In a moment of cruel fate (for me or the teacher, I am not sure which), the passage I flipped to was where Hendricks had found the half-eaten body of the missing girl. The moment of my book report went something like this:
Teacher: Mr. Larson... that's an awfully big book for you to read.
Me: Uh huh.
Teacher: [looking at me sternly] Are you sure you didn't watch the movie instead?
Me: No, ma'am. It was rated R. My mother was scared to watch it because she heard it might scare her from every swimming in the ocean again, and she likes the ocean.
Teacher: Uh huh. Well, that is a book for adult readers.
Me: It was in the science fiction rack at the library.
Teacher: Okay, so you said you can read and understand this book?
Teacher: ... really...?
Me: Yes ma'am.
Teacher: Okay, do this for me. Pick a random page and read it aloud to the class. Then explain what you just read in your own words.
Me: Okay. [flips to book, starts reading blindly] "Suddenly he stopped. For a few seconds he stared, frozen rigid. He fumbled in his pants pocket for his whistle, put it to his lips, and tried to blow; instead he vomited, staggered back, and fell to his knees." See, this guy was from a search party looking for the missing girl. In the beginning of the book, they said that the girl had been eaten while skinny dipping, which means to swim naked.
Me: "Snarled within the clump of weed was a woman's head, sill attached to the shoulders, part of an arm, and about a third of her trunk. The mass of tattered flesh was a mottled blue gray, and as Hendricks spilled his guts to the ground into the sand, he thought--"
Class of sheltered second graders: [gasp]!
Teacher: Okay, that's enough.
Me: "... he thought -- and the thought made him retch again -- that the woman's remaining breast looked as flat as a flower pressed in a memory book."
Class: [giggles at the word "breast"]
Teacher: MISTER LARSON!
Me: That passage means that he only found the top half of the girl because the shark ate the lower half.
Teacher: I GET it, PLEASE sit DOWN!
Me: And she was a mottled blue due to rotting on the beach. Her flat breast was probably due to loss of blood or guts. Hendricks is vomiting because the sight of only half a body made him sick.
Teacher: I AM CALLING YOUR PARENTS!
She did, and my mother got a big kick out of it. I did not get in any more trouble and my teacher didn't doubt my reading skills anymore.