Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling's Birthday

Reading Comprehension for December 30

What does it take to become a great writer? Does it take a happy childhood, full of glowing memories? Perhaps a great writer must have a close family and many good friends. Maybe all it takes is the courage to keep trying, as Rudyard Kipling did.

Kipling was born in Bombay, India, on December 30, 1865. His father, John, taught arts and architectural sculpture. His mother, Alice, was described as a beautiful and vivacious woman.

His first years in India were very happy. From his ayah (eye-ya), or Indian nanny, he learned Hindustani as his first language. When Rudyard was six years old, he was sent to boarding school in England. Far away from home for the first time, unused to hard corporal punishment, it was a shock to the young child. He was deeply unhappy there; his stay lasted for six years.

When Kipling was twelve, his parents moved him to a new school, the United Service College at Westward Ho! Its purpose was to prepare boys for the British Army. The very popular Stalky and Co. (published in 1899) stories were the result of those days.

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