The Leaning Tower of Pizza

“No way, Kyle,” my friend Sarah says.

It’s lunchtime on my last day of school. Tomorrow I am going to Italy. I’m so excited I can hardly sit down.

“It’s true!” I say. “A whole tower made of pizza. It’s called the Leaning Tower of Pizza.”


“Do you think you can eat any of it?” Sarah asks.

“Of course!” I say. “It’s so big, it’s about to tip over. They want you to help eat it or else it will fall!”


I look at my school lunch. It is pizza with chunky cheese and only a little sauce. It was cooked in the microwave. Bleh!

I want to get to that leaning tower of pizza so bad, I would fly the plane myself!


The next day, I wake up early. I run to my parents’ bedroom with my suitcase.

“I’m ready!” I say.

“Slow down,” Mom says, yawning. “We haven’t even had breakfast yet.”


“I’m not eating until we get there,” I say. “I want to keep room in my belly for pizza!”

“It’s a very long flight,” Dad warns me.

But I’m not listening. All I can think about is my tower of pizza. I move my bag to the front door, sit on it, and wait to go to the airport.


Halfway through the flight, it is time for lunch.

“Would you like a snack?” the flight attendant asks.

“No thank you,” I say. “I’m going to wait. I’m going to eat pizza at the tower. Piles of it!”


A few hours later, the plane begins to land. I stick my face against the window. Down below, I see houses and schools.

I don’t see a tower of pizza.

“Where is it?” I wonder. I thought it would be easy to see it from the plane.


“Come on!” I say when we get to the hotel room. “I want to get to the tower!”

It is getting late and I don’t want all the good slices to be gone.

“Why the rush?” Mom asks, confused. “It’s not going anywhere.”


After my parents unpack, we jump in a taxi. The ride feels like it takes forever. My stomach rumbles.

I can’t wait to taste the gooey cheese, the sweet tomato sauce, and the hot, crispy crust.


When the taxi stops, I leap out and look around. Ahead I see a huge tower.

“That’s it! Leaning Tower of Pizza, here I come!” I shout.


I run toward the tower. I can almost taste the pepperoni. I get closer and closer, and then I see . . . hard, white stone . . .

“Where’s the pizza?” I ask.


My parents walk up to me.

“The city we’re in is called Pisa,” Dad says, “That is the Leaning Tower.”

“Oh,” I say. “So there is no tower of pizza?”

“Sorry, Kyle,” Dad says.


I sit on a bench and put my head in my hands. I can’t believe it.

“I know what to do,” Mom says, smiling.

“What?” I mutter.

“We’ll build our own tower of pizza!” she says.


That night, my parents order a dozen whole pizzas with sweet tomato sauce and gooey cheese.

We stack the slices high. I take a huge bite.

Who needs the Leaning Tower of Pisa when you can make your own tower of pizza?


What is the most likely reason Kyle thinks there is a leaning tower of pizza in Italy?

Why are Kyle’s parents confused by his behavior?

How is the problem solved in the story?


FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 400
Word Count 583

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