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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||bedside, entity, helping, maintenance, over-stuffed, resinous, sketchbook, odds, attachment, dreams, disappointment, holiday, docks, eraser, exactly, assortment
By Mary Lynn Bushong
1 "It's the summer holiday at last," sighed Michael as he dropped his over-stuffed backpack on the floor of his room. It was exactly one month until he could go to The Cottage for a week. That is how he always thought of it, like it was the title of a story, an entity of its own, not just a place. Michael closed his eyes and imagined himself there. The familiar, spicy smell of the ferns that grew almost waist high on the dappled forest floor, the resinous smell of the pine woods that covered the island, and the wind that blew off the clear lake waters were always favorite memories for him.
2 He flopped back on his bed, still with his eyes closed. The memory left an almost physical ache. What wouldn't he give to be there now? He'd experienced a powerful image in his mind of The Cottage as it was seen from the lake - as it was seen arriving or when you looked back upon leaving.
3 Michael leaned over the side of his bed and rummaged in his backpack. Books, notebooks, paper, and odds and ends formed a stack on the floor until he finally found what he wanted. He dropped his sketchbook on the bed beside him and then dug through the assortment of things in the drawer of his bedside table, finally retrieving one of his drawing pencils and a kneaded eraser.
4 Michael gave a wry smile. His parents never really understood his attachment to his grandparents' cottage. To his mother, it was just another place to keep clean and do work in. She felt compelled to work even though his grandmother had already cleaned. There was no feeling of connection there. He wished she could understand. He wished she could relax.
Paragraphs 5 to 13:
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