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Bob's Big Ride

Bob's Big Ride
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.93

     challenging words:    coaster-reptile, equilibrium, extra-large, exuberant, full-day, instantly, launching, Rip-off, rollercoaster, sequence, sinister, slushy, sneaker-wrecking, stomach-turning, refused, tearing
     content words:    Cobra Corkscrew, Rip-off World, Lazy River, Corkscrew Cobra

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Bob's Big Ride
By Colleen Messina

1     Bob was sure his friends were going to die. He looked up. Screaming people whirled over his head in a wickedly fast-moving blur. Bob gratefully felt the solid earth under his feet. He relished the fact that no g-forces were tearing at his body. He never, ever wanted to go on the Cobra Corkscrew. Bob knew that the giant roller coaster was a black metallic snake ready to gobble up its victims after making them sick. The roller coaster reptile went steeply up, then quickly down. Then, the thing whirled around and around in a sickening, sinister double loop. Bob knew better than to let that snake ride bite him.
2     Much to Bob's surprise, his friends survived. "Bob, that was great! You have to try it!" Hazel said. She had long red hair and pale skin that didn't look any paler because of the ride. Bob thought she was amazingly brave!
3     "No, thanks. That is not the ride for me," said Bob.
4     "You have to do at least one roller coaster while we are here. You can't just stay on the ground all day," Scott said. He was Hazel's boyfriend. He also was very brave!
5     Hazel, Bob, and Scott went over to the Italian ice stand, and soon they were sipping, slurping, and savoring the colorful cold cones. Bob ate a blue raspberry ice. Hazel gulped down a green apple one. Scott devoured an extra-large tangy lemon slushy. Chunks of colored ice dribbled down their chins, but they didn't care. It was 95 degrees in the shade, so the ices tasted great. Heat made the buildings in the distance ripple in waves. A blob of Bob's ice fell on the hot pavement. It instantly turned into a blue pool of sticky goop.
6     Waldo World was a fantastic theme park. The three friends had saved up their money and bought all-day passes. Their plan was to ride the rides in the morning. They would spend the afternoon at the water park.
7     Bob felt that the best part would be the Lazy River. Lazy River was a stream of water full of tubes whose riders bobbed along like chunks of ice in a glass of cool lemonade. Bob felt comforted by the thought.
8     Bob was not an adventurous person. He liked his sock drawer to be arranged by color and sequenced to match his outfits for the week. He was the only kid in tenth grade who really liked the day planner that all parents were required by the school to buy for their kids. He hated any activities that upset his equilibrium in any way. He even got nervous in elevators. Bob wondered if this adventure was a mistake!
9     Bob endured the rest of the morning. He discovered that the bumper cars were pretty tame, so he spent most of his time crashing into kids half his age. It made him feel oddly powerful.

Paragraphs 10 to 21:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

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