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Picking tomatoes

For as long as I can remember,Grandma's plentiful tomato garden has been a sign of summer's end.Each September,just as the decreased heat of the sun suggests cooler days,Grandma requests my help in her tomato garden.She convinces me she cannot pick tomatoes without my youthful eyes and quick mind.She says we need to examine each tomato and agree on its readiness for picking.While Grandma's request for my help in the tomato garden is always the same,her desire for my help seems to increase each year.

Grandma has eyes for finding even the tomatoes hidden by undergrowth and other tomatoes.I,however,just turn circles looking for the ones I think Grandma will like.I spot what looks like a ripe tomato,head in its direction,and then get sidetracked by another that appears to be equally ripe.I usually end up watching            Grandma and trying to stay out of her way,which seems the only way my eyes and mind are useful.

There we are,lost in the tomato vines(藤).Grandma's eyes are always knowing,and they are no different in the vegetable garden.From afar she spots what looks like a ripe tomato.As she walks toward the garden,she evaluates the tomato for a second time,but from a different angle.I already know it will end up in the basket with the pile of others Grandma has carefully chosen.However,Grandma acts as if she needs final look to be sure.She calls me to her side,kneels beside the vine while enjoying the warmth of the fading sunlight on her face,and grasps the tomato in her hand.She turns each round,red ball toward the sunlight before disconnecting it from the vine with a half­hearted smile.

She then looks at me.I nod my head and smile.Grandma assumes I smile in agreement with her tomato selection.I know I smile,instead,at her.

45.Why does Grandma ask the author to go to the tomato garden with her?

A.He can help pick more tomatoes.

B.He can learn the hardship of labor.

C.She enjoys staying with him while working.

D.She tries to share the happiness of harvest with him.

46.The second paragraph shows that the author ________.

A.is an inefficient tomato picker

B.really has youthful eyes and quick mind

C.has spent a lot of time gardening with Grandma

D.is a naughty child trying to be out of Grandma's sight

47.In the last paragraph,the author smiles to Grandma because he ________.

A.realized her true intentions

B.felt very happy to pick potatoes for her

C.confirmed that her choice of tomato is great

D.appreciated her skill in finding ripe tomatoes

48.What can we infer from the story?

A. The grandchild will become more skillful at gardening than Grandma.

B.Grandma will develop more patience in working with the grandchild.

C.The grandchild will gradually become more independent of Grandma.

D.Grandma's need for the grandchild's company will grow over time.


I was hurrying to our basketball game one morning when Hillary Barnes,the most popular girl,in school,stopped me.“Are you the twin who won the art competition?”she asked.

“No,that's Christine.I'm Katie.”I said.

We were not identical twins;we looked quite different.She could defeat Snow White in a beauty contest!Compared to Christine,I felt like one of Cinderella's stepsisters.

One Saturday Christine gave me a painting lesson because I was always attempting to be artistic too.But I knocked over the vase of flowers,spilling water onto Christine's painting.Instead of becoming angry,though,she turned the whole mess into a dreamy masterpiece(杰作).You could look at it five different ways and see five different things.With this brilliant creation,she won First Prize in the art competition.I really envied her,but I knew it wasn't her fault and I was the one with wild,unmanageable hair and no talent.

Joining Christine's basketball team was my latest effort to be like her.

On the way to the gym,I'd made up my mind to give my best performance in that day's game.I made preparations with great enthusiasm.“Christine,here!”I tossed her a ball.But it was too high,she leapt for it,it slipped through her fingers and crashed into the tape recorder that was used to play the national anthem before each game.

I muttered apologies as I picked up the broken pieces of the recorder.Coach looked at the mess and asked,“How are we going to play the song now?”

Christine suggested,“Let Katie sing it!She's always singing at home.”

Coach asked.“Would you?”I found myself nodding.

Coach announced the national anthem and everyone stood.Standing before a microphone,I looked up to the flag.The notes seemed to flow from deep inside me,and my voice was steady and clear.When I finished,the gym was silent Then it was filled with applause.As the game started.teammates patted my back and gave me the“thumbs up”sign.Laura Jamison said.“You should try out for the school musical!”I Nodded and said that I might.

