art, not crafts, and the assignment to make an exhibit out of shoe boxes seemed like a tawdry imitation of true art.
 
2     A shrill bell announced the end of her high school art class. "And be sure to use a lot of color in your project!" shouted the teacher, as hordes of students exited into the hallway.
 
3     Stacy walked home, enjoying the gusty spring breezes laced with the smell of freshly cut grass. She decided that she would figure out how to avoid this ridiculous assignment. Surely she could negotiate something.
 
4     "Mom, I'm home," Stacy called, bursting through the front door. "Can we hop on the bus and take a trip into the city this afternoon? I am going crazy in my art class!"
 
5     "That is a great idea, sweetie. I just finished talking with my clients about the closing date on their house, so I am free this afternoon. Let's go!" Stacy's mom said. She was a real estate agent and loved spontaneous excursions into New York City.
 
6     Stacy tucked her auburn hair into an emerald-green beret that perfectly matched her eyes and slipped into a classy tweed jacket. Then she swung a matching fringed scarf over her shoulder. Stacy was pleased with her reflection in the mirror; at least she looked artistic!
 
7     The creaking, overcrowded bus departed from a nearby street corner. Soon mother and daughter watched the scenery gradually change from lush, manicured lawns to tall skyscrapers poking like black fingers above the smoggy haze of the city. Stacy told her mother all about art class.
 
8     Stacy was excited when they finally reached the broad stone steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Huge, horizontal banners hung from the front of the building, announcing the latest exhibits inside.
 
9     Stacy and her mom hurried up the steps and into the museum. Stacy's favorite exhibit was the Egyptian display. It was a replica of the interior of a pyramid, complete with fancy hieroglyphics on the walls. She imagined herself as an Egyptian princess, wearing gold necklaces and black eyeliner. Stacy and her mom were tired after wandering through a model of a prehistoric forest, an exhibit of misty Monet watercolors, and a collection of Greek marble statues. Stacy was famished, so she bought a hot pretzel from a vendor on the museum steps.

Paragraphs 10 to 27:
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