Print Ernest Hemingway Reading Comprehension
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||grades 9 to 12
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||journalistic, bestselling, novelist, bestseller, high-action, anthrax, manuscript, largely, mounting, lashes, bookshop, nonfiction, literary, exceptional, prose, forbade
||Ernest Hemingway, Oak Park, Young Ernest, Kansas City Star, For Whom, Bell Tolls, Marcelline Hemingway, Cross Calls Men, Silver Medal, Military Valor
By Colleen Messina
1 Ernest Hemingway was an unusual child. By the age of three, he knew stories about many great men in American history, and he collected cartoons of the Russo-Japanese war. He belonged to a nature study group. Ernest liked writing and could spell well. No one was too surprised when he grew up to be an exceptional writer.
2 Ernest was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Chicago. His parents encouraged his many creative pursuits. His mother taught him music and took him to concerts, art galleries, and operas. His father taught him practical skills, like how to build fires, how to use an axe, and how to tie fishing flies. Young Ernest even learned how to make bullets and prepare animals for mounting. His parents taught him to value physical courage and endurance. They wanted their six children to excel and raised them in a strict, religious atmosphere. A few lashes with father's razor strap or a smack from mother's hairbrush punished all violations of the Sabbath.
3 Ernest showed an interest in writing when he was given a 20-gauge shotgun at age 12. It seems like a strange source of inspiration, but the gun fired his imagination as well as bullets. He wrote stories about heroes having high-action adventures. In high school, he excelled in English, and he wrote for the school's weekly newspaper. He also took up canoeing. His motto was ‘be afraid of nothing.'
4 Hemingway's father wanted him to go to college, but Ernest wanted to become a writer or join the armed forces. Since his father forbade him to join the army for WWI, Hemingway accepted a job with the Kansas City Star as a reporter. Hemingway and his father had an emotional goodbye at the train station. It affected him so deeply that he later wrote about it in his book For Whom the Bell Tolls. Hemingway intensely described his mixed feelings of sadness, relief, and excitement about reaching adulthood.
5 Hemingway's new job was to write stories about everything that happened at the police station, the train station, and the hospital. According to his sister, Marcelline Hemingway, he covered, "fires, fights, and funerals, and anything else not important enough for the other more experienced reporters." However, he soon grew bored and longed for fearless war adventures. He wanted to test his boyhood motto! One day, he found an opportunity in a newspaper headline.
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