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The Life of Matt Christopher
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.46

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    life-changing, tumor, courageous, realistic, therefore, literature, definitely, successful, pitching, professional, best-selling, writing, especially, full-time, actually, mystery
     content words:    Mary Christopher, Matthew Frederic Martin Christopher, Country Gentleman, Saturday Evening Post, Cornell University, Ludlowville High School, New York, In Smith-Falls, National Cash Register Company, Missing Finger Points
The Life of Matt Christopher

By Jennifer Kenny
1     One of the greatest sports writers for kids was born on August 16, 1917, to Fred and Mary Christopher. His full name was Matthew Frederic Martin Christopher. He was the oldest of nine children...seven boys and two girls.
 
2     When Matt was fourteen, he sold magazines. While selling ones such as Colliers, Country Gentleman, and The Saturday Evening Post, he had a chance to read the stories in them. He then made a life-changing decision. As a freshman in high school, at the ripe old age of fourteen, he decided he could make a living as an author. What was his next step? He started writing in all kinds of different formats - poetry, essays, and song lyrics.
 
3     While developing his stories, Matt had another interest that occupied his time. He thoroughly enjoyed playing baseball. In fact, he played baseball, football, and soccer in high school. He was so good at baseball that he almost received an athletic scholarship to Cornell University. Unfortunately, his school grades were not good enough and he was one class short of what Cornell required. Without the scholarship, he was unable to attend. He did, however, graduate from Ludlowville High School in 1935.
 
4     After high school, Matt played professional baseball in several locations. These places included the towns of Myers and Freeville-Dryden in New York. With the Freeville-Dryden team, he was given the MVP award. In Smith-Falls, Ontario, Canada, he played third base with a Class C minor league team.
 
5     Around the same time, he worked as an assembler for the National Cash Register Company in Ithaca, New York. His evening hours were devoted to writing detective stories. He was so set on selling one of his stories that he came up with a plan. He would write one story a week for forty weeks. In 1941, his dream came true. He sold "The Missing Finger Points" for $50 to Detective Story, a magazine.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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