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Read this selection. Then answer the questions that follow it.

Hastin's Big Chance


  As usual, it was a scorching summer day in southern India.  

Hastin wiped the sweat from his forehead and wished for a cool

breeze. He reached into his bag and pulled out a mango. He tore

into the fleshy orange fruit with his teeth and wiped the juice from

his chin. Sandos, his elephant, wandered over to Hastin. The

elephant tried to swipe the mango from Hastin's hand with his

trunk. Hastin laughed and tore off a piece for his playful friend.  

  Hastin had a deep affection for his elephant. The two had been  

been together since Hastin was eight years old and Sandos was two

two years old. In the five years they had been together, Sandos had

grown to be one of the strongest elephants living in the

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Yet the elephant was always

gentle with Hastin. Hastin had become very fond of his giant


  As Hastin and Sandos rested, they watched Hastin's father  

clear a road with the mahouts, or elephant trainers, who worked

on clearing the roads. The mahouts were working with their

elephants to remove some trees that had been knocked into the

road by wild elephants. The sanctuary where the mahouts and

elephants worked and lived had many visitors. The roads needed

to be clear so the visitors could drive safely through the park.  

  Hastin watched as the elephants moved the trees with their  

tusks. As he watched, he thought about becoming a mahout one

day. However, there were few positions available. It would be

difficult to become a mahout and get a job at the sanctuary. Hastin

would have to prove to the head mahout that he could control an

elephant before he would be considered for a position.

  As a mahout, Hastin would work with the elephants, doing  

many jobs for the sanctuary. Besides moving trees, the mahouts

and the trained elephants also worked to control wild elephants.

The wild elephants sometimes wandered out of the sanctuary.

They would go into the surrounding fields where the farmers had

planted their crops. The farmers often called on the mahouts to

take the wild elephants back to the sanctuary.


Hastin and his elephant
  After Hastin had rested awhile, he heard several yells from the  

mahouts."Hastin! Come quickly! I need you!" his father shouted

to him. His call sounded urgent.  

  Hastin jumped up. "Dray, Sandos!" The elephant acknowledged  

the command by holding out its front foot. Hastin climbed the foot

like a ladder and grabbed the chain collar around Sandos's neck to

pull himself up. "Hut!" Hastin said. As the elephant began moving

forward, Hastin tucked his feet under the chain collar to keep

from falling.  

  Hastin rode toward his father and immediately saw what the  

problem was. A jeep carrying food and supplies had hit a tree in

the road. The jeep had rolled onto its side and was blocking the

road. Nearby, other trained elephants, not quite strong enough to

move the jeep, began to eat the spilled food as the confused driver

walked to safety.  

  Hastin's father looked at him. "Your elephant is one of the  

strongest. Now is the time to prove that you can be a mahout."  

  Hastin knew his father was right. Hastin took a deep  

breath. "Hut!" he said to Sandos with confidence in his voice. He

led Sandos to the jeep. As Hastin gave the commands, the large

elephant leaned its head against the side of the jeep and pushed.

The jeep moved but not enough. Again Hastin gave the orders, and

Sandos followed his commands. As the elephant pushed, the jeep

slowly rolled back onto all four wheels.  

  The other mahouts congratulated Hastin on a great job. The  

head mahout walked over to Hastin. "You have proved to me that

you and Sandos are ready. Your training is complete. Beginning

tomorrow, you will work with the other mahouts and elephants."  

  Hastin smiled, feeling great joy in his heart. He and Sandos  

would finally be able to work alongside his father and the other

mahouts. Hastin lay his body over Sandos's head. He felt the

strength of the leathery creature beneath him. He was glad that

Sandos had followed his commands. He was also thankful for the

friendship he had with Sandos. As Hastin and Sandos made their

way back, they moved as one, elephant and mahout.  

1 The author probably wrote this selection to —
A inform readers about the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary 
B explain to readers the process of training elephants 
C entertain readers with a story about a boy who proves his skills 
D give readers information about how to become a mahout 
7 The reader can tell that the sanctuary —  
A is a very expensive place to visit 
B contains many other wild animals 
C is home to both wild and trained animals 
D provides elephant rides for visitors 


2 In paragraph 6, what does urgent mean? 
F Needs immediate attention 
G Very far away 
H Extremely angry 
J Soft and weak 
8 Why is it important to Hastin that Sandos follow his commands? 
F He wants to show the head mahout that he is ready to become a mahout
G He doesn't want Sandos to eat the spilled food. 
H Hastin wants visitors to watch him work with Sandos. 
J He wants to show his father how strong Sandos is. 


