Down the Old Street - Fiction (Grade 8)

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Down the Old Street - Fiction

Down the Old Street

When Ari saw a little girl running after the ice-cream vendor and holding shiny quarters in her sweaty palm, she found herself being charmed by the town all over again. A moment later, Ari saw a young boy whistling and riding an old, rusty bicycle. Ari wondered if these were among the kids she was supposed to speak to later in the afternoon. She waved at the kids in the park across the street and walked down memory lane.

She remembered riding her old bicycle and being stopped by a lanky boy holding familiar-looking yellow sheets of paper. The boy, Jim, had followed her all the way home from school when he had found her loose pages of stories in the cafeteria. Jim was the first person who had read her writing and told her that she should never stop.

As Ari reminisced her past with a lingering smile, she found herself standing in front of a bookstore that seemed very familiar. She remembered the glass door and the rustic posters of the charming, old store and walked inside. The man behind the register was an aging fellow with curious eyes.

"Greetings! Are you Ari Rollings, the famous author?" the man uttered with excitement, adjusting his glasses. "Why, yes. You are the author?just like the picture on my book of the month!"

"Do you remember me, Mr. Dweeb?" Ari asked as she pulled up a chair next to the old man. Ari had recognized the store?it was the first place she had tried to advertise her book. Back then, Mr. Dweeb had dismissed her request to put up her first book in the display case saying that children's literature from young adults was not worth advertising. That rejection had stung Ari's spirit, but she never forgot to keep on writing. She was surprised to see that her newest book had now filled the entire display case in Mr. Dweeb's store. "I guess you don't remember me after all," Ari answered the question herself.

"I'm sure I would remember running into a talented author like you," Mr. Dweeb asserted, offering a cup of coffee to Ari on the house. "I always thought young people wrote the best of children's literature. They remember their childhood well, you know."

"Well, I was only a struggling writer then," Ari replied, holding her newest book entitled Jerry Robbins Saves the World. "But I found inspiration in the most unexpected of places. What made you change your mind about children's literature written by young adults?"

"Why, of course, your books!" Mr. Dweebs responded with a genuine smile.
1. 
The author includes the subplot about the kids probably to?
  1. show how Ari was fond of kids and of her own childhood.
  2. use flashback and to reveal the character of Mr. Dweeb.
  3. reveal the theme of unhappy memories of childhood.
  4. foreshadow Ari's struggles and failures in her career.
2. 
Why does the author include a bit of a flashback of the author's previous experience with the owner of the bookstore?



3. 
How does seeing the kids trigger a flashback for Ari?



4. 
Which statement best represents a major theme of this passage?
  1. Anyone can write
  2. Never give up
  3. The joy of childhood
  4. Going back home

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