Cultivating Bookworms

“Wait, wait, wait, look at it. It has a guy being beheaded, people dying from the Black Death, two knights dueling each other. It’s cool, right? I want you to try it.”These words constituted my sales pitch to a fifth-grader for a Horrible Histories book on the Middle Ages. In the Kids Club library the day before, it had struck me that this particular student loved reading graphic novels a la Captain underpants, and thus the gruesome history books might be an ideal way to help him branch out. Of course, when I first presented it to him, he said it looked boring-hence the sales pitch. It seemed to work. After a couple of minutes, he settled into reading the book for our independent reading time.

This March marks the third month of the Reading Room at Kids Club, the fourth year since I first visited Chirilagua on an alternative spring break trip, and the 23rd year of me being a nerd. In the reading room, I have hoped to make forty more bookworms out of the students in Kids Club. While the reading room culture continues to form, I always wonder if books are getting through to the kids. As a result, I tend to watch the kids for signs that they’ve been bitten with the reading bug.

At the end of the day, Kelvin returned the book. “I’m going to read that book tomorrow,” he said.
One down, thirty-nine to go.


-Liz Moraff, Assistant Kids Club Director