The next morning Hillary Barnes stopped me in the hallway and asked,“Are you the twin who sings?”

“Yes,that's me,”I answered,grining(露齿笑)as I walked to class.

49.The authur uses“Snow White”and“Cinderella's stepsisters”to show

A.how dissimilar the twins were in appearanee

B.why Christine could win the art competition

C.who was the most popular girl at school

D.what the twins characters were like

50.What can we learn from Paragraph 4?

A.Christine was unpleasant to her sister.

B.Katie showed a lot of ability in painting too.

C.The masterpiece was painted by the two sisters.

D.Katie took a reasonably balanced view of her sister.

51.Christine recommended Katie for the national anthem because ________.

A.she knew perfectly well what Katie had a gift for.

B.she wanted to repair the damage she had caused.

C.she thought Katie should be punished.

D.she would like to help the coach.

52.What is the message of the story?

A.Bad situations help become popular.

B.People are talented in different ways.

C.People should always be nice to others.

D.Unsuccessful attempts are well worth the effort.


What makes a house a home?

Not size,of course.I've been in some of the grandest houses in America,and it's clear that no one lives there.Earlier this year,I had dinner in a mud hut in Ethiopia,where we sat on chairs next to the hostess' bed—a home that had more warmth than any house I've been in since.

Now John Edwards is exploring what makes a house a home in his just­released(发行)Home.The Blueprints of Our Lives.There Edwards writes,“This isn't a book about houses;it's a book about homes.About the values they rest on,the dreams they are filled with,and the people they have shaped.”Edwards writes,“The houses and circumstances are different,but much of what you find inside will be familiar.”

Whether you're sitting in an airport right now,waiting to fly to your childhood home for Thanksgiving,or in your own home waiting for the relatives to arrive,you know what he's talking about.

We've lived in our townhouse for 21 years.It's home now.The loose windows that shake in the wind.The fireplace so shallow it holds only one log.The kitchen window that offers a view of the world passing by.It's where friends sit on the kitchen counter drinking wine while dinner is being fixed.I lived there for only 18 years,but it will always be my true home.Even the lamp in the west living room window,which I could see far down the road when driving home late at night,still shines.

While all this talk about childhood memories can be warm and comforting,home is whom you're with,not where you are.As Edwards writes,“Home is family.Home is safety.Home is faith.”

Happy homecoming.

53.According to the author,what makes a house a home?

A.All the belongings in the house.

B.Feelings of warmth and comfort.

C.The houses and circumstances.

D.Drinking with friends on the kitchen counter.

54.About the book Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives,we know that ________.

A.it was the description of Edwards' houses

B.it is mainly about houses

C.it helps us understand the concept(概念)of home

D.it was written by the author of the text

55.What did the author mean when he mentioned the loose windows and the shallow fireplace?

A.His house was too old to live in.

B.He missed the feeling of home.

C.He hated living there.

D.He missed his old friends too much.



Ancient Rome was one of the world's most powerful empires more than 2 000 years ago.The Romans' ideas about roads,laws,government and buildings still influence us today.Italy is shaped like a boot.

The Colosseum in Rome was built during the time of the Roman Empire,in the first century A.D.__56  _It is a popular tourist attraction today.

Italy  is  well­known  for  its  designers,who  create  cars,handbags,clothes,shoes and other items that are in demand for their style and fine workmanship.

Today,the economy of Italy is stronger than in the past.__57__Today,manufacturing and tourism are the main sources of income.There are  some  big  companies,but  Italy  has  many  smaller companies,too.

__58__The southern part does not offer as many manufacturing jobs,so it is not as prosperous.

Italy is a member of the European Union,a group of countries that join together for better trade.The currency,or money,they use is called the“euro”.

Food and eating good meals are important to Italians.__59_

Popular foods include pasta,risotto,minestrone and pizza.McDonald's is also popular there.

Many families still eat their main meal in the middle of the day.__60__ Families spend a lot of time together.

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