RHL School

Reading Comprehension
Volume 4, Number 2, September 14, 1998

Amy’s Political Career

Chapter One

It was a new school year and a new school for the sixth graders at Hemlock Mills Middle School. Amy Ashwood and Bobby Aroni would soon be there with all the other kids who had graduated from Hemlock Mills Elementary School. They joined the graduates of Tiger Elementary and Fallon Elementary: the brand new freshman class.
Amy was sitting on the school bus with Bobby as they rode steadily toward the middle school. “I’m going to get off to a fresh start, Bobby,” she declared. “No more being nasty to everyone. It’s going to be the new nice me.”
Bobby had his doubts that this was possible, but he wanted to encourage his friend. “It’s worth a try, Amy,” he said.
“I’ve also decided,” she went on, “to run for president of the freshman class. I read all about it in the papers we got this summer. I’m going to start my political career.”
“That means,” Bobby cautioned, “that you really do have to be nice to people. You’ll have to think of friendly things to say to everyone. Amy, you haven’t had much practice at that.”
“You watch. It’s the new improved, soon to be president, me!” Amy stated.

Amy walked through the wide entrance to the main office. An elderly lady behind the high counter smiled and asked, “May I help you?”
“I’d like to register as a candidate in the student elections, please,” Amy said.
“You’ll have to talk to the vice principal,” the lady replied. “It’s that door to your right.”
The door was opened, so Amy walked right in. A man behind a large desk was examining a piece of paper. He signed it, and handed it to a woman who was standing to his left. He looked up to greet his visitor.
“Mr. Grumbell!” Amy almost shouted.
Mr. Grumbell had been the vice principal at Hemlock Mills Elementary School.
“Amy Ashwood, surprised to see me here? Even I got promoted to the middle school.”
“Actually, I thought you were old enough to retire,” Amy replied.
Mr. Grumbell,who was forty-three years old, sometimes wished that he was old enough to retire. Most of the time, however, he did not like to be referred to as old. He looked at Amy intently. “You’re not a nice little girl,” he said.
Amy was accustomed to Mr. Grumbell’s gruff manner and wasn’t offended. “That is true,” she agreed. “That’s because I’m not a little girl.”
“Hmmm, and what brings you to my office, young woman?”
“I’d like to be a candidate for president in the freshman class election.”
The woman, who Amy guessed was a secretary, reached for a sheet of paper on the desk and handed it to Mr. Grumbell. “Thank you, Mrs. Franklin,” he said.
He turned the document around and placed it on the desk in front of Amy. “This is a petition, Amy. You’ll need at least twenty signatures from other freshmen. By signing it, they support your desire to be a candidate.”
Amy picked up the paper. She smiled at Mr. Grumbell and said, “I’m glad you’re working here,” and walked out of the office.
“She never even thanked you!” Mrs. Franklin complained.
Mr. Grumbell almost smiled, which for him was a smile. “Yes, she did,” he said.

1. Why were Amy and Bobby going to a new school?

2. Amy Ashwood was determined to make a big change in her personality. What kind of change was she planning to make?

3. What was her motivation (reason for doing something)?

4. How did Amy know Mr. Grumbell?

5. Why did Mr. Grumbell feel that Amy had thanked him for the petition?

6. What will Amy have to do in order to become class president? Pretend that you’re Amy’s campaign manager and tell her what to do.

Copyright 1998 RHL

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