My Odd Upbringing
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

To call my upbringing odd would be the understatement of the century. My family made oddballs look normal. I grew up on what you might call a houseboat. I suppose it technically was both house and boat, since we lived aboard the contraption and it floated (usually). But it looked more like a floating shack than a houseboat. My father …

Trash Patrol
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

In the summer months, my younger sister and I used to spend our mornings scavenging for electronics equipment. We would patrol the neighborhood on our bicycles, looking for items left by the side of the road for the trash man to pick up. Lamps, alarm clocks, radios, stereos, televisions: all went into the basket on the back of my bike. …

Summer in Managua
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

My parents came to the United States in August of 1992, just months before I entered the world. They settled in Buffalo, New York, where a job awaited my father. My uncles had warned that the winters could be bracingly cold. Still, my parents were caught by surprise in September when the weather began to turn. By the time December …

Moving Day
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

Sometimes, you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. I learned that lesson many summers ago on a hot July afternoon. It was moving day, and my parents had spent the morning packing every item we owned into a large truck. My clothes, my soccer trophies, my old toys: every single item that I called my own was packed …

A Rose for Ellen
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

My grandmother’s name is Ellen Rosemary Dagostino, but I didn’t find that out until I was nearly an adult. To us, she was just “Nana.” We never imagined that Nana had a life or a history of her own. In our minds, she existed only to bake cookies and cover us with kisses. When Nana turned eighty years old, she …

Wuz Yer Name?
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

It was the first day of third grade. I sat alone in the cafeteria, a painfully shy girl of eight years old, staring at my shoes and hoping that no one would try to talk to me. Suddenly, I looked up to see a girl in a purple dress stomping confidently toward me. She was pumping her fists as she …

The Great White
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

The line for “The Great White” moved slowly. My friends chattered and laughed, but I was too nervous to talk. I didn’t want to admit to them that I had never ridden a rollercoaster before. I didn’t want to admit that I was terrified. “It’s OK to be scared,” I told myself, “as long as you don’t chicken out.” Still, …

The Most Important Job
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

In the days before home washing machines, people brought their clothes to the local laundromat to be cleaned. My parents had inherited Federico’s Family Laundromat from my grandfather, and it was a true family operation. My father worked the washing machines while my mother sat at the sewing machine, fixing rips and tears. My Aunt Gloria tended the cash register. …

The Secret Ingredient
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

Grandma’s cooking was famous throughout the neighborhood. My mother always told me that she put a secret ingredient in every one of her dishes. That secret ingredient, I assumed, must be the reason why her food was so delicious. So naturally, when one summer morning Grandma invited me into the kitchen to help with the tomato sauce, I jumped at …