Now is the time of the year when teachers get hoarse reminding students to keep up with their reading during summer break.
Maybe Capitol View 5th grader Danny Doan can speak for them. He plans to get a daily dose of Vitamin R.
According to his teacher, Guy Willey, who thought we ought to know about him, Danny’s read 58 chapter books totaling over 3,100,000 words this year. That’s about five times the number that an average fifth grader reads. He also took a middle school math program and competed on the school’s Battle of the Books, bowling, and basketball teams.
“I’ve never had a student with such an appetite for reading,” said Willey, who’s in his 5th year of teaching after a first career in accounting. “He’s an example for the others, too. He drew the rest of our Battle of the Books team together and was the leader.”
To hear Danny tell it, reading was an acquired taste for him.
“In 3rd grade I didn’t like it so much,” he said. “But I started reading leftover books of my brother (David, who’s at East High) and now I like to read whenever I can. I like to find out what happens next.”
He’s ripping through his favorites (Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, for instance) so fast that “sometimes I have to slow down because I don’t want them to end already.”
Danny prefers fiction for his pleasure reading, especially mysteries, but he doesn’t aspire to become a novelist, at least not yet.
“I am going to be a computer engineer,” he said. That’s a good plan, but…
How about a 21st century Hardy Boys series about the detective Doan brothers, David and Danny, who carry library cards instead of badges and solve techno-hacker mysteries? Get enough experience in cyber-engineering to make the plots plausible, then shift career gears (a la accounting to education) and go from one of Rick Riordan’s most avid readers to one of his most read rivals.
Something to think about over the summer while waiting to find out what happens next – besides 6th grade at Goodrell Middle School.