3 The reader can tell that wild elephants —  
A are very easy to control 
B can cause a great amount of damage 
C are much larger than trained elephants 
D cannot move heavy things 
9 Hastin worries about becoming a mahout because — 
A Sandos does not usually obey commands 
B he has not been training as often as he should 
C very few people are chosen to become a mahout 
D mahouts are often injured by wild elephants 


4 Paragraph 4 is mainly about — 
F how hard it is to become a mahout 
G how elephants move trees 
H how the mahouts control the elephants 
J how mahouts protect the sanctuary 
10 From what the reader learns about Hastin, which statement does not make sense? 
F Hastin and Sandos continue working together in the park. 
G Hastin decides not to be a mahout at the wildlife sanctuary. 
H Hastin becomes a great mahout at the wildlife sanctuary. 
J Hastin works every day to be a good mahout


5 What can the reader tell about Hastin? 
A He does not like the training he has to do. 
B He is determined and hardworking. 
C He does not get along with the mahouts
D He is eager to leave the sanctuary. 
11 How does Hastin feel after he and Sandos push the jeep back onto its four wheels? 
A Disappointed that he has to work 
B Proud of himself and Sandos 
C Frightened of the head mahout 
D Surprised that he can control Sandos 


6 Why does Hastin have to prove his skills to the head mahout?
F Hastin's father wants to show how well he has trained Hastin. 
G The head mahout decides who becomes a mahout at the sanctuary. 
H The head mahout says that Hastin is not yet fully trained. 
J Hastin wants the head mahout to stop giving him orders. 



Read the next two selections. Then answer the questions that follow them.



Use "Hero's Corner" to answer questions 12 and 13.

12 Which sentence shows that the Choir Academy of Harlem helps young people succeed? 
F Turnbull overcame many difficulties to reach his goal. 
G He finished college and went on to earn his master's degree in music. 
H He decided to share his talent and time with young people. 
J Almost all the academy's students go on to college. 
13 Why did Turnbull want to start a school?
A The students were having trouble reading music. 
B He wanted to provide a better education for the youth. 
C He needed a place to get all the boys together. 
D He wanted parents to come to the school to hear the choir. 


Use "Choir Sings a Song" to answer questions 14-17.
14 Which of these is the best summary of this selection? 
F The Boys Choir of Harlem holds about 100 concerts each year. The choir sings all kinds of songs, from classical to jazz. The choir has traveled all over the world. 
G Dr. Walter Turnbull started the Boys Choir of Harlem in 1968 to help children in the neighborhood. The choir was very successful, but Turnbull wanted to do more. In 1987 he started a special school for Harlem's children. 
H The Boys Choir of Harlem is not like other choirs. It has performed for kings, presidents, and other important people. The concert choir contains about 200 students, and the performing choir includes 35 to 40 students. 
J The Choir Academy of Harlem does not teach students just about music. Students at the school learn the value of hard work and the importance of education. They also study music history. 
16 Which sentence from the article shows that Turnbull is concerned that his students be good citizens? 
F The choir has performed for royalty, presidents, and other leaders around the world. 
G Turnbull insists that the students be honest and responsible. 
H Turnbull also believes that practice makes perfect. 
J In addition, the students study music history. 


15 Teachers travel with the performing choir when it goes on tour to — 
A make sure the students do not get into arguments 
B talk to other young people about joining the choir 
C help the students keep up with their class work 
D perform in a special choir made up of the school's staff 
17 Look at this web of information.
web of information
  Which detail belongs in the empty circle?
A Students' grade level 
B Students' popularity 
C Students' favorite music 
D Students' behavior in class 


Use "Hero's Corner" and "Choir Sings a Song" to answer questions 18-20.
18 What can the reader tell about Turnbull's beliefs from these selections? 
F He thinks education is as important as music. 
G He thinks it is important to be famous. 
H He thinks all choirs should perform for world leaders. 
J He thinks that choirs should perform only certain kinds of music. 
20 One way these selections are alike is that both mention — 
F the college preparation classes at the Choir Academy of Harlem 
G the reasons students must learn music history 
H the struggles Turnbull faced while growing up 
J the highest college degree that a person can receive 


19 An idea present in both selections is — 
A the worldwide fame of the Boys Choir of Harlem 
B Turnbull's struggles to earn his master's degree 
C the wide variety of music performed by the Boys Choir of Harlem 
D Turnbull's childhood growing up in Mississippi 



Read the next two selections. Then answer the questions that follow them.

Tía Lidia Weaves a Story


Ñanduti is a type of thin lace handmade by women in Paraguay.

Ñanduti can be made into many things, such as a scarf, tablecloth, or

blanket. A mantilla is often made of this fine lace. It is worn by some

women like a veil over their head and shoulders.



  As Celina walked along the main road in the town of Itaugua,  

Paraguay, she smiled at all the wonderful sights and smells. Along

the side of the road, men and women sold goods from their street

shops. Some were selling beans and peanuts, while others sold

hats, mats, and many other things. Celina paused at one of the many

shops where women were selling mantillas. She admired the

delicate lace mantillas that many women in Paraguay both

sell and wear. Most of the lace mantillas were white, but some

were more colorful. At last Celina hurried on to Tía Lidia's house.

