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It's Not about Me - A Story of Hurricane Katrina, Part 1

It's Not about Me - A Story of Hurricane Katrina, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.2

     challenging words:    banshee, butted, cavalry, deserting, froth, ga-ga, howe, keyed, personally, scads, Seatbelts, sensible, spraying, Wheeeee, suspect, northwest
     content words:    Gulf Coast, Mickey Mouse Yahtzee, New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, Baton Rouge

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It's Not about Me - A Story of Hurricane Katrina, Part 1
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     "Wheeeee!" My little sister squealed as she ran through the surf. The boys followed, kicking and splashing. I sat on the beach writing in my journal. We had taken the little kids out today so Mom could rest. She's having a baby soon. (It's a bit embarrassing. My oldest brother is seventeen.)
2     "Come on, Hannah!" Jessi yelled. I looked up. Even her long blonde hair was drenched. "The water's nice!" She stomped her foot, spraying water several feet up the sand. She was right. The spray felt marvelous. Even with the coming storm, the surf was warm. Jessi took off again, leaping through the waves and shrieking like a banshee.
3     I glanced up. Way out over the ocean, the sky was a mean gray-green color. A warm wind whipped the surf to a froth. If we didn't get back soon, Mom would worry. After all, there was a storm warning over the whole Gulf Coast. A hurricane was due to blow in early in the morning. Dad was gone to Atlanta on business, so it was all up to us to get ready.
4     Personally, I was tired of storms. I was tired of sitting in the house while it rained. When they couldn't go out, the little kids always bugged me to play games with them. One more round of Mickey Mouse Yahtzee would put me over the edge.
5     Actually, I hadn't wanted to move here in the first place. I thought we were doing just fine in Kansas. Of course, we have to move where Dad's job takes us. This time they sent him to Louisiana. We moved in June. We ended up just northwest of New Orleans.
6     Our new house is only a couple of miles from the beach. My family went ga-ga over the place. I wasn't so thrilled. For one thing, it's very humid here. I always feel like I need a shower. Besides, there are scads of people.
7     I told Mom I wished we could go back to our farmhouse in Kansas. "Poor Hannah," she said, hugging me. "You sound like Dorothy in Oz. Give it some time," she urged. "It'll get better."
8     "I don't believe you!" My oldest brother Hayden butted in. "Flat old Kansas?! If you've seen one wheat field, you've seen ‘em all. What about this great ocean view?" He whacked me on the shoulder. "What's not to love?"
9     Hayden is two years older than me. Usually he's pretty sensible. He's gone off the deep end with this ocean view thing, though. I suspect it's a hormone problem. It isn't the beauty of nature he's so keyed up about. It's all those girls in swim suits.

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

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