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UNIT 1. KELSEY GREEN, READING QUEEN

Kelsey Green no longer heard any of the voices in her third-grade classroom. All her attention was focused on the book spread open beneath her desk.
"Kelsey!" The sound of her name startled her.

"Kelsey, the rest of us are focusing on page 163 in our math books. The rest of us are not staring down at our laps lost in a daydream. The rest of us are doing fractions."
Kelsey knew Mrs. Molina was waiting for her to turn her full attention to her math book—the one book in the whole world that Kelsey did not love, or even like, but actually hated.
"Question fourteen," Mrs. Molina said. "What is one-eighth plus one-eighth?"
Kelsey had no idea. She wasn't completely sure what an eighth was.
Luckily, one of her two best friends, Annika Riz, sat right behind her. Annika whispered the answer, loud enough that Kelsey could hear, but not loud enough that Mrs. Molina could hear.
"Two-eighths," Kelsey said.
"And two-eighths reduces to?"
Annika whispered the answer again.
"One-fourth," Kelsey said.
Next to her, Kelsey's other best friend, Izzy Barr, started to giggle, but stopped herself in time.

 

Just as someone else was trying to answer question eighteen, the classroom door opened. In came the principal, Mr. Boone. Kelsey had never been sent to the principal's office; she wondered if Mr. Boone laughed even when naughty kids were sent to him for talking back to teachers or fighting on the playground. The best thing about Mr. Boone was his beard—a thick, bushy Santa Claus beard, but black instead of white.

 

"Good morning, third graders! We are going to have our first-ever all-school reading contest! We're going to keep track of how many books each class reads. The class that reads the most books will have a pizza party with me—all the pizza you can eat. And if the whole school reads two thousand books by the end of April—two thousand books—I'll shave off my beard!"
The class whooped and hollered.


"Any questions?"
Kelsey didn't want to be the only one raising her hand, but she had to ask. "What about the person who reads the most books? Does she get a prize, too?"
"Yes! I'm glad you asked! The person who reads the most books in each class will get his or her name on a permanent plaque in the school library, as well as a special signed certificate to take home. And, of course, you'll help your class win the pizza party. And you'll help me lose my beard."



 

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