An Older Brother’s Gift
By Ada Foy
It was the Christmas season of 1994. Nine-year-old Jaron and his six-year-old brother, Parker, were excited. They had entered a reading contest sponsored by a grocery store in their hometown. The two students who read the most books would each win a brand-new bicycle. All they had to do was have their parents and teachers sign for each book they read. Two bikes were to be awarded, one for the first-to-third grade levels, and one for the fourth-to-sixth grade levels.
Parker was especially excited because this was a way for him to earn a bike. He really wanted one. He was tired of watching his older brother ride around on the new purple ten-speed bike he had earned by working at a yard sale. Parker thought that it would be great to earn a bike of his own by reading books. So he started to read books as fast as he could. He read Curious George, Green Eggs and Ham, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear. But no matter how many books he read, someone in his grade level had read more.
Meanwhile, Jaron had not been all that enthusiastic about the contest. When he went to the grocery store and checked the big chart with all the readers listed and how many books each had read, however, he could see that his younger brother had little chance of winning the contest.
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