Local child reads ‘just because’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Messenger Intern

The kids know when he has been there, the library aids know when he has left and everyone knows when to expect him back.

LaQuea Holloway, the 9-year-old super reader, has been at the library almost every day this summer checking out large quantities of children’s books and leaving large stacks of books behind him.

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The soon-to-be third grader has read 11,437 pages and was the Summer Reading Program’s top reader.

"He lived here this summer," said Teresa Colvin, director of the program at the Troy Public Library.

"From what I’ve seen and what everyone has told me, he is a very smart, very compassionate child. Obviously, he has a competitive spirit and that is something that will help him to go far, along with his brains," she said.

However, the modest boy merely shrugs off the achievement, indicating that the mighty workload was all in a day’s work.

"I feel fine," he said about his accomplishment.

According to his family, Holloway did not stop reading at the library, but he also kept up the rest of the family to sometimes 1 a.m. reading to them.

He said he read most of the books to his aunt, Latoya Darby, 15, who said she encouraged her nephew to maniacally read because she knew reading was important and that also she had nothing better to do.

And the work paid off.

Not only did Holloway out read everyone in his age group, but he also read more than everyone in the young adults group. The average person read up to 4,000 pages during the month-long program.

He spent the summer reading what Colvin called easy fiction and non-fiction as well as some of the juvenile books, which she described as being more advanced.

"We’re about to have to move him up to the juvenile books, because he has about read all of my easy-readers. I think he’s very capable of the challenge, and I’ll enjoy watching him grow and move up to the new section," Colvin said.

Colvin said Holloway chose books that averaged about 40-50 pages per book and she also said they were "fast reads but fun books."

It has not been unusual for Holloway to max out his card’s limit, which is 10 books at a time, and then continue to check out books on his mom’s card.

The library staff kept a tab on what and when the children were reading so that the contest would be a fair one.

The contest rules were simple: the kids were to some how transfer the words from the page into their minds. For four and five year olds, that could also mean someone reading the book aloud, but, for older kids, the books just had to be read by them, whether aloud or silently.

The staff kept a log on each child documenting what books the he or she read and how many pages were in each book.

Holloway filled up eight log booklets and jotted down a few extras on a separate piece of notebook paper.

Some of Holloway’s favorites were Berenstain Bears, Little Critter and "blue bug" books.