The Hidden Problem
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||alcoholic, budding, hotdogs, potty, pull-ups, sundress, supervision, unborn, pregnant, chubby, cheery, lifelong, playroom, affects, smith, suffer
||Elm Street, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
The Hidden Problem
By Colleen Messina
1 Sue Johnson could just scream! Where was Beth? The seven-year-old disappeared quicker than hotdogs on the Fourth of July.
2 "Beth, where are you?" Sue called.
3 Sue ran outside and looked quickly around the backyard. She searched for the tousled head of golden curls and the pink sundress, but the little girl was gone. She ran down the street past purple lilacs and budding aspens. Beth may have wandered off after a bird or a butterfly, but she should have told Sue that she wanted to go for a walk.
4 Sue turned and went home again. She felt worried. At 14, she often babysat for her adopted sister, and Beth needed close supervision. Sometimes, Sue wished that she didn't have to take care of her because Beth could be so annoying! As she went in the front door, she heard the phone ring. Sue ran to answer it.
5 "Hi, Sue. This is Mrs. Smith over on Elm Street. Beth is here. She is delightful, but I thought you might wonder where she was," a cheery voice said.
6 "Oh, thank you! I'll come right over and get her," said Sue with a sigh of relief. Beth was safe!
7 "You might want to bring a change of clothes for her. She seems to need them," added Mrs. Smith tactfully.
8 "Yes, I will," said Sue. She was used to Beth's little accidents. Beth was not yet completely potty trained.
9 As she walked to Mrs. Smith's house, Sue thought of the first time she had seen her new sister. Beth came to their house as a foster child because her birth mother had drinking problems. After a number of months, it was clear that Beth's mother was not getting better. She was not able to care for her daughter, so Sue's family adopted Beth.
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