A Strange Boy
Katya Sycheva, 14, Samara



(click on photo to enlarge)



When I entered a new school and passed into a new grade I got to be friends with one girl, Tanya. Soon I made a lot of other friends, but Tanya was always special.

One day I noticed a boy; he was alone and nobody wanted to be with him because he wore glasses and was slightly odd. Actually, that boy, Misha, was very cheerful and kind but for some reason nobody wanted to be friends with him.

I was a little afraid of talking to him because I was afraid that others would laugh at me. But I did and now we are good friends. We walk together, enjoy ourselves and I am afraid of nothing.

I think everybody should be tolerant and keep company with whomever he or she wants to. After all, the important thing in a person is not his or her appearance but his or her inner world! I understand and realize it and I am glad because this is real life and the truth.


I. Understanding the Story
Write a thinking question to ask about the main idea. A thinking question is about the ideas in a story, not the facts.

II. Vocabulary
With a partner, answer the questions about the words in bold.
1. What is another word for grade as it is used in the story?
2. How can someone be special? How is special a good thing?
3. Slightly changes the meaning of odd above. How?
4. What does a person do when s/he is cheerful?
5. Describe the appearance of someone.

III. Now you Talk
1. What do you think are the reasons nobody speaks with Misha?
2. Where do our attitudes come from?
3. Discuss why the author is afraid to talk to Misha.

IV. Now you Write
Write an email from Tanya to Misha.

V. Match the phrase on the right that completes the sentence.

1. The boy wearing glasses
A. with Misha.
2. Everyone
B. had no friends.
3. My first friend
C. people would laugh at me.
4. I was afraid that
D. should be tolerant.
5. I made friends
E. was named Tanya.

IV. Role Play
1. The writer and Tanya: They disagree about Misha.
2. Tanya and her mother: They talk about strange boys.
3. The writer and her father: She asks why glasses are a problem.
4. The writer and Misha: They talk about football.