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Growth Mindset: reading realistic fiction; A New Friend 4


Read the passage.

A New Friend

  1. Neveah peered out over the choppy sea. She’d never seen waves this big before, but that wasn’t really saying much since she’d only been on the deserted island for two weeks. Although Neveah was getting used to her fate, things continually surprised her. However, nothing could have prepared her for what she saw later that afternoon.
  2. At first she thought it was a mirage. Maybe I’m seeing things, she said to herself. Neveah shook her head and looked again, but he was still there, struggling in the waves—and there was no denying it.
  3. “Don’t count on ever seeing another living creature,” they had told her when they ditched her on the island. “The waters are cursed. Nothing lives in them. Get used to coconuts—they’ll be your only food... and maybe an occasional root or two.”
  4. Neveah was overwhelmed with joy when she realized that she was not seeing things and that a baby sea lion must have been sent to keep her company.
  5. “I’m not alone!” Neveah screamed as she dove into the waves. But the waves were too powerful and Neveah was tossed around. As she gasped for breath and made her way toward shore, she understood that she would need a better rescue approach.
  6. Neveah scurried onto a flat rock that jutted out over the sea. She carefully studied the motions of the waves and how they were pushing the baby sea lion around. Then, she hurriedly gathered the empty coconut shells she had been saving and attached them to a rope in a circular shape. Next, she took her small tarp and attached it in the center of the little makeshift raft. I’m not sure the sea lion will know what to do, she thought crossing her fingers.
  7. Just before Neveah was about to toss the raft in the sea, the rope came untied and the coconuts slipped off. With determination, Neveah restrung the coconuts together. This time, she triple-knotted the rope. That should hold.
  8. Neveah threw the raft into the water, upwind from the sea lion so it would drift to him. Thankfully, her calculations were correct, and somehow the sea lion understood that he had to climb onto the raft. Now if he will just stay on until he gets over the waves.
  1. Strangely, the giant, crashing waves suddenly stopped and Neveah was able to gently pull the sea lion onto shore.
  2. The sea lion slapped his flippers, rubbed his nose on Neveah, then quickly fell asleep. He’ll be hungry when he wakes, Neveah thought. But there aren’t any fish here...or are there? It has been a strange day.
  3. Neveah waded into the now calmer waters and surprisingly caught a glimpse of a long, narrow fish. Hooray! she thought. Things are looking up!
  4. In order to successfully catch the fish, Neveah had to experiment with different hunting techniques. First, she tried scaring the fish into a small enclosed cove. This worked, but the fish managed to slip through Neveah’s hands as she tried to grab it. Next, Neveah tried using coconut flesh as bait. Unfortunately, the fish wasn’t interested in coconut.
  5. Neveah then created a basic net using strong roots from the island. After a little trial and error, Neveah was eventually able to net her new friend some dinner.
  6. As the sea lion feasted, Neveah gazed around the little island. Maybe this place isn’t as bad as they made it out to be.
What does the sea lion represent in the story?
Choose 1 answer: