The Birthday Hunt

The Birthday Hunt Kara and her friends Otis and Ruthie enjoyed reading adventure books. Now they were about to have a real-life adventure. Otis and Ruthie were twins, and today was their birthday. Their Aunt Cheryl had left a present for them, but they had to follow clues to find it. They had invited Kara to help them hunt. The first clue had come in the mail, folded into the birthday card. It was a sheet of paper showing a bunch of connected rectangles of different sizes. There were no labels on the map, but almost every rectangle had a big X in it. Kara and Otis tried to think of things that had a rectangular shape somewhere on them, like the rugs and the refrigerator. Ruthie always liked to get going immediately. She started looking under the living room rug. “Slow down, Ruthie!” said Otis. “Maybe these rectangles stand for rugs, but how do we know which room the right carpet is in?” “That’s it!” said Kara. “These rectangles are rooms. This is a floor plan of your house. But does X mark the spot? We’ll have to look in every room!” X X Ruthie said, “Maybe X shows things that are crossed out. The room without an X on it is probably where we should look.” From its position on the floor plan, the unmarked room seemed to be Otis’s bedroom. Ruthie led the way into the room. They thought they might have to look for quite a while, but they quickly found a slip of X paper taped behind the window shade. Ruthie read aloud what was X on it. “It’s totally even and stands on the shelf. It can’t be divided except by itself.” They looked over at the well-filled bookshelf. Otis said, “What are we looking for? Something that can be divided by itself? Does that mean something sharp? Something that comes in several pieces?” The words of the riddle had a familiar sound to Kara. She shushed X X the others and thought. Then she said, “There is something that can be divided only by itself and 1.” “A prime number!” shouted Otis. “Look for a book with a number like 3, 5, 11, or 17 on it.” Ruthie ran to the bookshelf and was ready to grab handfuls of books when Kara yelled, “Stop!” When she had everyone’s attention, she said, “The first part of the riddle says that it’s totally even. How can something be an even number and a prime number? Even numbers are divided by 2.” Ruthie jumped up and down. “There is an even number that’s a prime number. The number 2 can be divided only by 1 and by 2, which is itself!” Otis lunged for the bookshelf and grabbed The Two Hidden Planets. Just inside the cover was an envelope with two gift certificates. “What a great present,” said Otis. “I’m getting more books with mine.” “This was like getting a present and a party all in one,” said Ruthie. “Yeah,” said Kara. “Thanks for inviting me to your birthday present!” ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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