25,000 Minutes of Reading and Counting…

Spirit Cup logo 2021-22

UPDATE: On February 2, it was announced that the Gray Team surged ahead of the Blue Team at the last minute and won the Spirit Cup Read-a-thon with a total of 67,705 minutes of reading. Blue tallied 66,364 minutes. Together a new school record was set at 134,339 total minutes. Congratulations to all!

In the first 10 days of January, Poly’s amazing students read for more than 25,000 minutes in our Spirit Cup Read-a-Thon. This year, the annual Read-a-Thon was added to the excitement of Blue vs. Gray Spirit competitions.

“We’re already up to 25,724 minutes read!” librarian Brian Lorenzen announced. “More than 428 hours, or nearly 18 solid days of reading. This means either one person has buckled down to read Infinite Jest, or you are all going above and beyond with your reading!”

By January 10, Lorenzen reported,First and foremost, I want everyone who has participated so far to give yourself a pat on the back. You have been reading more than I thought possible!” Students will continue to submit their reading minutes on a Google form through January 31.

The Spirit Cup Read-a-Thon is open to Middle and Upper School students and faculty. “We’re awarding Spirit Cup points for the team, which reads the most over the month,” said Lorenzen. There will be an event at the beginning of February to celebrate everyone’s reading and to announce the winning team.

“The Blue Team still has the lead in our friendly competition,” Lorenzen added, “but the Gray Team are right on their metaphorical heels… Your team needs you!”

As of first period [on January 10], the Blue Team had accrued 14,990 minutes while the Gray Team tallied 10,689. “Your team needs you,” said Lorenzen, “so keep submitting your minutes on the form for any and all reading you’re doing.”

What Are Students Reading?
Books: Blades of Freedom, Dune, Watership Down, There There

Lorenzen noted the variety of reading going on, and he shared some of his personal favorites: Blades of Freedom (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales) by Nathan Hale, Dune by Frank Herbert, Watership Down by Richard Adams, and There There by Tommy Orange.

What are some of the top Poly readers enjoying this month? Kaya F. ’26, one of last year’s top three Read-a-Thon readers, is reading These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, Not Our Summer by Casie Bazay, and Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud. But she says her favorite author is Jesse Q. Sutanto “because her book, Dial A for Aunties, was hilarious and definitely surprising. When she comes out with other books, I will definitely drop everything to read them because her books are my favorite.”

Kaya F. ’26
Kaya F. ’26

But, Freeman’s favorite character is “Victor Vale from the books Vicious and Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. “I love how his character is morally gray, but is somehow funny and unique also.”

Her favorite place to read is “sitting on my bed with my pillow in my lap snuggled under the covers with cozy socks on.”  When do busy students find time to read for pleasure? “I read for fun whenever I’m not doing things for school, track, or lacrosse,” Freeman said. “I try to read after I’ve finished an assignment in class, before school starts in the morning, in the car ride home, and right before I fall asleep, though I usually end up falling asleep reading.”

Fiona I '29
Fiona I. ’29

Fiona I. ’29 is reading the Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger. “I like the author of these books because the characters in her books can seem real,” Inamoto said. “I don’t have a favorite character in this series, but I feel like I can relate to them. I read whenever I have free time. I can read wherever, though I normally like to read on a sofa.”

Neeka A. '27
Neeka A. ’27

“The book I have just started is called And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, said Neeka A. ’27, also one of last year’s top readers.I came upon this book in English class when I had nothing left to do. I was looking through the bookshelf when I saw a book by Agatha Christie. My dad said she had great books, and I would like them. About a month later, I came back to the shelf and asked my teacher if I could borrow it. I just started it yesterday, and I can’t wait to see more!”

“I don’t really have a favorite author, but I love Stuart Gibbs’ Spy School,” added Aghazadeh.  “My favorite characters were Catherine Hale and Erica Hale.” Her favorite genres are action and mystery. She finds time to read after school, at night, and sometimes at school. “My favorite place to read is at home because I can be in my own thoughts and not have to worry about background noises,” Aghazadeh said.

Bonus Spirit Cup Trivia Question
Read-a-Thon 2021-22

To spice up the competition, Lorenzen challenged the readers with a Bonus Spirit Cup Trivia question on Monday morning. “The first student to send an email with the correct answer to the following trivia question to will earn their team a bonus point,” he announced.

“What famous author, mostly known for science fiction, has written at least one nonfiction book in 9 of the 10 major categories in the Dewey Decimal System?”

In no time, Miro K. ’27 correctly identified author Isaac Asimov as the answer to the trivia question.

“Congrats on earning a bonus point for the Gray Team, Miro!” Lorenzen announced to the community.

Go Gray Team readers! Go Blue Team readers! We’re on the edge of our seats as we await the final results of the Spirit Cup Read-a-Thon!