LEAP 2025 ELA Grade 7 Chapter 2

LEAP 2025 ELA Grade 7 Chapter 2 Sample

Excerpt from The Errand Boy by Horatio Alger

1 Phil Brent was plodding through the snow in the direction of the house where he lived with his stepmother and her son, when a snowball, moist and hard, struck him just below his ear with stinging emphasis. The pain was considerable, and Phil’s anger rose. He turned suddenly, his eyes flashing fiercely, intent upon discovering who had committed this outrage, for he had no doubt that it was intentional.

2 He looked in all directions, but saw no one except a mild old gentleman in spectacles, who appeared to have some difficulty in making his way through the obstructed street. Phil did not need to be told that it was not the old gentleman who had taken such an unwarrantable liberty with him. So he looked farther, but his ears gave him the first clue. He heard a chuckling laugh, which seemed to proceed from behind the stone wall that ran along the roadside.

3 "I will see who it is," he decided, and plunging through the snow he surmounted the wall, in time to see a boy of about his own age running away across the fields as fast as the deep snow would allow.

4 "So, it’s you, Jonas!" he shouted wrathfully. "I thought it was some sneaking fellow like you."

5 Jonas Webb, his stepbrother, his freckled face showing a degree of dismay, for he had not calculated on discovery, ran the faster, but while fear winged his steps, anger proved the more effectual spur, and Phil overtook him after a brief run, from the effects of which both boys panted.

6 "What made you throw that snowball?" demanded Phil angrily, as he seized Jonas by the collar and shook him.

7 "You let me alone!" said Jonas, struggling ineffectually in his grasp.

8 "Answer me! What made you throw that snowball?" demanded Phil, in a tone that showed he did not intend to be trifled with.

9 "Because I chose to," answered Jonas, his spite getting the better of his prudence. "Did it hurt you?" he continued, his eyes gleaming with malice.

10 "I should think it might. It was about as hard as a cannon-ball," returned Phil grimly. "Is that all you’ve got to say about it?"

11 "I did it in fun," said Jonas…

12 "Very well! I don’t like your idea of fun. Perhaps you won’t like mine," said Phil, as he forcibly drew Jonas back till he lay upon the snow, and then kneeling by his side, rubbed his face briskly with snow…

13 Jonas shrieked and struggled, but in vain. Phil gave his face an effectual scrubbing, and did not desist until he thought he had avenged the bad treatment he had suffered.

1 pt
1.

Which sentence states the central idea of the passage?

1 pt
2.

How does paragraph 1 help develop the plot of the passage?

1 pt
3.

What aspect of Jonas’s character is revealed throughout the passage?

1 pt
4.

Why is paragraph 6 important to the plot of the story?

Westward Bound

1 Dusk fell upon the prairie as a welcoming cool breeze fluttered through the windows of the train car. Richard McKinney could barely keep his tired eyes open as the rickety train slowly made its way west. It had been a trying day as he was trapped in his seat and forced to listen to his annoying compartment companion continually talk about the dangers of the Southwest. He was mercifully lulled to sleep by the gentle, rocking motion of the train as it slowly, but steadily, moved closer to his destination.

2 A slight smile formed on his face as he slept. He dreamt of the west and the exciting adventures he would encounter. His companion, unaware that Richard was asleep, continued to talk about the west and why anyone would be foolish enough to want to move there. The companion believed that danger lurked everywhere. Indian raids, outlaws, and deadly animals were reasons enough to stay out of the untamed western territories.

3 Seven days ago, Richard boarded the train in New York City bound for Oklahoma. Although Richard came from a wealthy family, his manner of dress and behavior would cause most people to believe he was a poor, homeless vagrant. His ragged shirt was torn, and his trousers were covered in dust. His red hair cascaded down over his face, almost reaching his broad shoulders. And his once well-manicured fingernails were encrusted with dirt. Richard didn’t care what people thought about how he acted or dressed. If he was going to be a famous outlaw bounty hunter, he was determined to look like one.

4 Richard was a mystery and an embarrassment to his family. They wondered why a wealthy, educated young man would choose to give up a life of luxury to chase after the vermin that were known as outlaws. No matter how many times Richard explained why he was leaving New York high society, his family and friends thought he had taken a permanent leave of his senses.

5 There were times when Richard questioned his decision to board the train for Oklahoma. But he knew living the life of a gentleman would not make him happy. Richard McKinney lived for adventure. And he was a follower of the greatest lawman that ever lived: Wyatt Earp. The Battle at the OK Corral in 1881 cemented Earp as the man who tamed the Wild West. And Richard was destined to become a lawman just like his hero.

1 pt
5.

Which sentence best describes Richard McKinney?