In each issue of Highlights, Ask Arizona helps kids understand and manage everyday problems. Even though each feature focuses on one particular worry, kids can discover many hidden themes if they read the story closely. For fun, read Ask Arizona together (you can find it on pages 40–41 in the September issue), or visit HighlightsKids.com to listen to the recorded version. Then use the recap below—along with our conversation starters and reading comp questions that follow—to help your child boost his reading comprehension skills and discover solutions to problems.
Recap: A child who signs her letter Missing in Missouri asks Arizona how to handle the sad feelings she has ever since her grandparents moved away.
Arizona tells “Missing” she understands the problem because her own grandparents live in another state. One day her grandparents called to say they had to cancel a planned visit; Gran needed surgery. Arizona’s siblings talked to their grandparents on the telephone, but Arizona ran to her room, too distraught to speak. She settled down later and ended up channeling her deep emotions into a creative get-well-soon book for Gran. She filled the book with happy memories and ended up brightening her own day as well. Arizona learned that remembering happy times can help her manage sad emotions. Feeling better, she called her grandparents and enthusiastically told them about her special book.
- Have you ever lived far away from someone who means a lot to you? Who is it, and how does it make you feel to live far from that person? How do you keep in touch?
- Arizona’s younger siblings, Tex and Indi, also were disappointed that Gran and Poppy canceled the visit. Why is it important to spend time with people you love? What special memories do you have from spending one-on-one time with a family member or friend?
- Arizona found solace in “talking” with Cow, her cat. Describe a time when the presence of a pet, a doll, or a special toy cheered you up when you were sad.
- Who would you make a special book for and what would it contain?
- Do you prefer to be surprised—or would you rather know something ahead of time, and why?
Reading Comprehension Boosters:
- Arizona’s dad told Tex, Arizona’s brother, “That’s just the way the ball bounces.” What was he trying to say? What other expressions mean the same thing?
- Arizona said she “surprised” even herself when she suddenly ran to her room instead of talking to her grandparents. What do you think she meant?
- Arizona described her mom as having a “squinchy-upper-eyebrow look.” What do you think that look says?
- What did Arizona reveal that lets you know she really missed her grandparents?
- What did Arizona mean when she said Cow doesn’t actually speak in people words, but she (Arizona) can speak “cat?”