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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.”

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“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!”

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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!

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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.”

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“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.

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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!”

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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I

FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 400
Word Count 583
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