High school can be scary. Laura has been in the same school district in Miami-Dade, Florida all of her life. Her father’s job had transferred him to a suburb in New York State, where she would start school next week. She was very nervous.

Laura’s best friends, Andrew and Leticia, threw her a going-away party. They invited their five other good friends to Leticia’s house and everybody thought it would be fun, but at first nobody was in the mood for it. Laura was the first to arrive. When she got there, Andrew and Leticia gave her a big hug and they all started to cry. They decided to go into the backyard and talk about it. Laura was telling them what she knew about her new school and they were all guessing what it would be like.

Miguel and Pedro had been standing at the front door for three minutes, waiting for somebody to answer it. Pedro finally said, “Let’s walk around back and knock on the kitchen door. Maybe the doorbell is broken.”

“Yeah, good idea,” Miguel confirmed. So they wandered down the driveway towards the back of the house, where they found their friends talking intensely. “Hey – there you are!” Miguel shouted.

“…and you get to start fresh and be whoever you want to be,” Leticia was explaining.

“Yeah, but I don’t want to be anybody else,” Laura insisted.

“Right, but you’re so different now than you were in seventh grade.” Andrew reminded her. “Nobody’s gonna know that girl.”

“That’s true,” said Laura, realizing it had been a while since her baby brother had died.

“I mean we love that girl, too” Leticia said quickly, motherly.

“Ya, but…” Pedro interrupted, wide-eyed.

“Whatever, Pedro” Laura snapped quickly, “you can be a dick, too!” Everybody laughed, Pedro the loudest.

“True.” he said, “They’re all gonna think you’re so hot.” Leticia rolled her eyes.

Oye, chicos, come grab some plates – pizzas are here!” Leticia’s mother shouted. While they ate together, they all told her how it was going to be a great experience, but everybody secretly wondered how much action there would really be in such a small town. Laura was the most doubtful of all.

Comprehension Questions

  • Where was Laura moving?

_____________________________________________________________________________

  • Why wasn’t the party fun?

_____________________________________________________________________________

  • What happened to Laura in seventh grade?

_____________________________________________________________________________

  • How was Laura’s behavior in seventh grade?

_____________________________________________________________________________

Fill-in-the-blank

Use these words to fill in the blanks in the story:

suburbdistrictinvited
moodtransferredgoing-away
guessinghugbackyard
nervousscarydecided

High school can be ______________. Laura has been in the same school ______________ in Miami-Dade, Florida all of her life. Her father’s job had ______________ him to a ______________ in New York State, where she would start school next week. She was very ______________.

Laura’s best friends, Andrew and Leticia, threw her a ______________ party. They ______________ their five other good friends to Leticia’s house and everybody thought it would be fun, but at first nobody was in the ______________ for it. Laura was the first to arrive. When she got there, Andrew and Leticia gave her a big ______________ and they all started to cry. They ______________ to go into the ______________ and talk about it. Laura was telling them what she knew about her new school and they were all ______________ what it would be like.

Fill-in-the-blank

suburbdistrictinvited
moodtransferredgoing-away
guessinghugbackyard
nervousscarydecided
  1. Mark’s colleagues threw him a _______________________ party on his last day of work.
  2. Every time I take an exam, I feel ________________, even if I have studied.
  3. Stephanie ________________ all of her friends to dinner at her house on Saturday.
  4. When Marcus goes to sleep early, he’s always in a good ___________________ the next day.
  5. Aww, come here and give me a big ___________________!
  6. We all ___________________ to plant flowers in our ___________________.
  7. Have you ___________________ the money to my account yet?
  8. I’m not totally sure, but I’m ___________________ that you don’t know the answer.
  9. That thunderstorm was ___________________! I thought we were going to be struck by lightning!
  10. There is a new representative in your ___________________.
  11. I’m going to leave the city and move to a nearby ___________________.