Celina liked to visit her aunt every day.  

  Like the women Celina had seen at the street shops, Tía Lidia  

made lace. Celina had always been fascinated by the wooden

frame that stood in the corner of the house. She loved to watch her

aunt stand at the frame, working the delicate strands of linen or

silk. Most of all, she loved the pretty lace pieces called ñanduti

that Tía Lidia created. Tía Lidia made everything from small lace

collars to long, flowing dresses.  

  This morning, when Celina arrived at her aunt's house, Tía  

Lidia was working on an elegant lace tablecloth. She had been

working on the tablecloth for several weeks. First Tía Lidia had

placed a sheet of linen on the wooden frame. Then she had drawn

a pattern of circles and fancy designs on the material. Finally she

had begun carefully removing some of the threads from the

material and weaving other threads across the open spaces. It was

a difficult process that would produce a thin, detailed lace.  

  As Tía Lidia worked, Celina walked around the room and  

admired some of the lovely pieces her aunt had made. She smiled

when she saw one rectangular piece of lace that lay over a bench.

Celina carefully lifted it and settled it over her head like a veil.

She peered out from behind the finely woven patterns. She

thought that this must be how the world looked to new brides.

"This looks like a spider's web," she said.  

  Tia Lidia and Celina
  "That's because that's what it is," Tía Lidia said, winking. "In  

Guaraní, the old language of Paraguay, ñanduti means 'web.'" Tía

Lidia paused as she carefully wove a thread into the tablecloth.

"Have I ever told you the story of the white spider?" she asked at


  "No, Tía Lidia. Tell me!"  
  The dark-haired woman stepped away from the frame and  

smoothed her colorful skirt. "Every young girl in Paraguay should

know this story. But this story needs a nice cup of yerba mate." As

Tía Lidia prepared the hot drink, she told Celina about the lace

Tía Lidia's mother had woven. "My mother told me this story

when I was learning to make ñanduti.  

  "A very long time ago," Tía Lidia began, "when a young man  

named Juan was fetching water for his mother to make tea with,

he saw a white spider struggling in the stream. Quickly he

scooped the spider and placed it gently on the leaves of a yerba


  "Isn't this yerba mate made from the leaves of a yerba tree?"  

Celina asked.  

  "That's right," Tía Lidia said with a smile. "Every day, when  

Juan went to fill up the water jugs, he saw the white spider

waiting for him. He began to think of the spider as a friend to

whom he could tell all his troubles. One day he told the spider

about a lovely woman with whom he had fallen in love. However,

in those days, it was the custom in Paraguay for a woman's father

to choose her husband. This woman's father had said, 'I want to

make sure my daughter is well cared for. Whoever brings forth the

most wonderful and original gift shall win her hand.' Juan was

very sad. He knew he could never afford such a gift. The next day,

however, when he returned to the spring, he saw that his friend

was almost finished spinning a fragile silk cloth. Juan could see

that it was the most exquisite lace mantilla he had ever seen.

Juan knew the mantilla would look lovely draped around the

shoulders of the woman he adored.  

  "The patterns of the mantilla were of all the native flowers of  

the area. Leaves and vines and drops of dew then surrounded the

flowers. Instantly Juan understood what the spider had done. He

ran off to present his gift. When he reached the village and placed

the mantilla upon the woman, her face immediately lit up. She

was radiant. Everyone around her gasped. They all knew at once

that this mantilla was the most wonderful gift a woman could

receive. Juan and the woman were married right away."  

  "From then on," finished Tía Lidia, "the women of Paraguay  

have tried to duplicate the delicate lace. We have woven the lace

for years, but no one has been able to equal that made by the

white spider. Still, our lace is famous for its splendor."  

  Celina smiled at the wonderful tale she had just heard. "Now  

that I know the story of the white spider, perhaps it is time I

learned to make lace."  

21 Celina puts the small piece of lace over her face because she — 
A doesn't want her aunt to see that the story is making her sad 
B is hoping that her aunt will give her the piece of lace
C wants to see whether the lace is as thin as the lace she has seen at the shops 
D thinks it looks like the material used for wedding veils 
27 What is paragraph 3 mainly about? 
A The house Tía Lidia lives in 
B How long it takes Tía Lidia to make lace 
C The threads that Tía Lidia removes 
D How Tía Lidia makes lace 


22 Paragraph 1 is important because it helps the reader understand — 
F the town in which Celina lives 
G why Celina likes to visit her aunt's house each day 
H how many different foods are eaten in Paraguay 
J why most of the mantillas are woven with white material 
28 Which of these sentences in the story shows the reader that Paraguay is known for its fine lace? 
F Most of the lace mantillas were white, but some were more colorful. 
G Tía Lidia made everything from small lace collars to long, flowing dresses. 
H "We have woven the lace for years, but no one has been able to equal that made by the white spider." 
J "Still, our lace is famous for its splendor." 


