This is a reading comprehension exercise for children. It is written by Susan Fineman, a reading specialist in the New Haven, Conn., school district.

MELBOURNE, Australia--After 11 months alone at sea, Jesse Martin received a hero's welcome when he returned to his home port in Australia, becoming the youngest person to sail nonstop around the world.

Martin, 18, was greeted by thousands of cheering spectators who lined the waterfront in Melbourne as he docked his 34-foot yacht, Lionheart.

Appearing a little shaky on his feet, Martin was given a bearhug by his mother, Louise, the moment he touched land.

Martin left Melbourne in December to sail 30,000 miles around the globe, unassisted and nonstop.

Along the way, he said he was battered by huge seas, narrowly escaped a collision with a tanker and once hit a whale in the South Atlantic.

But the soft-spoken teenager was modest about his achievement.

"I've just put a little bit of sail up and done four knots all the way round the world. That's nothing special," Martin said.

Martin said he was looking forward to having his first hamburger in almost a year.

"It feels great to be around people again and to smell the smells of land," he said.


1. Jesse Martin:

a) was lost at sea.

b) is 11 months old.

c) set a world record.

2. The Australian teenager is the youngest person to:

a) sail nonstop around the globe.

b) dock a 34-foot yacht.

c) be left home alone.

3. Before the trip, the brave teenager:

a) never ate a hamburger.

b) knew a lot about navigating a boat.

c) thought it would be impossible to circle the globe.

4. The young hero:

a) received assistance during his voyage.

b) traveled 30,000 miles in one month.

c) began his adventure last December.

5. During his trip, the determined sailor:

a) smacked into a tanker.

b) hit a whale.

c) went to batting practice.

6. Martin is described as modest because he:

a) didn't brag about his accomplishment.

b) told everyone about his problems at sea.

c) sailed at a constant speed of four knots.

7. When the seaman returned to Melbourne, he was:

a) greeted by thousands of people.

b) nicknamed Lionheart.

c) both a and b.

8. The moment Martin landed, his mother:

a) began shaking her feet.

b) helped him to dry off.

c) gave him a big hug.

9. The teenager was glad "to be around people again" because he:

a) had forgotten how to speak.

b) was alone for almost a year.

c) couldn't wait to get a hero's welcome.

10. It is most likely that the yachtsman:

a) will continue to spend time on the high seas.

b) is sorry he stayed away so long.

c) didn't miss being on land.

ANSWER KEY: 1. c, 2. a, 3. b, 4. c, 5. b, 6. a, 7. a, 8. c, 9. b, 10. a