Each week, Marple Newtown Patch will seek suggestions from readers for individual kids, youth groups, teens, and even sports teams that wow us with their accomplishments. This week, we highlight sixth-grade student Anna Norton of St. Pius X School for reading the most books in this year's Reading Olympics program.
Patch Whiz Kid of the Week: Anna Norton
Whiz Kid's Age: 11
Whiz Kid's School:
Whiz Kid's Accomplishment: Anna led her school in the Reading Olympics this year as reading the most books. Out of the approximate 45 books on the designated Reading Olympics list, Anna handed in 12 story maps (reflections and information each student had to hand in for each book read) but admittedly read around 40 in total. The Reading Olympics is a program supported by the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, encouraging students in fourth to twelfth grades in the county to read as part of an annual contest.
Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness: Although it was a contest, for Anna, it was more of pleasure than competition. Her favorite from the reading list? Summer of the Swans by Newbery Medalist Betsy Byars.
"I've always liked reading," said the 11-year-old. "I just think reading is fun."
Anna supposes her passion for reading stemmed from when she was younger when her mother used to read her books.
"I guess my mom started reading to me when I was little and I just grew to love books," said Anna. Although she can't remember the first book she read on her own, Anna believes it may have been from one of the Dick and Jane book series.
A current book series she's a big fan of is the Harry Potter book series. Anna has come a long way from the Dick and Jane books and has far advanced to reading levels beyond her age group. She finished the Harry Potter books at the age of 7 or when she was in the second grade.
But to Anna, reading can start at any age level and reading does not stop until you physically cannot read anymore.
"I don't think you can really stop reading until you just can't read anymore, and I don't think reading starts at a certain age," said Anna.
Anna enjoys stopping in at in town, especially when her principal is doing a story hour there, or the library where she checks out a stack of books.
"I would get a bunch of books and read them in about a month," said Anna. It usually takes Anna about two to three nights to finish a book, unless it's a short book which only takes about a day. The longest book she has ever read is The Once and Future King by T.H. White which is 677 pages.
According to Anna, she has a bookshelf the size of her dresser that is spilling out with books that she has read at least twice or three times over.
"It's [bookshelf] the same size as my dresser and I can't fit anymore books on there," said Anna. "My mom can't find anything in there."
Anna said she'll continue reading and plans to read through another year of Reading Olympics. In the meantime, she hopes to continue working on her fiction writing (another passion of hers) and aspires to be a fiction author someday.
Editor's note: Know a great kid who made Eagle Scout or did your local soccer team take the championship? They may be our next Patch Whiz Kid honoree. We want to hear about these amazing children and teens and select one each week as the Patch Whiz Kid.