23 Which of these is the best summary of this story? 
A Celina walks to her aunt's house. She sees many things along the way, including beautiful lace called ñanduti. Her aunt also makes the lace. 
B Celina goes to her aunt's house, where she learns to make ñanduti. She and her aunt make ñanduti to sell at local markets. 
C Celina hears a story about a boy named Juan, who is trying to find a gift for his girlfriend. He gives the woman some lace. 
D Celina visits her aunt, who makes lace. Her aunt tells her a story about how ñanduti came to be. Celina decides she wants to learn how to make the lace. 
29 Juan needs a special gift to — 
A make the woman fall in love with him
B convince the woman's father to let her marry him 
C thank the woman's father for saving his life 
D show the woman's father how rich he is 


24 The reader can tell that when Celina is older, she will probably — 
F be too busy to weave lace 
G teach her daughter how to make lace 
H think that lace is not very pretty 
J buy all her lace from a store 
30 In paragraph 10, why is Juan sad? 
F Juan thinks the woman will marry someone else. 
G Juan has promised the spider he will never give the lace away. 
H Juan thinks the woman doesn't want to marry him. 
J Juan doesn't want to give his fine lace mantilla away. 


25 The reader can tell that Tía Lidia — 
A makes the finest lace in Paraguay 
B thinks that women should not sell their lace 
C learned to make lace from her mother 
D weaves lace that is better than the white spider's 
31 Juan lifts the spider out of the water because it — 
A has promised to make a gift for his girlfriend 
B looks as if it is drowning 
C has been a very good friend to him 
D is the best lace weaver in the town 


26 Paragraphs 2 through 4 are important because they help the reader understand — 
F why circles and designs are drawn on lace 
G that Tía Lidia is a skilled lace maker 
H why the lace reminds Celina of a spiderweb 
J that tablecloths can be used as veils 
32 The white spider makes the mantilla for Juan because — 
F the spider wants everyone to see the wonderful lace it weaves 
G Juan tells the spider that his aunt can make better lace 
H the spider wants to thank Juan for saving its life 
J Juan promises to pay the spider a lot of money 



Read this selection. Then answer the questions that follow it.

33 What is this article mainly about? 
A Zoos in the United States and other countries 
B The sleeping habits of giant pandas 
C Two new pandas at the National Zoo 
D The Wolong Nature Reserve in China 
37 What can the reader tell about giant pandas from information in this article? 
A Pandas can live only in warm climates. 
B South American bears are also called pandas. 
C Pandas can be found only in nature reserves. 
D Male pandas probably grow to be larger than female pandas. 


34 In paragraph 9, the word persistent means —
F determined 
G careful 
H tired 
J thoughtful 
38 The reader can tell that Mei Xiang —  
F is much smaller than most pandas 
G has a name that fits her behavior 
H is more outgoing than most pandas 
J has visited the United States once before 


35 Which is the best summary of this article? 
A Two giant pandas have arrived at the National Zoo. Their names are Tian Tian, which means "more and more," and Mei Xiang, which means "beautiful fragrance." 
B There are fewer than 1,000 pandas left in the world. Many of these pandas live in the Wolong Nature Reserve in China. Some also live in zoos. 
C Two giant pandas from China will live at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., for 10 years. Pandas are related to bears. They "talk," play, and sometimes act lazy. 
D The two giant pandas at the National Zoo are playful and like people. However, zookeepers do not go into the pandas' living area because the pandas may be dangerous. 
39 How are some South American bears like giant pandas? 
A They are from the same nature reserve. 
B There aren't any of them left in zoos. 
C They feed mostly on bamboo. 
D The markings on their face are similar. 


36 In paragraph 3, endangered means — 
F at risk of disappearing 
G becoming popular 
H very violent 
J being hidden 
40 Which sentence from this article tells readers that Tian and Mei are separated at night? 
F These young pandas won't stop growing until they're about five years old. 
G If a panda feels it must defend itself, it makes a chomping sound. 
H Tian eats his food as fast as he can and starts looking for more. 
J After her door is opened, Tian often goes in to wake her up. 


41 Look at this diagram of information from the article. 
  Which of these belongs in the blank? 
A Will stop growing in about two years 
B Will weigh more than 200 pounds when completely grown. 
C Likes things that smell nice 
D Sometimes likes to sleep late in the morning 
42 The number of pandas has decreased because — 
F many are being sold to zoos in the United States 
G they have lost many of the areas where they once lived 
H scientists think pandas are just ordinary bears 
J they are being captured to prevent them from hurting people 

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