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Bella’s Bessie Doll

Bella mopped the floor. She picked up her toys. She washed the dishes. She took Bo for a walk. She helped Mama fold clothes.

“Is there anything else I can do?” Bella asked.

Mama laughed. “No, Bella. You’ve done a good job.”

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Bella had been good all year.

In class, she wrote her ABCs. She raised her hand quietly. She helped others.

At home, Bella even helped Mama change Thalia, her baby sister.

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By Christmas Eve, Bella was tired from doing all that work. But she knew it would be worth it.

This Christmas, she wanted a very special gift. Bella wanted a Bessie doll. If Bella got Bessie, this would be the best Christmas ever.

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That night at bedtime, Bella kneeled down next to her bed. She clasped her hands together. She closed her eyes tightly and whispered, “Please let Bessie be under the tree tomorrow. I’ve worked so hard. Let this be the best Christmas ever!”

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On Christmas morning, Bella awoke. She jumped out of bed.

“Mama, Papi, bebé Thalia!” Bella called out. “Feliz Navidad!”

Bella darted down the stairs. One by one, she tore open each of her gifts.

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Bella got a sweater from Granny. She got a book from Tia Carolina. Bella got a stuffed animal, a puzzle, and a board game, too.

There was one box left under the tree.

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“Open it, Bella,” Mama said. Bella ripped off the colorful wrapping paper. Her eyes popped open wide.

“It’s Bessie!” she exclaimed. “Thank you!”

“You worked so hard all year,” Mama said. “You deserve it.”

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That evening in bed, Bella hugged Bessie. Bella was so happy.

Bella closed her eyes but she couldn’t sleep. She was too excited. Tomorrow, she was going to her best friend’s house. Bella couldn’t wait to show Cara her brand new doll.

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The next day, Bella skipped to Cara’s house. She showed Cara her new Bessie doll. Then, Bella noticed that Cara did not have a Christmas tree.

“Where are your presents?” Bella asked.

“Daddy couldn’t afford presents this Christmas,” Cara said sadly.

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Bella looked down at her Bessie doll. She thought about all the presents she had waiting for her back home. She felt bad that Cara did not have any gifts.

“Cara, this Bessie doll is for you,” Bella said, handing Cara the doll.

“For me?” Cara asked. “Are you sure?”

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“Yes,” Bella said. “You’ve been such a good friend all year. You deserve it.” She smiled.

Cara lifted the doll and kissed it. She hugged Bessie tightly.

“Oh thank you, Bella!” Cara cried. “It’s the most beautiful doll I’ve ever had.”

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Bella and Cara played with Bessie together.

“Bella,” Cara said. “Thank you for making this the best Christmas ever.”

Bella didn’t mind having to give up her Bessie doll. She was glad that she was able to make her best friend so happy.

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Why is Bella working so hard at the beginning of the story?

How does Bella feel when she finds out that Cara’s Christmas is different from hers?

What words would you use to describe Bella at the end of the story?

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I

FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 380
Word Count 517
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