This is a reading comprehension exercise for children. It is written by Susan Fineman, a reading specialist in the New Haven, Conn., school district.
SAN FRANCISCO--The latest fashion trend for girls doesn't involve piercing, dyeing or Britney Spears. But it still has shock potential.
Tattoo jewelry, stretchy bands of woven plastic that from a distance look remarkably like tattoos, is all the rage among the 6-to-16 set. It adorns necks, fingers, ankles and tummies of girls who want to appear just a bit wicked.
"At first my parents were freaked," said Melissa Colon, 15, who takes any opportunity to make her school uniform look cool.
The lacy jewelry stretches to fit over the head, foot or hand. It also fits a teenager's budget: A necklace sells for about $3.
"They're so hot it's unbelievable," said David Wolfe, a fashion forecaster at New York's Donegar Group. "I think people like them because they give the impression you're cool enough to have a tattoo, but you don't have to be brave enough to endure the pain of one."
Cynthia Sutton, director of marketing for Claire's Stores, which operates more than 2,000 teen boutiques nationwide, said tattoo jewelry has been a top seller since it appeared on shelves in the spring.
Sutton said Claire's buyers picked them up when they appeared in Austria and Germany last year. Karen Ngo, of the teen Web site Alloy, said a company in the Netherlands claims to have designed them first. Some teenagers trace them to the Philippines and Japan.
Laurie Louie, 16, said she enjoys the double-takes she gets from grown-ups who think otherwise innocent-looking girls have done permanent damage to themselves.
Eneida Merlos, whose 11-year-old daughter, Tiffany, wears one of the necklaces, said: "At first I thought, 'Oh my God, people are tattooing their necks!' But as long as it wasn't permanent, it was okay."
True or False?
1. Since last spring, the latest fashion trend among girls 6 to 16 is tattoo jewelry.
2. The tattoo-like jewelry was designed in Australia.
3. Most teenagers use their own money to buy the top-selling necklaces.
4. From a distance, the lacy bands look like real tattoos.
5. Girls who wear the jewelry are often mistaken for witches.
6. People need to stretch their hands and feet before putting on the plastic trinkets.
7. Jewelry wearers are brave because getting a necklace to fit can be very painful.
8. Children in Japan and the Philippines enjoy tracing the lacy patterns.
9. When grown-ups spot girls wearing tattoo jewelry, they often think the design is permanent.
10. Melissa Colon's parents were upset because she refused to wear her school uniform.
Bonus: Some parents might not want their children to buy the $3 plastic ornaments.